Skip to content

E Major Chord on Guitar, Piano and Ukulele – How to Play it

The E major chord is built from a root note (E), a major third (G#), and a perfect fifth (B):

  • Type: major triad.
  • Formule: 1 3 5.
  • Music notes: E (1) G# (3) B (5).
  • Chords to play with: IV (A) y V (B).
E chord pentagram staff stave

E chord [Musical explanation]

The E major chord is a major triad with formula 1 – 3 – 5. Therefore, to build it we need E (1), G# (3) and B (5):

what notes are in the E chord

This is due to the fact that a major chord is made up of 2 third intervals:

  • A major interval (4 half steps between the 3rd and root).
  • A minor inteval (3 half steps between the 5th and 3rd).

If we apply this principle to the E chord we obtain that:

  • G# is the major third of E because it is 4 half steps above the root.
  • B is the perfect fifth of E because it is 3 half steps above the 3rd.

Thus, this confirms that the E major chord is defined by:

Root (E) – Major Third (G#) – Perfect Fifth (B)

E Guitar Chord

The E major chord guitar has the following shape on the fretboard:

how to play E on guitar

Let’s analyze in detail this chord diagram above to make sure that we understand how to play the E on guitar:

E major chord on guitar
E guitar diagram

Let’s start by analyzing the 3 circles in blue, which indicate that on the strings 5 (A), 4 (D) and 3 (G) we have to place the fingers 2 (middle), 3 (ring finger) and 1 (index).

Note by the way the number 1 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:

E B E G# B E

This simply means that in the:

  • Sixth string sounds the E note.
  • Fifth string sounds the B 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  5  1  3 5 1

This indicates that in the:

  • Sixth string sounds the root (1).
  • Fifth string sounds the perfect fifth (5).
  • Fourth string sounds the root (1).
  • Third string sounds the major third (3).
  • Second string sounds the perfect fifth (5).
  • First string sounds the root (1).

⚠️ Important: it is not mandatory to memorize all this information to play the E 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 E guitar chord

In addition to the diagram shown at the beginning of the article, we can also find the E chord in the following fretboard positions:

E major chord guitar

E major triad chords and inversions

Triads

E major guitar triad chord

First Inversion (E/G#)

EG# guitar chord first inversion

Second Inversion (E/B)

EB guitar chord second inversion

What chords are in E major?

The E major scale harmonized results on the following chords:

E (I) – F#m (ii) – G#m (iii) – A (IV) – B (V) – C#m (vi) – D#º (viiº)

E major scale harmonized

A very good chord to practice with E is the B chord, since it is the fifth chord in the progression and the dominant.

E major chord

E Ukulele Chord

Here you can see as well two ways to play the E chord on the uke:

E major ukulele
E on ukulele
E major uke
E on uke

E Piano Chord

To play the E chord on piano we only need to find the same music notes on its keys:

E piano chord
F piano

First Inversion (E/G#)

E/G# piano chord 1st inversion

Second Inversión (E/B)

E/B piano chord 2nd inversion

Music scales in which the B major chord can be found

  • B major scale (harmonized with triads)
    • B D♭m E♭m E G♭ A♭m B♭dim
  • A major scale (harmonized with triads)
    • A Bm D♭m D E G♭m A♭dim
  • E major scale (harmonized with triads)
    • E G♭m A♭m A B D♭ m E♭dim
  • G# minor natural scale (harmonized with triads)
    • G#m A#dim B C#m D#m E F#
  • F# natural minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • F#m G#dim A Bm C#m D E
  • C# natural minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • C#m D#dim E F#m G#m A B
  • A harmonic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • Am Bdim Caug Dm E F A♭dim
  • G# harmonic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • G#m A#dim Baug C#m D# E Gdim
  • B natural minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • Bm D♭m Daug E G♭ A♭dim B♭dim
  • A natural minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • Am Bm Caug D E G♭dim A♭dim

E Major Chord PDF

If you liked this lesson and want to download it in PDF click here below: