When it comes to basic guitar chords, the Amaj 7 chord is something you will surely come across in your career as a guitarist. It is played in many popular keys such as A Maj, D Major, as well as E Major and E minor.
The chord itself is built from the 4 tones A C# E and G#. It can be played in open position as well as a barre chord, and even a simplified 3 note voicing. If you’re ready to dive deep into theory, chord charts, and frequently asked questions about A Major 7, let’s get started!
AMaj 7 Chord Theory
There are some things you should know about A Major 7 before we learn to play the chord.
- The A Major 7 chord is build from the notes A C# E and G#.
- A seventh chord is a chord made of the root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th of a scale.
- An A major 7 chord is made from the root, Maj 3rd, Perfect 5th, and Major 7th of the A Maj scale.
- a Maj 7th is 11 half steps above the root note, or one half step below the root note.
- The 5th can be (and is sometimes) omitted from the 7th chord.
- The A Maj 7 chord can be displayed in various different ways: A Maj 7 , AM7, A△7
- It doesn’t matter where you play this chord, as long as you hit the notes AC#EG# you are playing the right chord.
- Every chord voicing will have its own unique sound and color, so listen closely to choose which one you want to put into your songs.
How To Play The A Major 7 Chord On Guitar
The most common way to play A Maj 7 is in the open position.
- Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 3rd string.
- Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string.
- Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 2nd string.
A Maj 7 Barre Chord
While open position is the most popular way, these barre chord voicings are also very common!
- Place your index finger on the 12th fret of the 5th string and barre.
- Place your middle finger on the 13th fret of the 3rd string.
- Place your ring finger on the 14th fret of the 4th string.
- Place your pinky on the 14th fret of the 2nd string.
- Place your index finger on the 5th fret of the 6th string.
- Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 2nd string
- Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 4th string.
- Place your pinky on the 6th fret of the 3rd string.
Alternative ways to play A Major7
If those were too easy for you, try these unique voicings to give your song some extra flair!
- Place your index finger on the 5th fret of the 2nd string and barre.
- Place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 4th string.
- Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 3rd string.
- Place your index finger on the 7th fret of the 4th string.
- Place your middle finger on the 9th fret of the 3rd string.
- Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 2nd string.
- Place your pinky on the 9th fret of the 1st string.
- Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string and barre.
- Place your pinky on the 4th fret of the 1st string.
How To Play Other Major 7 Chords
Want to learn more about a specific Maj7 chord? Click on any of the links below to see their respective article. If you’re hungry for a broader understanding of 7th chords, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Keys have A Maj 7?
A Maj, D Major, as well as E Major and E minor.
What chords are in the key of A Maj?
A Maj, B min, C#min, D Maj, E Maj, F#min, G#dim
What is the difference between A7 and A Maj 7?
The difference is in the quality of the chord.
A7 is also called a dominant 7 or a major minor 7th chord. It is made of the notes A C# E G. The difference is that a dominant 7 is made from a major triad and a minor 7th, whereas A Major 7 is a major triad and a major 7th, making the notes A C# E G#.
A Major 7 would be used in the key of A Major, but because G is not in the key signature, you could not use A7 instead.
What chords work with A Maj 7?
D Maj 7 goes great with A Maj 7. In fact, movement by 4th is very common in blues music. You could also try F# minor, this would be movement by a 6th and it sounds lovely. F# minor is also the relative minor of A Maj.
What Is A 7th Chord?
A 7th chord is a 4 note chord. It is made from a major or minor triad plus a 7th added. There are 4 different types of 7th chords! This makes it super easy to get them confused.
For today, let’s just focus on learning the major vs minor 7th. It is highly recommended that you play them on your guitar so that you can hear the difference because they each have their own unique voice and purpose within a song.
A minor 7th chord is a root, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, and minor 7th.
A Major 7th chord is a root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, and a major 7th.
How do I know the difference between a Minor and a Major 7th?
The musical scale always repeats itself after 7 notes. For example, the A major scale goes:
A B C# D E F# G# and then back to A.
From A all the way up to A there are 12 half steps.
We can think of a minor 7th as 10 half steps above A OR 2 half steps below A.
Similarly, a major 7th is 11 half steps above the root, but it is also just 1 half step below the root.
Remember that the leading tone (the note directly below the tonic) is always the major 7th!
We went over a lot in this article!
The main thing you should take away from this article is that the guitar chords A Major 7 is made from the notes A C# E and G#. Another important concept to understand is that a Maj 7 chord is built by stacking a major triad and a major 7th.
The chords D Maj7 and F# minor 7 go great along with A Maj7. Try them out in your practice! Hopefully by now you know enough about A Maj 7 to jam to your favorite songs, and also about Maj7 chord theory so you can go learn other maj7 chords as well.