A chord is three or more notes. Complex chords can have many notes, but you need a minimum of three.
- A major chord has a very specific set of notes: the tonic, or root of the chord (0). This is the note that the chord is named after; the major third, which gives the chord its character (4 semitones above the root); and the fifth, which anchors the chord and makes it complete—7 semitones above the root.
Construct a major chord in any key. Start with the first note of the scale, called the tonic in music theory. Find the major third by proceeding up four half-steps. Find the fifth (also called the dominant) by counting seven half-steps up from the tonic (or three semitones up from the major third.
- Understand that there are often at least two ways to spell a chord. For example, the notes Eb, G, Bb create an Eb chord. The notes D#, F
- Practice the following chords. They are the major ones on the piano. Notice that you will only use fingers 1,3 and 5 (thumb, middle, pinky) to play the three notes of each chord. Your index and ring fingers may rest on, but not press down any keys.
- C Major : C, E, G. Remember, C= tonic (0), E=Major third (4), G=fifth (7)
Db Major: Db, F, Ab; Enharmonic equivalent: C# Major: C# E# G#. Chord