When viewing piano or guitar chords, there are the usual A,C,D,E,G major chords. Why not B and F majors as well?

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    They are used all the time. – Dom Dec 31 '15 at 17:24
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    @Dom: I think the question here is "why is there no 'native, unique' chord form for B and F?" I don't know about piano, but for the guitar in standard tuning, all F and B forms that I know are derived from the others the OP mentions (a barre'd position). – Yorik Dec 31 '15 at 17:42
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    right, I was just trying to tease out the actual question here. I suspect the use of the word "appear" in the title indicates that the OP knows of the existence of Bmaj and Fmaj. Hopefully, it will be clarified (?) I actually had a similar thought about this 25 years ago when I started learning guitar, but I quickly thought without evidence that the "derivative" nature of B and F was an artifact of the instrument and had no deeper implication – Yorik Dec 31 '15 at 18:04
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    @PatMuchmore I suspect exposing him to songs and progressions that use those chords would be a start. The tag chord-progressions would be a good start, though I don't have enough time right now to look for questions that have those chords in the progression. Either way, the question is very unclear now so I put it on hold until we can clear it up. – Dom Dec 31 '15 at 18:19
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    Welcome to the site Gary :) As you can see, we're struggling to make sense of your question as it relates to piano - however, on guitar, E, A, D, G, and C are the most commonly-known open major chords (or 'cowboy chords' as they're sometimes called). This isn't really anything fundamental about music - it's an 'accident' of the guitar's tuning. However, major chords can be based on any root, including B and F. They are a bit harder to play on guitar though. – topo Reinstate Monica Dec 31 '15 at 19:19

There are B and F chords; most commonly, the F is a barred E-shape chord in the first position, and the B is a barred A-shape chord in the second position.

As for "open" chords, there is the Fmaj7 (x x 3 2 1 0), the B7 (x 2 1 2 0 2), the Bmin7b5 (x 2 3 2 3 x), and the Bmin11b5 (x 2 3 2 3 0). [For me, the last chord was popularized by ELP's From The Beginning tune.]

All of the chord forms that the OP cites may be barred and transposed up the guitar neck, but the most common forms are the E and A forms. The others simply require a bit more dexterity. All of these forms -- and their derivatives -- will give you great flexibility.

  • Because the charts you're looking at are for "easy" guitar. – Laurence Payne Dec 31 '15 at 21:22
  • Nobody is giving me a simple answer. As Einstein said " If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it". It is really a simple question. A major chord is a root, a major third and a perfect fifth, Why would a B or F major chord be some complicated barre chord. A Bmaj should be B-D#-F#. Is it or isn't it? Pretty straightforward question. – Gary S. Jan 2 '16 at 3:42
  • @GaryS. Yes a B Major chord is B-D#-F#, and it is of course playable on a guitar. The reason it's usually played as a barre chord is because only the B is available as an open string in standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E) and if you want the root note to be lowest, you can't use the open B anyway, since it's the second highest string. So you put your first finger at the 2nd fret on the A string (to get a low B) and your third finger at the 4th fret on the D, G and B strings (to get your F#, another B, and D#). – the_au Jan 2 '16 at 7:51
  • @GaryS. - simple answer - on guitar, tuned in the standard way, chords A, C, D, E and G can be fingered simply, all using only 3 fingers, mainly due to the open strings helping by being part of the chord, thus not needing to be fretted. B (having an B) and F (having an A) don't sound good with voicings that would be simple to play on guitar. As far as piano is concerned, your concept is rather flawed, as F can be played just on white keys, exactly like C and G, although B could be termed the odd one out, since A, D and E all have the same fingering pattern. – Tim Jan 2 '16 at 12:41
  • Thank you for the responses. Slowly getting it. As an engineer, I am accustomed to math and science which are rigid and fixed. Music is an art form, open to interpretation. Nice change. Next question. When playing a major chord on piano you play three notes (keys). Why do you play up to as many as six notes on a guitar to play the same chords? Example-Gmajor plays all six strings. – Gary S. Jan 3 '16 at 12:36

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