Major Key Chords
Let’s find all the chords that belong to the key of D major. Once you know the chords for a particular key, you can use those chords to create chord progressions and play creatively in that key!
How to Find Chords for D Major
The notes for a D major scale are:
D – E – F♯ – G – A – B – C♯ – D
Now we can build a chord off each note of the D major scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords.
Starting on D, we’ll count “1 – 3 – 5” and build our first chord, using the notes of the D major scale. When we do this, we get: D – F♯ – A
Then we’ll start on E, and count “1 – 3 – 5” using the notes of the scale to build our next chord. When we do this, we get: E – G – B
Next, we’ll start on F♯, and using the notes of the scale to build our chord, we’ll count “1 – 3 – 5”. When we do this, we get: F♯ – A – C♯
We can continue following this pattern, using the notes of the scale to build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord off each note of the scale.
Chords for the Key of D Major
Here are the chords for the key of D major:
E – G – B = E minor chord
F♯ – A – C♯ = F♯ minor chord
B – D – F♯ = B minor chord
C♯ – E – G = C♯ diminished chord
Other Major Key Chords
You can find chords for the other major keys below:
C Major Chords
G Major Chords
A 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, and you may be wondering how we know the difference. It all depends on the intervals used to build the chords (you can learn all about piano intervals here).
To summarize it, there are actually four types of “1 – 3 – 5” chords, or “triads”:
When we build a chord off each note of any major scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords, we will always get these types of chords in this order:
Isn’t that neat? Now you can use this pattern to find the chords belonging to other major keys on the piano!
Primary Chords for the Key of D Major
So for the key of D major, the three primary chords are:
Now you know how to find the chords for the key of D major, and you can use that knowledge to find the chords for any major key on the piano! Enjoy the music!