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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Jackson

The Major Chord Formula


The F Major Chord on Guitar

There are a couple of ways, through music theory, that you can figure out the notes of any major chord:

1. First, Third, Fifth of a Major Scale

If you take the first, third, and fifth note of any major scale, you will make a major chord with the same root note as the scale. For instance, if I wanted to know what notes are in a C major chord, I could go to the first, third, and fifth notes of the C major scale, which are C, E, and G, and I would get the C major chord.

2. Major Third, Minor Third

Major thirds and minor thirds are both “note distances” in music. A major third is worth 4 semitones (ex. from C to C# is a semitone), and a minor third is worth 3 semitones. First you start with the root note of the chord you want, then you go up a major third (4 semitones) to reach the second note, then you go up a minor third (3 semitones) to reach the last note. For example, if I wanted the B major chord, I would start with the root “B,” then I would go up 4 semitones/a major third, and it would be the second note of the B major chord, which is “D#.” Then, I would go up 3 semitones/a minor third, and it would be third note of the B major chord, which is “F#.”

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