What Is A Delta Chord

What Is A Delta Chord?

If you’re relatively new to music theory, you might not be familiar with the term delta chord. In this article we explore delta chords and explain what they are and when and where to use them. For all you need to know about delta chords, read on.

What Is A Delta Chord?

The word delta signifies something that is triangular in shape, a river delta is an area of land, shaped like a triangle where a river splits into different branches before emptying into the sea. In music a delta chord is a major 7th chord consisting of the root note, the major third above the root and the major seventh above the root note. It can be written as maj7,Δ, or ⑦. 

The major seventh chord of C, which is most commonly written as Cmaj7 contains the notes C,E,G,B. To play delta chords on the guitar follow the list below.

Delta (Major Seventh Chords) For The Guitar

On a standard six-string guitar tuned to standard tuning, starting from the 6th string, thickest bass string and the symbol x meaning don’t sound the string, the delta chords run as follows;


xxx224 or xx7654 or x02120


7988xx or x2342


X32000 or x35453


Xx0222 or x57675


Xx2444 or 021100


103210 or xx3210 or xx3555


320002 or xx5777

Examples of delta chords in music

Here are some examples of the use of delta chords in some well known tunes.

Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie features alternating delta chords.

One Of These Nights by The Eagles uses delta chords.

Make it with you by Bread also makes use of the major 7th chord.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ∆ mean in music?

The symbol Δ in music means delta which is more commonly known as the major seventh  chord.

What does the Delta in chords mean?

The delta or triangle in chords means the major seventh chord. Or the chord made up from the root note, the major third above the root and the major seventh above the root note.

What does C triangle 7 mean?

C Δ 7 means Cmaj7 which consists of the notes C,E,G.B. 

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