Let’s look at how to play any major chord on the piano.
How to Build Any Major Chord
We can build a major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale.
So to build a major chord, we’ll first need to build a major scale. We can build a major scale using a pattern of half-steps and whole steps (a half-step is the distance from one note to the very next, and a whole step is two half-steps).
The pattern for building a major scale is: W – W – H – W – W – W – H (where W = whole step and H = half-step).
Then we can use the first, third and fifth notes of the scale we built to build the corresponding major chord!
How to Build a C Major Chord
Then to build a C major chord we’ll play the first, third and fifth notes of the C major scale: C – E – G.
We can use this pattern to build any major chord! All we need to do is find the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale.
Major Chords List
Here’s a list of all the major chords:
C major: C – E – G
C♯ major: C♯ – E♯ – G♯
D♭ major: D♭ – F – A♭
D major: D – F♯ – A
E♭ major: E♭ – G – B♭
E major: E – G♯ – B
F major: F – A – C
F♯ major: F♯ – A♯ – C♯
G♭ major: G♭ – B♭ – D♭
G major: G – B – D
A♭ major: A♭ – C – E♭
A major: A – C♯ – E
B♭ major: B♭ – D – F
B major: B – D♯ – F♯
C♭ major: C♭ – E♭ – G♭
Some of these chords are “enharmonic”, which means they’re the same notes on the piano, but can go by two names.
Here are the enharmonic major chords:
C♯ major and D♭ major
F♯ major and G♭ major
B major and C♭ major
Here are their differences:
Major chords are built with the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale.
Now you know how to build any major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale!
Memorizing patterns is so much better than memorizing notes, because memorizing patterns will ultimately give you creative freedom at the piano!