Chords & Progressions, Music Theory

The Guitar Chords of F Major (Simply Explained)

Written By :Andrew Siemon

In my view, F Major is relatively bright and cheerful. Even more so than E Major.

The key of F major scale includes the chords F Major, G Minor, A Minor, Bb Major, C Major (C7), D Minor, and E Diminished. It would be worth your time to also learn the Em7b5 chord as well as the 3-note triads of the scale, all over the neck.

The 7 Notes of F Major

Before we begin, we have to start with the notes of F Major which are shown down below.

Notes of F Major - Chords of F Major
The notes of F Major are F, G, A, Bb, C, and D.

The Scale Degrees of F Major

What makes a chord? You need a root, third, and a fifth to make a standard chord in Western harmony.

A major chord, such as F major, consists of a root (F), a major third (F to A), and a perfect fifth (F to C).

Major 3rd Interval is a distance of 4 semi-tones (or 4 frets).

A Minor Chord, such as G Minor, consists of a root (G), a Minor 3rd (G to Bb), and a Perfect 5th (G to D).

Minor 3rd Interval is a distance of 3 semi-tones.

A Diminished Chord, such as E Diminished, consists of a Root (E), a Minor 3rd (E to G) and a Diminished 5th (E to Bb).

Diminished 5th interval is a distance of 6 semi-tones.

We’re going to use these intervals throughout the remainder of the article so pay attention.

All 7 Chords of F Major 

Chords of F Major
The chords of F Major are F Major, G Minor, A Minor, Bb Major, C Major (or C7), D minor, and E Diminished (Em7b5).

If you add the minor 7th to the C Major chord (the Bb), this will make the C Major chord a Dominant 7th – a B7.

A Dominant 7th chord, for example, a C7, is made up of a Major 3rd (C to E), Perfect 5th (C to G), and Minor 7th (C to Bb).

1) F Major

These are the F Major triads in root position, 1st, and 2nd inversions.
F Major Voicings - Chords of F Major
Here are some basic but also a few cool voicings of the F Major chord.

To turn the F Major chord into an F Major 7th, add the 7th note of the scale to it (E), making it F, A, C, and E. The distance between the F and E is a major 7th (11 semitones).

2) G Minor

G Minor Triads - Chords of F Major
The triads of G minor in root position, 1st, and 2nd inversions.
G Minor Voicings - Chords of G Minor
Here are some basic voicings of the G Minor chord, along with a couple cool ones you probably haven’t seen before.

By adding an F note to the chord, the minor 7th, we get the Gm7.

3) A Minor

These are the triads of A Minor in root position, 1st, and 2nd inversions.
Here are some cool A Minor voicings.

To make an A Minor 7th chord, we just have to add the 7th note (G) if A is the beginning of the scale. This gives us A, C, E, and G.

4) Bb Major

Bb Major - Chords of F Major
These are the triads of Bb Major in root position, 1st, and 2nd inversions.
Bb Major Voicings - Chords of F Major
Here are some voicings of Bb Major.

To make an Bb Major 7th chord, add the 7th note of the Bb Major scale (A). This will give us the notes Bb, D, F, A.

5) C Major (C7)

C Major Triads + 6 Voicings - Chords of C Major  - 1
Here are the triads of C Major in root position, 1st, and 2nd inversions. I’ve included some full chord voicings on the right.

Adding the minor 7th to the C Major chord (the B note) transforms it into a Dominant 7th – represented as C7. I’ve included some C7 voicings below.

C7 - Voicings of C7
Some of the most common C7 voicings. I’ve included a few weird ones too.

6) D Minor

These are D minor triads in root position, 1st, and 2nd inversions.
Here are some cool voicings of the D Minor chord.

To make the D Minor chord a D Minor 7th, you would add the 7th counting from D (the C note).

7) E Diminished (Em7b5)

E Diminished - Chords of F Major
These are the triads of E Diminished in root positions, 1st, and 2nd inversions.
E Diminished - Chords of F Major
Here are some interesting voicings of the E Diminished chord.

These are mostly E Diminished chords, rather than the more popular Em7b5.

What Are the Primary and Secondary Chords of F Major? 

The way you use and blend primary and secondary chords adds personality and emotional tone to your musical work.


In F major, our primary chords are F major, Bb major, and C major (C7). Whichever chord you want to think of as red, yellow, or blue is up to you.

Theoretically, our tonic, E major, wants to progress to the sub-dominant, A major, which then wants to climax at the dominant chord, B major, before resolving back to the tonic.


In full, our secondary chords are G minor, A minor, D Minor, and E Diminished.

To paint a fuller picture, we can use secondary chords to add a bit more personalization to the work.

Let’s say that we find ourselves starting out with primary chords, moving from E major to A major. We could easily move on to a B7, but what else could we choose?

C7 has the notes C, E, G, and Bb. The last three notes of C7 make up the entire E diminished triad. Instead of transitioning to E Diminished, however, we could use the extended Em7(b5).

Learning to see chords for their similarities instead of their differences is the key to using primary and secondary chords effectively.

What Are The 3 Major Modes of F Major?

1) Ionian

As I’ve explained in other articles, the C major scale is the benchmark scale that we use to compare and contrast all other scales.

We usually see it described like the way I showed at the very start of the article, in regular numbers from 1-7 with no sharps or flats or with a series of whole tones and semi-tones.

Here it is again for explanation’s sake:

2) Lydian 

However, to make our chord progression sound distinct from the Ionian mode, we want to focus on its special qualities.

The Lydian scale is distinctive due to its inclusion of a raised fourth degree. In other words, a regular major scale is 1 – 2 – 3 – 4# – 5 – 6 – 7. You make this sound Lydian by raising the 4 to 4#:

The Lydian scale looks like this: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4# – 5 – 6 – 7.

For example, to make a C Major scale Lydian, you raise the F to an F#. Straightforward stuff.

3) Mixolydian

To play convincingly in C Mixolydian, we’ll follow the same basic principles discussed for Bb Lydian. However, Mixolydian’s defining tone is its flat seventh degree relative to the Major Scale:

Mixolydian: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7b

Ionian (Major): 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7

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Andrew Siemon is the principal creator for, a website entirely devoted to all things guitar. From repairs, music theory, chords, and improvisation, to recording at home. I've been doing this for 20 years and I've got another 50 in me.

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