Everything You Need to Know About the F Major Chord
Can you name a song that starts in F? Bruckner’s Ave Maria, Mozart’s Piano Concerto #19, and Part of Your World from Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid all begin with an F major chord. This lesson provides a complete tutorial and walk-through of the F major key signature, the chords within, and F major chord progressions.
Everything you Need to Know About the F Major Chord
F major is the base note played by the English horn, basset horn, trumpet, and bass Wagner tuba. The scale comprises the notes F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, and the F octave. The relative minor key, to F major, is D minor (Dm).
In the Key of F Major
The key of F major carries a single flat. On the treble scale, the flat in the F major key signature sits on the third line up from the bottom. On the bass clef, the flat sits on the second line up from the bottom.
Both clefs feature a flat on the B. By lowering the B a half step, to a Bb, the scale progresses in the key of F major.
In the key of F, the F major chord is the tonic. The root of the tonic is the namesake of the chord. So, the root of the tonic, in the key of F major, is an F.
The root F is the first scale degree in the F major scale. The F major chord is the tonic and first chord position in F major. Both, the scale degree and chords are delineated by a roman numeral. An uppercase Roman numeral indicates a major triad. Lowercase Roman numerals indicate a minor triad.
F Major on the Keyboard
When sitting at your keyboard, locate middle C. The root note, F, is four white keys to the left, and three white keys to the right of middle C.
Beginning on F, the note pattern progresses from left to right. The scale follows, the pattern white (F), white (G), white (A), black (Bb), white (C), white (D), white (E), white (F). Likewise, the note intervals, progress by a whole step (F to G), whole step (G to A), half step (A to Bb), whole step (Bb to C), whole step (C to D), whole step (D to E), and whole step (E to F).
Other than the Bb, the rest of the notes in the key of F major are on white keys. So, F major triads and seventh chords will also be located primarily on white keys.
F Major Chords
An uppercase Roman numeral indicates a major triad. Lowercase Roman numerals indicate a minor triad. A circle on the upper right side of the roman numeral indicates a diminished chord.
The F major chord pattern is major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. So, the chord numbers are I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii?. Since you are in the key of F major, the first chord in the sequence is the F major chord:
I – F Major (F)
ii – G minor (Gm)
iii – A minor (Am)
IV – Bb Major (Bb)
V – C Major (C)
vi – D minor (Dm)
vii? – E diminished (Edim)
F Major Chords – Notated
The chord progression in F major begins on the F major triad. The following notes comprise the chords in F major:
I – F Major (F): F, A, C (I, iii, V)
ii – G minor (Gm): G, Bb, D (ii, IV, vi)
iii – A minor (Am): A, C, E (iii, V, vii)
IV – Bb Major (Bb): Bb, D, F (IV, vi, I)
V – C Major (C): C, E, G (V, vii, ii)
vi – D minor (Dm): D, F, A (vi, I, iii)
vii – E diminished (Edim): E, G, Bb (vii, ii, IV)
F Major Chord Progressions
The key of F major has several chord progressions for you to practice. As you practice your way down the list, you might find yourself thinking of a song you know that has the same progression.
The chord number precedes the name of each chord in the sequence. Remember, in the key of F major, the first chord in the sequence is F major. Give these F major chord progressions a try:
I, IV, V: F, Bb, C
I, vi, IV, V: F, Dm, Bb, C
ii, V, I: Gm7, C7, F7
I, vi, ii, V: F, Dm, Gm, C
I, V, vi, IV: F, C, Dm, Bb
I, IV, vi, V: F, Bb, Dm, C
I, iii, IV, V: F, Am, Bb, C
I, IV, I, V: F, Bb, F, C
I, IV, ii, V: F, Bb, Gm, C
Other Chords with a Root Note of F
Outside of the simple triads, the F root, or bass note is common to many other chords. Chords with a number, like a 5th or 7th, indicate the scale degree which is to be played. Try playing these other chords on the keyboard, then try substituting them in one of the F major chord progressions.
F Suspended 2nd (Fsus2): F, G, C (I, ii, V)
F Suspended 4th (Fsus4): F, Bb, C (I, IV, V)
B-Flat Major / F Bass (Bb/F): F, Bb, D (I, IV, vi)
F Major 5th (F5): F, C, F (I, V, I octave)
G Minor 7th / F Bass (Gm7/F): F, G, Bb, D (I, ii, IV, vi)
B-Flat Major 7th / F Bass (Bb7/F): F, A, Bb, D (I, iii, IV, vi)
F Major 6th (F6): F, A, C, D (I, iii, V, vi)
F Major 7th (F7): F, A, C, E (I, iii, V, vii)
F additional 9th (Fadd9): F, A, C, G (I, iii, V, ii)
Practice each chord in the key of F major, sequentially from the tonic to the tonic octave. When you are comfortable begin getting used to each of the F major chord progression patterns. Eventually, mix up several chord progressions into one single, longer progression.
Practice a half hour, to an hour every day, and you will start composing your very own concerto in no time. If you liked this lesson on the F major chord, share it with fellow musicians on social media to start a musical following. And, subscribe to our newsletter for the newest posts and updates from the blog. Thanks for reading!