This page will show you many different ways to play the D major chord.
If you are a beginner, this is a great chord to practice, because the standard position does not require too much finger stretch and so it's suitable for you.
The quality of this chord is major, then it's composed of the Root, Major Third, and Perfect Fifth, and it has a bright and happy sound, like any other major chords.
The D major chord is also known as:
- D (because often in major chord the quality is omitted)
- D Major
- D Maj
- D M
- D Major Triad
This chord is composed of the notes D, F#, and A
If you want to practice this chord in a 2 chord-song-context, you could go back and forth between the D and the G major chord.
You find more details in my list of chord transition tips.
Notes in the D maj chord:
How to create the Major chord:
Keys With The D Major Chord
Here are the most common keys in which you can find a D major chord.
Notice that in the key of G, the D major is the dominant chord (5th degree). That's the reason why G and D play well together.
G Major Key
D Major Key
A Major Key
E Minor Key
F# Minor Key
Scales To Play Over a D Major Chord
This is a major chord, so any scale with root, a major third and a perfect fifth could be a good fit. Here are some examples:
Songs With The D Major Chord
Hotel California is the first song that comes to mind when thinking to a D major chord. It's Am E7 G D F C Dm E7 (again, notice the G -> D transition).
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd is formed by D, C and G. This song is a great example of D mixolydian modal progression.
Love hurts by Nazareth is another awesome song with a D major: The progression is indeed G Em C D.
Variations for The D Major Chord
The D major chord is often used along the following shapes.
Basically, you put the pinkie on the 3rd fret of the G string (G), to play a D sus4, D(1) G(4) A(5).
Then you lift it, then you play again the D major, and then you lift also the ring finger, leaving the E high string open and forming a D sus2 chord D(1) E(2) A(5).
You can experiment with these chord voicings and variations by using my chord explorer tool.
Chord boxes are sorted from the easiest to the hardest. Learn how to read chord diagrams.
If you have difficulties with bar chord shapes, check the Bar Chords Tips tutorial.
Find more shapes on my all guitar chords online library.
Want a printable pdf?
Download the Free Guitar Chords Chart Pdf
Play This Chord With Other Roots
You can create any fingering you like on any part of the fretboard, just play some of the chord tones shown in the map below.