Chromatic Scale: Visualize Intervals & Triads

    🎹 In music, the chromatic scale is a scale that includes all 12 notes:
    C-C♯-D-D♯-E-F-F♯-G-G♯-A-A♯-B-C

    Or the enharmonic equivalent:
    C-D♭-D-E♭-E-F-G♭-G-A♭-A-B♭-B-C

    The chromatic scale, visualized as a circle or a cycle, can be a very useful tool to see the intervals betweens notes and see how triads are formed. On this page you can visualize and interact with the chromatic scale interactively in such a way.

    The circle of fifths is another very useful tool to visualize the 12 notes, but the circle of fifths organizes notes in order of fifths instead of the chromatic scale, which organizes the 12 notes so that each successive note is a half step (aka a semitone) distance apart.

    chromatic-scale C D E F G A B C♯ D♯ F♯ G♯ A♯
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    This is a chord


    Triad Shapes from the Chromatic Scale

    When visualized on the chromatic scale, triads will form distinctive triangular shapes. Below you can see what these shapes look like:

    Major Triads

    Major triads are formed with a root, a major third and a perfect fifth.

    Minor Triads

    Minor triads are formed with a root, a minor third and a perfect fifth.

    Diminished Triads

    Diminished triads are formed with a root, a minor third and a diminished fifth.

    Augmented Triads

    Augmented triads are formed with a root, a major third and an augmented fifth.


    Piano Samples

    The piano samples used for this chromatic scale tool are from “ Salamander Grand Piano V3 ” by Alexander Holm, licensed under CC BY 3.0.

    Circle of fifths with major and minor keys adgcfebDAEBGCF mini circle of fifths