C Major 7th Piano Chord

Root
C
3rd
E
Maj 7th
B
5th
G
E
G
B
D
F
F
A
C
E
C
E
G
B

The Notes in a C Major Seventh Chord

The Root

The root of the chord is always the easiest to find because it's in the name of the chord! The root of a C Major Seventh chord is C.

The 3rd

The third of a C Major Seventh chord is E. The third is up four half-steps from the Root.

Finding E from C step by step:

  • Start on: C
  • Step 1: move up to Db
  • Step 2: move up to D
  • Step 3: move up to Eb
  • Step 4: Land on E
3rd
E
Root
C
1
2
3
  • Db is a minor second above C.
  • D is a major 2nd above C.
  • Eb is a minor third above C.
  • E is a major third above C.

The Maj 7th

The major seventh of a C Major Seventh chord is B. The major seventh is a half-step from the Root. A half-step means that there are no piano keys in between. This is why the major seventh is one of the easiest notes to find.

Finding B from C step by step:

  • Start on: C
  • Step 1: Land on B
Maj 7th
B
Root
C
  • B is a minor second below C. The maj 7th is down a minor second? Confusing, right? The note B is down 1 half-steps from C, but up 11 half-steps from C:
Maj 7th
B
Root
C
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

The Inversions of C Major Seventh

Root Position

Root
C
3rd
E
Maj 7th
B
5th
G
E
G
B
D
F
F
A
C
E
C
E
G
B

1st Inversion

3rd
E
5th
G
Maj 7th
B
Root
C
E
G
B
D
F
F
A
C
E
E
G
B
C

2nd Inversion

5th
G
Maj 7th
B
Root
C
3rd
E
E
G
B
D
F
F
A
C
E
G
B
C
E

3rd Inversion

Maj 7th
B
Root
C
3rd
E
5th
G
E
G
B
D
F
F
A
C
E
B
C
E
G

How to find C Major Seventh with my three-finger-method

This is the method taught in my book "How to Speed Read Piano Chord Symbols"

Step 1) Use the Fourth

Find the Root and the Fourth up from the Root. (See my tutorial on finding fourths).

Root
C
Root
C
4th
F

Step 2) Move the right hand down

Move both fingers in right hand a half-step down (the next key to the left on the piano).

Root
C
Maj 7th
B
3rd
E

How to Find 7th Chords with Nate's Three Finger Method

  • Major 7th chords: bring both fingers down a half-step
  • Minor 7th chords: bring both fingers down a whole-step
  • Dominant 7th chords: bring the Root down a whole-step, the fourth down a half-step
  • Diminished 7th chords: bring the Root down a minor third, the fourth down a whole-step

If you would like to learn more about my method, pick up "How to Speed Read Piano Chord Symbols".

Other Major 7th Chords

Other C Chords