A major 7 guitar chords

A - C# - E - G#

Chord Theory

A major 7 chords consist of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of the major root diatonic scale (A).
A Major Scale A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G#
Key Signature key signature
Chord A major seventh - written as A∆7 or Amaj7
Formula 1 - 3 - 5 - 7
Notes A - C# - E - G#

A major 7 chords

Spelling: 1st(A), 3rd (C#), 5th(E), 7(G#)
1st 2nd 3rd
Righties: Amaj7 
    e|---|---|---|
    B|---|-3-|---|
    G|-1-|---|---|
    D|---|-2-|---|
    A|---|---|---|
    E|---|---|---|x
Frets  1   2   3

Written: x02120 
Notes: x-A-E-G#-C#-E 
Open chord shape: Amaj7 

Lefties:  Amaj7
     |---|---|---|e
     |---|-3-|---|B
     |---|---|-1-|G
     |---|-2-|---|D
     |---|---|---|A
    x|---|---|---|E
Frets  3   2   1
 TAB     e |-0-|
         B |-2-|
         G |-1-|
         D |-2-|
         A |-0-|
         E |---|
           Amaj7    
    e|-1-|---|---|---|
    B|---|-2-|---|---|
    G|---|---|-3-|---|
    D|---|---|---|-4-|
    A|---|---|---|---|
    E|---|---|---|---|x
Frets  4   5   6   7

Written: x07654
Notes: x-A-A-C#-E-G#
Open chord shape: Gmaj7

           Amaj7
     |---|---|---|-1-|e
     |---|---|-2-|---|B
     |---|-3-|---|---|G
     |-4-|---|---|---|D
     |---|---|---|---|A
    x|---|---|---|---|E
Frets  7   6   5   4
 TAB     e |-4-|
         B |-5-|
         G |-6-|
         D |-7-|
         A |-0-|
         E |---|
             Amaj7
    e|-1-|---|---|---|
    B|-1-|---|---|---|
    G|-1-|---|---|---|
    D|---|---|-3-|---|
    A|---|---|---|-4-|
    E|---|---|---|(4)|x
Frets  9  10  11  12

Written: (x/12)-12-11-9-9-9
Notes: (x/E)-A-C#-E-G#-E  
Open chord shape:  

             Amaj7
     |---|---|---|-1-|e
     |---|---|---|-1-|B
     |---|---|---|-1-|G
     |---|-3-|---|---|D
     |-4-|---|---|---|A
    x|(4)|---|---|---|E
Frets  12  11  10  9
 TAB     e |--9-|
         B |--9-|
         G |--9-|
         D |-11-|
         A |-12-|
         E |(12)|

Notes

In the 3rd position, the chord is written (x/12)-12-11-9-9-9, while the notes are written (x/E) - A - C# - E - G# - E. This simply takes into account the optional note, which is the number/letter after the forward slash (/). We also separate double digits with a hyphen so as not to create confusion, otherwise the chord above would be written (x/12)1211999, which is too confusing - which fret belongs to which string? etc.

You will find major 7 chords used often in jazz music and less in mainstream music, however when used cleverly, they can enhance a piece tremendously. The Amaj7 - 3rd position is a little difficult at first, but when you master it, what a sound!... if you can play it with the optional note, you are doing very well.

Standard keys using the A major 7 chord: A Major, E Major, F#m, and C#m. Each of the minor keys is the relative minor of the major keys, i.e., A/F#m, E/C#m. If you are playing songs in any of these keys, you may come across an Amaj7 chord.

Practice: If you want to practice playing a song with Amaj7 chords, you could try White Christmas. Although used sparsely, it still gives you an idea of how it can add warmth to the feel of the song.

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