Major Guitar Chords

A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, Ab

Major chords are made up of a root, a major third, and a perfect fifth. When a chord consists of these 3 notes alone, it is called a major triad.

We will be looking at all the 12 major guitar chords in 3 different positions on the fretboard. Most will be open chords but some of these positions will be barre chords. If you haven't played barre chords or are not comfortable playing them, you can concentrate on the other positions for now.

There are many other ways to play these chords, but we are concentrating on the most common ways. Most of these guitar chords are based around the root position of the chord, so if you are playing an A chord, the lowest note is an A.

  • The chord formula for a major chord is 1 - 3 - 5
  • The featured song for this session is 'Hallelujah'... a great Leonard Cohen classic recorded by K. D. Lang including chords and lyrics.
Major Chords Table
Chord A B♭ B C C# D E♭ E F F# G A♭
Root A B♭ B C C# D E♭ E F F# G A♭
Major 3rd C# D D# E E#(F) F# G G# A A#(B♭) B C
Perfect 5th E F F# G G# A B♭ B C C# D E♭

Major Chords - RH / LH

Chord Chart Legend Chord Chart Legend
Right Handers
A - A major
Scale: A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#
Spelling: 1st (A), 3rd (C#), 5th (E)

A chord A Major barre chord A Major chord
A# / Bb - A#major / Bb major (more commonly used)
Scale: Bb - C - D - Eb - F - G - A
Spelling: 1st (Bb), 3rd (D), 5th (F)

Bb Major barre chord Bb Major - 2nd position Bb Major - 3rd position
B - B major
Scale: B - C# - D# - E - F# - G# - A#
Spelling: 1st (B), 3rd (D#), 5th (F#)

B Major barre chord B Major - 2nd position B Major - 3rd position
C - C major
Scale: C - D - E - F - G - A - B
Spelling: 1st (C), 3rd (E), 5th (G)

C Major chord C Major - 2nd position C Major - 3rd position
↓ Major Guitar Chords - Part 1
Left Handers
Major Guitar Chords for Lefties
↓ Major Guitar Chords for left handers - Part 1
Right Handers
C# / Db - C# major (more commonly used) / Db major
Scale: C# - D# - E#(F) - F# - G# - A# - B#(C)
Spelling: 1st(C#), 3rd(F), 5th(G#)

C# Major - 1st position C# Major - 2nd position C# Major - 3rd position
D - D major
Scale: D - E - F# - G - A - B - C#
Spelling: 1st(D), 3rd(#F), 5th(A)

D Major - 1st position D Major - 2nd position D Major - 3rd position
D# / Eb - D#major / Eb major (more commonly used)
Scale: Eb - F - G - Ab - Bb - C - D
Spelling: 1st(Eb), 3rd(G), 5th(Bb)

Eb Major - 1st position Eb Major - 2nd position Eb Major - 3rd position
E - E major
Scale: E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - D#
Spelling: 1st(E), 3rd(G#), 5th(B

E Major - 1st position E Major - 2nd position E Major - 3rd position
↓ Major Guitar Chords - Part 2
Left Handers
Major Guitar Chords - Part 2
↓ Major Guitar Chords - Lefties Part 2
Right Handers
F - F major
Scale: F - G - A - Bb - C - D - E
Spelling: 1st(F), 3rd(A), 5th(C)

F Major - 1st position F Major - 2nd position F Major - 3rd position

The 1st F Major chord is pictured as a barre chord. To play an open F chord, simply omit the barre line and only play the first 4 strings with a mini-barre on the first 2 strings - replace the 4th finger with the 3rd.

F# / Gb - F# major (more commonly used) / Gb major
Scale: F# - G# - A# - B - C# - D# - E#(F)
Spelling: 1st(F#), 3rd(A#), 5th(C#)

F# Major - 1st position F# Major - 2nd position F# Major - 3rd position
G - G major
Scale: G - A - B - C - D - E - F#
Spelling: 1st(G), 3rd(B), 5th(D

G Major - 1st position G Major - 2nd position G Major - 3rd position
G# / Ab - G# major / Ab major (more commonly used)
Scale: Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - F - G
Spelling: 1st(Ab), 3rd(C), 5th(Eb)

Ab Major - 1st position Ab Major - 2nd position Ab Major - 3rd position
↓ Major Guitar Chords - Part 3
Left Handers
Major Guitar Chords
↓ Major Guitar Chords - Lefties Part 3

One Shape...One Fret... One Semitone

Have you noticed how most of the shapes are repeated, except they are on a different fret. This is the beauty of barre chords. You can play one shape, and by moving up the fretboard one fret, you move up one semitone. The same applies if you move down the fretboard... you move down 1 semitone. You can virtually play all 12 chords of the major scale using 1 shape and just moving up and down the fretboard. You probably wouldn't do this, but you can if you want to.

If you can get these major guitar chords under your belt, you are doing very well. As this site grows, we will include more obscure chords which you may be interested in, especially if you are a jazz musician or just love jazzy chords.

I hope you have enjoyed this section on Major Guitar Chords. Don't forget to put away some time each day to practice your guitar. The more you practice, the more natural your playing will become. You will begin to move smoothly and effortlessly from one chord to the next, up and down the fretboard. Before you know it, you will be a seasoned expert. Happy Face

Moveable Major chords: Here you will find a list of major chords with the same shape that can be played all over the fretboard. They include open and barre chords with root notes on the 4th, 5th and 6th strings as well as fifth notes on the 5th and 6th strings... to play these chords you must have some knowledge of guitar notes, and where they are located on the fretboard.

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