D piano chord

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How To Play a D Chord on Piano – D Major

In this lesson we learn how to play the D chord on piano.

The D major chord, like all other major chords is a triad and consists of three notes. It is formed by combining the root note, D, the major third, F sharp, and the perfect fifth, A. So the notes of the D maj chord are D F# A. These notes must be pressed simultaneously.

To learn more about this chord and others, check out my course, Piano Chords: How To Form Basic Chords On Piano And Keyboard.

Let’s find D on the piano keyboard. D is the white note right after C. Take a look at the sets of black keys on your keyboard. They are grouped in twos and threes. The note right after the first black key in the set of two black keys is D. To find F# move two tones from D to the right on your piano. F# falls on a black key. To find A, move one and a half tones from F#.

How about the inversions of a D chord? Take a look at the diagram below. You will see the D maj chord in root position, first inversion and second inversion. In the root position the notes are in the order, D F# A. In the 1st inversion the notes are in the order F# A D. In the 2nd inversion the notes are in the order A D F#.D chord, D major

How about the fingering of the D major chord? For the right hand in root position, place your thumb on the root of the scale which is D. Place your middle finger on F sharp and your little finger on A. For the first inversion, put your thumb on F#, your index finger on A and your fifth finger on D. For the second inversion of the D triad, bring your thumb up to A, finger 2 to D and your fourth (or fifth) finger to F#.

Short Video: How To Play A D Major Chord


The D chord occurs naturally in the following keys:

In the key of D major, it’s chord I. In the relative minor key, B minor, it’s chord III.

In the key of G major, the chord D is chord V. In the relative minor key, E minor, D is chord VII.

In the key of A major, the chord D is chord IV. In the relative minor key, F# minor, D maj is chord VI.

For an understanding of chords and the keys in which they occur, go to the page, Chords By Key.

Learn how to play piano chords with the Piano For All piano course.

Return from D Chord to Piano Chords main page.

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Chords In The Key Of D Major

What are the basic chords in the key of D major?

Before we answer this question fully, let’s take a look at the D major scale. The notes of the D major scale are D E F# G A B C#. The chords in the key of D major are named after these seven notes. Also, the notes of each chord are limited to these notes.

The pattern for naming major chords in every key is Major Minor Minor Major Major Minor Diminished.

Let’s take a look at the triads and four note chords (with sevenths) in D major.

To learn more about chords by key (what chords are in what key and why), check out my book, Master Piano Chords By Key And Give Yourself A Big Advantage When Playing, Learning Or Writing Songs.

The triads in this key are D major, E minor, F# minor, G major, A major, B minor, and C# diminished.

The four note chords are D major seventh, E minor seventh, F# minor seventh, G major seventh, A dominant seventh, B minor seventh, and C# minor seventh flat five. In terms of the keys played on your instrument, C#m7b5 is the same as C# half diminished.

Roman numerals indicate each chord’s position in the scale. Roman numerals for major chords are capitalized while minor and diminished chords are lower case.

  • I – D major, D major seventh (Dmaj, Dmaj7)
  • ii – E minor, E minor seventh (Em, Em7)
  • iii – F# minor, F# minor seventh (F#m, F#m7)
  • IV – G major, G major seventh (G, Gmaj 7)
  • V – A major, A dominant seventh (A, A7)
  • vi – B minor, B minor seventh (Bm, Bm7)
  • vii° – C# diminished, C# minor seventh flat five (C#°, C#m7b5)

Watch this lesson:

Piano Chords In The Key Of D Major

Here’s a key chord chart showing the triads and four note extended chords in the key of D major.Chords in the key of D major.

So what notes do these chords consist of? Let’s continue.

  • Chord I, D major consists of the notes, D – F# – A, while D major seventh consists of the notes, D – F# – A – C#.
  • Chord ii, E minor consists of the notes, E – G – B. E minor seventh consists of the notes, E – G – B – D.
  • Chord iii, F sharp minor contains the notes, F# – A – C#. F# minor seventh contains the notes, F# – A – C# – E.
  • Chord IV, G major contains the notes, G – B – D. G major seventh contains the notes, G – B – D – F#.
  • Chord V, A major contains the notes, A – C# – E. A dominant seventh contains the notes, A – C# – E – G.
  • Chord vi, B minor consists of the notes, B – D – F#. B minor seventh consists of the note, B – D – F# – A.
  • Chord vii°, C# diminished consists of the notes, C# – E – G, while C# minor seventh flat five consists of the notes, C# – E – G – B.

