Major Key Chords
Let’s look at how to find chords for the key of E major. You can use these chords to create chord progressions and play creatively in the key of E.
How to Find Chords for E Major
The notes for the E major scale are:
E – F♯ – G♯ – A – B – C♯ – D♯ – E
Now we’ll build a “1 – 3 – 5” chord off each note of the scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords.
So starting on E, we’ll count “1 – 3 – 5”. When we do this, we come up with our first chord: E – G♯ – B
Next we’ll start on F♯, and counting “1 – 3 – 5”, we get: F♯ – A – C♯
Then we’ll start on G♯, and using only the notes of the scale, we’ll build another “1 – 3 – 5” chord. When we do, we get: G♯ – B – D♯
We can continue this pattern, building a “1 – 3 – 5” chord off each note of the scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords.
Chords for the Key of E Major
Here are the chords for the key of E major:
E – G♯ – B = E major chord
F♯ – A – C♯ = F♯ minor chord
G♯ – B – D♯ = G♯ minor chord
B – D♯ – F♯ = B major chord
C♯ – E – G♯ = C♯ minor chord
D♯ – F♯ – A = D♯ 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
A 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 can tell the difference between these types. It all comes down to the intervals used to build the chords (learn all about piano intervals here).
But to summarize, there are actually four types of “1 – 3 – 5” chords:
When we build a chord off each note of the major scale, using only the notes of the scale to build the chords, we always get these chord types in this order:
Now that you know the pattern, you can use it to find the chords for any major key!
Primary Chords for the Key of E Major
So for the key of E major, the three primary chords are:
Now you know how to find the chords for the key of E major, and you can use that knowledge to find the chords for any major key! Using patterns and chords to learn the piano is a wonderful way to enjoy music!