The A major chord scale is a sequence of chords that are all in the key of A major. You can use this chord scale in any order to create chord progressions that sound in key with A major. The A major chord scale is a fantastic scale to use if you want to create emotions such as, innocence, love and satisfaction.
In this article, we'll cover all you need to know about the A major chord scale, and even teach you how to spell and build chords!
Highly recommended: check out our Piano Chord Poster – there are over 120 chords on 1 sheet & it’s great for practice!
What Chords Are in The A Major Scale?
Piano Chord Scale Quick Links:
| C major | C minor | C# major | C# minor | D major | D minor | Eb major | D# minor | E major | E minor |
| F major | F minor | F# major | F# minor | G major | G minor | Ab major | Ab minor | A major | A minor |
| B major | B minor |
To find out which chords are in the A major scale, first of all, you need to know which notes make up the A major scale. Once you have these notes, you can then use formulas (which we'll discuss later) to find out what sequence the chords go in and even to build the individual chords.
The A major scale consists of:
A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A.
Once you have the notes for you A major scale, you can use those formulas we were on about earlier. You use these to figure out the series of the chords. You can plug these formulas into any scale you like to get the chord scale for it.
Below are the major & minor chord scale formulas:
- Major: major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished
- Minor: minor, diminished, major, minor, minor, major, major
Now, because A major is a major key, you'll want to use the major formula to find the chords. This is: major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. You'll then use this and plug it into the A major scale. This will tell you the quality of each chord in the scale, that needs to be played, in order for it to be in the key of A major.
Using the chord scale formula, the A major chord scale consists of:
- A major
- B minor
- C# minor
- D major
- E major
- F# minor
- G# diminished
If you know your chord shapes, you can now play the A major chord scale. However, if you don't, you can use chord spellings to build the chords from scratch and figure out which notes you need to play for each chord.
The most common chord spellings are:
- Major – 1, 3, 5
- Minor – 1, b3, 5
- Diminished – 1, b3, b5
- Augmented – 1, 3, #5
Take the 3rd chord for an example – it's a C# minor chord, so you'd use the minor spelling (1, b3, 5) listed above, but use the C# major scale, because the root note of the chord is C#.
So, let's do a quick chord construction to understand this better…
Take the C# major scale, count the 1 note (C#), then the 3 note and move it a semi-tone down (E), then the 5 note (G#). That's your C# minor chord. You can follow this procedure for every other chord. Make sure to always use the major scale of the note you're trying to work out. Then, use the major, minor, or diminished spellings depending on what you need.
Chords In The Key of A Major
The above chords are all found in the A major chord scale. You can use these chords in any order to build chord progressions rapidly. I personally recommend doing this in the MIDI piano roll if you're a producer, because it will speed up your piano chord creation tenfold.
With the current chords listed above, you'll create some very basic sounding progressions.
If you want to sound a bit more professional, you can use more advanced techniques like – adding extensions, bass notes and inversions. We cover this extensively in our Piano Chord Poster PDF guide, which comes with every purchase of a poster.
What Notes Are in The Chords of The A Major Scale?
Now you know which chords make up the A major scale. It's important to understand which notes make up these chords.
Here are the chords in the A major scale, with their respective notes:
- A major – A, C#, E
- B minor – B, D, F#
- C# minor – C#, E, G#
- D major – D, F#, A
- E major – E, G#, B
- F# minor – F#, A, C#
- G# diminished – G#, B, D
Common Chord Progressions in A Major
Now you know how to play the chords in the A major scale, you can begin to build chord progression. Using pre-made chord progressions that already sound good is a fantastic way to kickstart your melody creation and it's something we often do, using the MIDI roll to build more complex alterations after.
Anything with a 6, 7, 9 after it, is an extension chord, lowercase = minor, and uppercase = major.
Here's a list of common chord progressions in A Major:
- I, ii7, I6, IV
- I, vi, ii, V
- IV, I6, V
- I, iii, IV, V
With over 8 years of hands-on experience in the music industry, Harry has run successful raves, played alongside industry heavyweights such as Max Chapman, DJ EZ, DJ Zinc and more (pictured below), had music played on national radio, DJ'd on live radio, produced until he hated every song, mixed until his ears bled, created sample packs from scratch using just a Zoom H1n and some sound design skills… and pretty much anything related to music production – he's done it, tested it, tried it.