The G# Major chord is enharmonically the same as Ab Major. The G# chord does not get used as much as the Ab chord, but it does pop up from time to time, usually depending on the key of a given song.

The key of G sharp Major is a bit of a confusing one, because it contains notes such as B#, E# and Fx (F double sharp). Because of this, the key of A flat, and the chord Ab are used much more often.

None of the notes in G# can be played on the open strings of the guitar, so G# is most commonly played as a root 6 bar chord on the 4th fret.

Some Quick G# Chord Theory

  • The G# Major chord contains the notes G#, B# and D#.
  • The G# Major chord is produced by playing the 1st (root), 3rd and 5th notes of the G# Major scale.
  • The G# chord (just like all Major chords) contains the following intervals (from the root note): Major 3rd, minor 3rd, Perfect 4th (back to the root note).
  • The G# chord is the first chord in the key of G sharp Major. The seven chords in the key of G# Major are: G#, A#m, B#m, C#, D#, E#m, Fx diminished. 

10 Ways To Play The G# Major Chord

If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for G#, here they are.

G# Major Chord - 10 Shapes

Standard G# Chord Shape

The most common way to play the G# chord is as a root-6 barre chord, barring the 4th fret. Because this is a barre chord, it is somewhat difficult to play and therefore not necessarily the first G# chord that guitarists learn.

G Sharp Chord Guitar

Easy G# Chord Shape

The easy version of the G# chord is essentially the open A chord shape, but moved back one fret and without any open strings. When the A chord moves down by one fret, it becomes A flat, which is the same as G sharp. Because it involves only three strings, it is a much easier shape to play than the standard barre chord shape.

Easy G Sharp Chord Guitar

How to Play the G Sharp Major Chord (Step by Step)

  • Place your first finger on the forth fret and barre all six strings.
  • Place your third finger on the sixth fret of the fifth string.
  • Place your fourth finger on the sixth fret of the fourth string.
  • Place your second finger on the fifth fret of the third string.
  • Strum the first six strings.

The instructions above are step by step instructions for playing the most common G# Major chord shape. These instructions can actually be super helpful when you feel like you’re interpreting the shape incorrectly. By going through the G# chord instructions step by step, you can verify that you’re playing the chord correctly.

Barre Chord Shapes for G Sharp

The G# chord can be played as a barre chord by playing a root 6 barre chord shape and starting on the 4th fret or by playing a root 5 barre chord Major shape and starting on the 11th fret:

G Sharp Barre Chord Guitar

G# Major Triads

Most of the time, when we play the G# chord, we play the standard shapes, such as the open position G# and the barre chord shapes. However, learning the strict root position and inverted triads is a great way of exploring subtle and interesting variations that exist across the fretboard. The G# Major triad can be voiced in the following three ways:

  • G Major Triad (Root Position) – G#, C#, D#
  • G# Major Triad (1st Inversion) – C#, D#, G#
  • G# Major Triad (2nd Inversion) – D#, G#, C#

Here are six different ways to play the G# Major triad (including inversions).

F Major Triad Guitar

Which Keys Have The G Sharp chord in Them?

The G sharp chord can be found in the following keys:

  • The key of G# Major (G#, A#m, B#m, C#, D#, E#m, Fxdim)
  • The key of D# Major (D#, E#m, Fxm, G#, A#, B#m, Cxdim)
  • The key of C# Major (C#, D#m, E#m, F#, G#, A#m, B#dim)
  • The key of A# minor (A#m, B#dim, C#, D#m, E#m, F#, G#)

Alternative But Useful G Sharp Chord Shapes

The following shapes are alternative ways of playing the G sharp Major chord shape. They’re not the most common G# shapes, but used enough to include here as interesting alternatives.

Alternative G Sharp Chord Shapes Guitar

G# Chord Substitutions

The G# chord can often be substituted with the G# sus 4 chord, the G# sus 2 chord and the G# add 9 chord. The G# chord can also be used itself as a substitute for more complicated chords, such as the G# Major 7 chord, the G#7 chord, and other extension chords which have G# as the root note (it can’t be used in place of minor chords though!).

Which Scales Can Be Played Over the G# chord?

The most common and effective scales that can be used to solo/improvise over the G# Major chord, or to create melodies for the purposes of song writing are:

  • G# Major pentatonic scale – This scale will almost always work over the G# Major chord, in any context.
  • G# Major scale – This is the ‘default scale’ of the G# chord.
  • G# Lydian mode – This scale can be used over the G# chord in certain contexts to add a jazz flavour.        
  • G# Major Blues – This scale is particularly useful in a Blues context.

Further Reading

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