Looking for a Chord Chart for the Piano?

by Tania Gleaves on January 6, 2009

The construction of a piano chord chart can be easy once you understand the formula for each chord.

It all follows from the notes of the respective scales. For example, the major scale for the key of C is C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C, where the first “C” is “1″, “D” is “2″, “E” is “3″…the last “C” is “8″.

The notes in the extended chords, 9th, 11th and 13th, can extend beyond the last note in the scale (“8″) so we just repeat the scale pattern out to the 13th from the root (including the root note), in this case it becomes: C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A. The last “A” is number “13″.

Using the above pattern and knowledge of the major scales, you can use the chord chart below to construct the chords for every key. Note that a “b” in front of the number means that the note in that position should be made flat and a number with a “#” in front of it means that the note in that position should be made sharp:

Chord Name Symbol Formula*
Major M, maj, implied is missing 1 3 5
Minor m 1 b3 5
Augmented aug, + 1 3 #5
Diminished dim, o 1 b3 b5
Dominant 7th 7 1 3 5 b7
Major 7th M7, maj7 1 3 5 7
Minor 7th m7 1 b3 5 b7
Dominant 7b5 7b5 1 3 b5 b7
Augmented Dominant 7th, Dominant Seventh Sharp 5 7#5 1 3 #5 b7
Minor/ Major Seventh m/M7, m/maj7 1 b3 5 7
Diminished Minor Seventh, Minor Seventh Flat Five, Half-Diminished Seventh m7b5 1 b3 5b b7
Diminished 7th dim7 1 b3 b5 bb7
Suspended, Suspended 4th sus, sus4 1 3 4 5
Minor Suspended, Minor Suspended 4th msus, msus4 1 b3 4 5
Major 6th 6, M6 1 3 5 6
Minor 6th m6 1 b3 5 6
Six/Nine, Sixth Add Ninth 6/9, 6add9 1 3 5 6 9
Minor Six/Nine, Minor Sixth Add Ninth m6/9, m6add9 1 b3 5 6 9
Add Nine add9 1 3 5 9
Minor Add Nine madd9 1 b3 5 9
Major Ninth M9, maj9 1 3 5 7 9
Minor Ninth m9 1 b3 5 b7 9
Dominant Ninth 9 1 3 5 b7 9
Dominant Sharp Nine 7#9 1 3 5 b7 #9
Dominant Flat Nine 7b9 1 3 5 b7 b9
Minor Eleventh m11 1 b3 5 b7 9 11
Dominant Eleventh 11 1 3 5 b7 9 11
Dominant Sharp Eleventh 7#11 1 3 5 b7 9 #11
Major Sharp Eleven, Major Seventh Sharp Eleventh maj#11, maj7#11 1 3 5 7 9 #11
Major Thirteenth maj13 1 3 5 7 9 11 13
Minor Thirteenth m13 1 b3 5 b7 9 11 13
Dominant Thirteenth 13 1 3 5 b7 9 11 13

* Bolded numbers are optional

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