In contrast to power chords, major chords, like minor chords, are combinations of three or more notes. Any chord has two attributes which identify it: The root and the chord family. The lowest note of the chord forms the root of it. So for example, a major chord with root note C is called a C major chord and starts on the C note.

Playing the C major chord on guitar
Closeup of hand playing the C major chord on guitar

The Major Chord

Often described as "happy chords", major chords are probably the most important chords in music, composing the core of countless songs. A major chord is a triad, which means it is a chord made up of three different notes.

The formula for a major chord in chromatic scale is 1st, 5th and 8th note. So for example C major chord would be formed by the bold notes below:

So C, E and G form the C major chord

The first major chords you should learn are E and A.

Later you can shift them up the fretboard as barre chords, e.g. F and Bb: