In this lesson, you will learn how to play every major chord on piano. We will start with C major. To play a major chord, all you do is play a key, skip three keys, play a key, skip two keys and play a key. For instance, to form a C major chord, play C, skip three keys (C#, D and D#), play E, skip two keys (F and F#) and play G. It’s that simple.
Play C major with your right hand. Finger 1 (thumb) plays C, finger 3 (middle finger) plays E and finger 5 (little finger) plays G. Play it with your left hand as well. Finger 5 or your little finger plays C, finger 3 plays E and finger 1 plays G.
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Let’s move on to C sharp major. It consists of the notes C#, E# and G#. You can play this chord with fingers 1, 2 and 4 or fingers 1, 2 and 5. You can even play it with fingers 1, 3 and 5. It depends on how long your fingers are and how comfortable it feels. For D flat major, the same keys are played on your piano.
Let’s try D major. Its notes are D, F# and A. All you do is play a key, skip three keys, play a key, skip two keys and play a key. That’s all. There’s nothing hard about it.
Then you can move on to the E flat major chord whose notes are Eb, G and Bb. The same keys are played for the D sharp major chord, except that the notes have different names.
Try an E major chord. Play a key (E), skip three keys, play a key, skip two keys and play a key. This results in the notes, E, G# and B. Follow this chord with F major which consists of the notes, F, A and C.
See also: main Piano Chords page
Then play F# major with the notes, F# A# and C#. It’s an F sharp major chord because its notes are a half step (or semitone) higher than the notes of F major. It’s also G flat major because its notes are a semitone lower than the notes of G major.
Then we have G major. The notes of this chord are G-B-D. The notes of G# major are G#-B#-D#. On piano, the same keys are played for both G# major and the Ab major chord. The notes of Ab major are Ab-C-Eb. The notes of A major are A-C#-E. If you move one half step higher, you arrive at Bb major which consists of the notes, Bb, D and F. Bb uses the same piano keys as A# major.
Most of these chords can be played with fingers 1, 3 and 5. For instance, chords like C major, F major and G major can be played with fingers 1, 3 and 5. Some of the chords, such as C# major, can be played with fingers 1, 2 and 5. or even 1, 2 and 4.
Finally, we have B major which consists of the notes, B, D# and F#.
Practice all of these chords. This is what your chords should look like.
Major Chords List:
C major: C–E–G
C sharp major: C#–E#–G# (D flat major: Db–F–Ab)
D major: D–F#–A
E flat major: Eb–G–Bb (D sharp major: D#-F##-A#)
E major: E–G#–B
F major: F–A–C
F sharp major: F#–A#–C# (G flat major: Gb–Bb–Db)
G major: G–B–D
A flat major: Ab–C–Eb (G sharp major: G#-B#-D#)
A major: A–C#–E
B flat major: Bb–D–F (A sharp major: A#-C##-E#)
B major: B–D#–F#
If you work at it, moving up and down the keys, one chord at a time, you will master it. You can start slowly, then pick up the pace as you improve. Practice both hands.
A good way to play the chords is note by note. Break up each chord into individual notes. For instance, let’s say you’re playing C major. Play C, followed by E, followed by G, then play C, E and G together. Move up the keyboard and do this for every chord. You can also go down your keyboard, and play chord after chord.