How to Find Chords for the Key of A Major

Major Key Chords

Let’s look at how to find the chords for the key of A major. You can use the chords in the key of A to create chord progressions and play creatively in the key of A.

How to Find Chords for A Major

To find the chords for the key of A, we first need to build an A major scale (learn how to build any major scale here).

The notes for an A major scale are:

A – B – C♯ – D – E – F♯ – G♯ – A

Now we’ll build a chord off each note of the A major scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords.

Starting on A, we’ll count “1 – 3 – 5” to build our first chord, using only the notes of the scale. When we do this, we get: A – C♯ – E

Then we’ll move to B, and do the same thing. We’ll build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord, using the notes of the scale. When we do this, we get: B – D – F♯

Next we’ll start on C♯, and build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord, using the notes of the scale. When we do, we get: C♯ – E – G♯

We can continue this pattern, using only the notes of the scale to build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord off each note of the scale.

chords for major keys piano chord charts pdf

Chords for Major Keys Printable

This 21-page PDF will help you learn the chords for every major key! Use these chords to build chord progressions and play creatively.

Chords for the Key of A Major

Here are the chords for the key of A major:

A – C♯ – E = A major chord

B – D – F♯ = B minor chord

C♯ – E – G♯ = C♯ minor chord

D – F♯ – A = D major chord

E – G♯ – B = E major chord

F♯ – A – C♯ = F♯ minor chord

G♯ – B – D = G♯ diminished chord

Other Major Key Chords

You can find chords for the other major keys below:

C Major Chords
G Major Chords
D Major Chords
E Major Chords
B Major Chords
F Sharp Major Chords
C Sharp Major Chords
F Major Chords
B Flat Major Chords
E Flat Major Chords
A Flat Major Chords
D Flat Major Chords
G Flat Major Chords
C Flat Major Chords

How to Label the Chords

You may have noticed the chords we built were either major, minor or diminished. You may also be wondering how we can tell the difference between these chord types. It depends on the intervals used to build the chords (learn all about piano intervals here).

But to summarize it, there are actually four types of “1 – 3 – 5” chords, or “triads”:

Major
Minor
Augmented
Diminished

Major chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale.

Minor chords are major chords with the middle note lowered 1/2 step.

Augmented chords are major chords with the upper-note raised 1/2 step.

Diminished chords are minor chords with the upper-note lowered 1/2 step.

When we build a chord off each note of a major scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords, we will always get these chords in this order:

Major
Minor
Minor
Major
Major
Minor
Diminished

Now that you know the pattern, you can apply it to any major scale!

Primary Chords for the Key of A Major

Each major key has three “primary” chords. Primary chords contain all the notes of the scale, and they’re used often in songs. They’re built off the first, fourth and fifth notes of the scale.

So for the key of A major, the three primary chords are:

A major
D major
E major

You’ll recognize primary chords in different chord progressions (learn more about chord progressions here).

Conclusion

Now you know how to find the chords for the key of A major, and you can use that knowledge to find chords for other major keys! Enjoy the music!

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4 Comments

  1. Pat C

    Enjoying the content! We are reminded of the concepts again and again! I am inspired, Hopefully one day I can play creatively like you!

    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      I’m glad it’s helpful! Yes, you can do it!

  2. Julio Quinto

    I really enjoy the content of your e-mails. The information is very complete and easy to understand.

    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      I’m so glad to hear that, thank you!

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