The A Major 7 chord (also written as A Maj 7) contains the notes A, C#, E and G#. It is produced by taking the root, 3rd, 5th and 7th of the A Major scale. It is essentially an A Major chord, with the 7th note of the Major scale added.

The A Major 7 chord is quite a popular chord. The Major 7 chord in general is considered a kind of default chord, as it contains no altered notes of the Major scale (1, 3, 5, 7). It can also be used as a starting point, when figuring out other chords that have A as a root note. For example, the A minor 7 chord can be produced by lowering the 3rd and 7th of the A Major 7 chord.

10 Ways To Play The A Major 7 Chord

If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for A Major 7, here they are.

A Major 7 Chord 10 Shapes

Some Quick A Major 7 Chord Theory

  • The A Major 7 chord contains the notes A, C# E and G#.
  • The A Major 7 chord is produced by taking the 1 (root), 3, 5 and 7 of the A Major scale.
  • The A Major 7 chord (just like all Major 7 chords) contains the following intervals (starting from the root note): major 3rd, minor 3rd, major 3rd, semitone (which leads back to the root note).
  • The A Major 7 chord is the first chord in the key of A and the fourth chord in the key of E.
  • The A Major 7 chord works well with the C#m7 chord (relative minor).
  • The A Major scale and A Lydian mode can be used when soloing over the A Major 7 chord.

Standard A Major 7 Chord Shape

The standard way to play the A Major 7 chord is in the open position. It is essentially the common, open position A Major chord, but with a G# (7th of the scale) played on the third string.

How to Play the A Major 7 Chord (Easy Version)

The open position A Major 7 chord is also the easiest version to start with, as it requires no barring or difficult fingering. Here are the step by step instructions for playing the chord, which can be a helpful way of validating that it is being played the correct way:

Root 6 and Root 5 A Major 7 Shapes

Guitarists are often already familiar with the common barre chord versions of A Major, before learning A Major 7 chord. Just like learning the barre chord versions of A Major, it is important to learn the two A Major 7 shapes, that have the root note on the 6th string and 5th string, respectively. The 6th and 5th strings act as navigational strings for most chords, as the root notes are often played on these strings.

Drop 2 Versions of A Major 7

Drop 2 voicings allow guitarists to explore chord inversions, by dropping the second highest note (pitch-wise) down one octave. By playing the A Major 7 chord, using the drop 2 system, we can produce four unique shapes on the first four strings of the guitar, as well as another four shapes on the 2nd to 5th strings of the guitar. The drop 2 system itself takes a bit of explaining, which you can read up on here.

If you’re just after the shapes, here they are.

Other Useful Variations

The following shapes don’t necessarily fall into a clear category, but are very useful variations of A Major 7.

The shape below is very similar to the root-5 shape, but has fewer notes and is often used in Jazz.

  • Jazz root 5

The shape below is just a common Major 7 shape, and is played starting on the 9th fret for A Major 7.

  • Chilis version

The shape below is an inversion of A Major 7. It has the 3rd in the bass (C#).

  • 3rd in Bass

Exploring A Major 7 as a C# Minor Triad

The A Major 7 chord contains the notes A, C#, E and G#. If you take away the root note, you are left with C#, E and G#, which is a C sharp minor chord.

In other words, A Major 7 is the same as C#m, with an added A.

This can allow for some interesting exploration of the chord, by playing C# minor triads, and adding the A note (usually in the bass). Given that the A note can be played on the open 5th string, it is easy to simply play through the different inversions of C#m and play the open A string.

Check out the C#m triads page for some shapes.

Which Keys use the A Major 7 Chord?

A Major 7 is the I chord in the key of A.

A Major 7 is the the IV chord in the key of E

It is also found in the key of F# minor.

It is also found in the key of C# minor.

A Major 7 Chord Progressions

Which Scales can be Used to Solo Over A Major 7?

Further Reading

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