How To Build Maj7 Chords, Learn to build and play Maj7 Chords on Guitar
The Professor
Apr 29 2013, 02:42 PM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
How to Build Maj7 Chords

In today’s theory lesson we’ll be looking at how you build Maj7 chords, as well as 8 commonly used fingerings for these chords that you can take into the practice and bring into your playing and songwriting.

The Maj7 chord comes from the major scale, as it uses the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of the Major Scale in it’s construction.

Here is how you would build a Cmaj7 chord from the C Major Scale. Notice how the numbers of the C major scale are used to spell the numbers of the Cmaj7 chord, 1-3-5-7, as this is the interval pattern needed to build any Maj7 chord, regardless of key.

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So, the Maj7 chord is built by taking the Root, 3rd, 5th and 7th of the related Major Scale.

Test Your Theory Knowledge

To help get this formula under your fingers and into your theory chops, you can write out all 12 different Maj7 chords, such as C E G B for Cmaj7, and post them in the comments section of this thread.

I’ll be glad to check your work and help with any questions you have regarding this lesson on building maj7 chords.

Maj7 Chord Shapes

To keep things practical as well as theoretical, here are 8 different shapes for Cmaj7 that you can take into your guitar playing.

Each of these shapes is commonly used and if you have even a few of them under your fingers will allow you to easily bring these sounds into your playing regardless of the style or musical situation.

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Check out Maj7 chords from both a construction and practical application. These chords will pop up from time to time, or a lot if you play jazz or fusion, and so it’s a good idea to have a mental and physical understanding of these common chords.

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