The C major 7th chord (Cmaj7) is built from a root note (C), a major third (E), a perfect fifth (G) and a major seventh (B):
- Type: tetrad.
- Formule: 1 3 5 7.
- Music notes: C (1) E (3) G (5) B (7).
- Chords to play with: IVmaj7 (Fmaj7) y V7 (G7).
Cmaj7 chord [Musical explanation]
The C major seventh chord is a tetrad with formula 1 – 3 – 5 – 7. Therefore, to build it we need C (1), E (3), G (5) and B (7):
This is due to the fact that a major seventh chord is made up of 3 third intervals:
- A major interval (4 half steps between the 3rd and root).
- A minor interval (3 half steps between the 5th and 3rd).
- A major interval (4 half steps between the 7th and 5th).
If we apply this principle to the Cmaj7 chord we obtain that:
- E is the major third of C because it is 4 half steps above the root.
- G is the perfect fifth of C because it is 3 half steps above the 3rd.
- B is the major seventh of C because it is 4 half steps above the 5th.
Thus, this confirms that C major seventh chord is defined by:
Root (C) – Major Third (E) – Perfect Fifth (G) – Major Seventh (B)
To sum up, in order to build the Cmaj7 chord we need to add the major seventh (7th) to the C major chord.
Cmaj7 Guitar Chord
The Cmaj7 chord guitar has the following shape on the fretboard:
Let’s analyze in detail this chord diagram above to make sure that we understand how to play the Cmaj7 on guitar.
Let’s start by analyzing the 3 circles in blue, which indicate that on the strings 5 (A) and 4 (D) we have to place the fingers 3 (ring finger) and 2 (middle).
Note by the way the number 2 in black on the left that indicates on which fret we start playing the chord.
On the other hand, at the top we see that we have the characters:
X C E G B E
This simply means that in the:
- Sixth string there is no sound.
- Fifth string sounds the C note.
- Fourth string sounds the E note.
- Third string sounds the G note.
- Second string sounds the B note.
- First string sounds the E note.
And at the bottom we find the numbers:
1 3 5 7 3
This indicates that in the:
- Sixth string There is no number because there is no sound.
- Fifth string sounds the root (1).
- Fourth string sounds the perfect fifth (3).
- Third string sounds the major seventh (5).
- Second string sounds the major third (7).
- First string sounds the perfect fifth (3).
⚠️ Important: it is not mandatory to memorize all this information to play the Cmaj7 chord on guitar. But it is highly recommended to know it in order to understand the musical theory behind each chord.
Other ways to play the C major 7 guitar chord
In addition to the diagram shown at the beginning of the article, we can also find the Cmaj7 chord in the following fretboard positions:
Cmaj7 chord inversions
The 3 inversions of the C major 7th chord are:
- First inversion: Cmaj7/E.
- Second inversion: Cmaj7/G.
- Third inversion: Cmaj7/B.
Cmaj7 Ukulele Chord
Here you can see as well the Cmaj7 uke chord diagram:
Cmaj7 Piano Chord
To play the Cmaj7 chord on piano we only need to find the same music notes on its keys:
First Inversion (Cmaj7/E)
Second Inversión (Cmaj7/G)
Third Inversión (Cmaj7/B)
Music scales in which the C major 7th chord can be found
- C major scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7♭5
- G major scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7 Em7 G♭m7♭5
- A natural minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Am7 Bm7♭5 Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7
- E natural minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Em7 G♭m7♭5 Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7
- E harmonic minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Em(maj7) G♭m7♭5 Gmaj7#5 Am7 B7 Cmaj7 E♭dim7
Cmaj7 Chord PDF
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