Common chord progressions in the key of D major are as follows:

  • I – IV – V (D – G- A)
  • I – vi – IV – V (D – Bm – G – A)
  • ii – V – I (Em7 – A7 – Dmaj7)

Here’s a diagram of the D major key signature as well as the notes of the D major scale on the treble and bass clefs. The D major scale has two sharps. These sharps are C# (C sharp) and F# (F sharp).D major key signature on treble clef.D major key signature on bass clef.

Here is a diagram showing the D major scale on piano. D major scale on piano

Chords By Keys: Go here for information on other major keys and their chords. Find out about minor keys as well.

Be sure to check out the Piano For All piano lessons. It’s my favorite online course for learning how to play piano.

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Piano Chord Chart




Piano Chord: D Major

Root Position




1st inversion




2nd inversion




D Major - Root Position




Examples of use
In major keys, major chords are found on the I, IV and V (1st, 4th and 5th) degrees of the scale.
In D major, that means D, G and A. These three chords form the basis of a huge number of popular songs.

In a minor key, a major chord is found on the III, V and VI (3rd, 5th and 6th) degrees of the scale.
For example, in G minor, there are major chords on Bb, Eb and D









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D Chord Piano - How to Play D Major Chord on Piano

D Major Chord on Piano (D Chord)


The D major chord is one of the first chords with sharps everyone learns on piano. It's really common to see and a great one to learn. This is also called a D chord. 

Here you'll find a D chord diagram, learn the fingering, notes, inversions and some basic theory for the D major chord. You can also find out what D/F# and D/A means. 

The D Major Chord

If you see a D chord, it means to play the notes D, F# and A. 

You can play the D, F# and A in any order, in any hand. Generally, D needs to be the lowest note you play - like in your left hand. 

D/F#

If you see D/F#, the F# is referring to the bass note.

On the piano, this would usually mean to play F# in the left hand as the lowest note. D and A would come above. 

D/A

f you see D/A, the D is referring to the bass note.

On the piano, this would usually mean to play A in the left hand as the lowest note. D and F# would come above. 

Where The D Chord Comes From (Theory)

The D chord or D major chord comes from the D major scale.

The D major scale and the key of D has 2 sharps: F# and C#.

The notes of the scale are D E F# G A B C# D.

A major chord is the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the major scale which is why this chord has the notes D, F# and A. 

Which Fingers Do You Use?

For any major chord in the root position (with D at the bottom in this case), you can use your thumb, middle finger and pinkie. In piano, these are finger numbers 1, 3 and 5

D Chord Inversions

You can play the D chord on the piano in different positions. There are 2 other standard positions and we call these inversions. 

Basically, it means taking a note from the bottom of the chord and playing it on the top. 

Root position: D F# A

First inversion: F# A D (Fingers 1 2 5)

Second inversion: A D F#

Ready to learn more about piano chords? Start by getting the free chord chart below. 

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For more on specific chords, you can visit the Piano Chord Charts here. 

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Piano chord d

D major chord

D major chord for piano (including D/F# and D/A inversions) presented by keyboard diagrams.
Explanation: The regular D chord is a triad, meaning that it consists of three notes. On the picture of the keyboard, you can see the three notes of the D chord marked in red color.
Theory: The D major chord is constructed with a rootThe lowest note in the chord, a major thirdAn interval consisting of four semitones, the 3rd scale degree and a perfect fifthAn interval consisting of seven semitones, the 5th scale degree.
Fingerings: Little finger, middle finger, thumb (left hand); thumb, middle finger, little finger (right hand).

D

D chord diagram with marked notes D - F# - A
Notes: D - F# - A

Left hand: 5-3-1

Right hand: 1-3-5

Db chord‹ Previous • Next ›D# chord

+  Show inversions: D/F#, D/A-  Hide inversions

D major - inversions

Explanation: D/F# is a D major chord with F# as the bass note and D/A is a D major chord with A as the bass note.

D/F# (1st inversion)

D/F# chord diagram
Fingerings: 5-3-1 (LH) 1-2-5 (RH)

D/A (2nd inversion)

D/A chord diagram
Fingerings: 5-2-1 (LH) 1-3-5 (RH)

See also D chords with alternative bass notes ›
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D chord on Keyboard

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