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Jazzing It Up: 7th Chords

by KicknGuitar

31 Mar 2008
Views: 7042

Yes, as in the genre Jazz, and making your own chordal knowledge a little more spiffy. Sevenths are just the beginning of a whole range of amazing (sometimes complex) chords out there.

This lesson will follow a simple structure, where the first will be an informal approach, the later will be a more formal approach. The only thing this lesson will ask of you, is an understanding of basic chordal structure, and/or intervals. The end of this lesson contains the Seventh Chord Intervals and Chord charts all summed up for quick reference.


Seventh Chords
The title Seventh, refers to the seventh interval, so for every chord you will play from this lesson includes a seventh.

The idea is simple. To create a seventh chord we need a triad; a Root, a 3rd and a 5th (although some chord forms leave out the 3rd or fifth to slightly alter the tone, or feel of chord).

The Major Seventh Chord
We will use the C Major scale and pick out the three intervals we mentioned before, the 1st, 3rd and 5th.

C D E F G A B C
^ ^ ^
Which produces an C Major chord,
_____________
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| 1 | | | 5
| | | | | |
| | 5 1 3 |

To turn a chord into a seventh is simply adding the seventh interval, sometimes a slightly adjusted seventh, to the chord. In this case, G is our seventh interval (in the key of C Major) because our chord is a C Major chord.

C D E F G A B C
^
Which produces a C Major 7th chord,
_____________
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| 1 | | | 5
| | | 7 | |
| | 5 | 3 |


The addition of a M7(Major seventh interval) to a Major chord creates a Major Seventh Chord.

The Dominant Seventh Chord
But what if we added a minor 7th (b7) interval instead? Here we produce the Dominant Seventh chord (Seventh for short).


_____________
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| 1 |b7 | 5
| | | | | |
| | 5 | 3 |


The Minor Seventh Chord
Next, to create a C Minor chord we need the following intervals, P1 m3 and P5,

C D Eb F G A B C
^ ^ ^
_____________
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| 1 | | | 5
| | | |b3 |
| | 5 1 | |


The trick for turning this into a minor seventh chord is not simply adding the seventh, but adding a minor seventh (b7) which we used for the dominant chord.

C D Eb F G A Bb C
^
_____________
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| 1 |b7 | 5
| | | |b3 |
| | 5 | | |


The Diminished Seventh Chord
Now we'll take a look at the diminished seventh chord. The intervalic structure is a P1, m3, dim5, dim7.


_____________
| | | | | |
| | |bb7| |
| 1 | | | |
| |b5 |b3 |
| | | | | |


The Half-Diminished Minor Seventh Chord
The Half-Diminished minor Seventh or Minor 7th b5 chord is very similar. The only difference between the m7b5 and dim7 is that here we have a minor 7th, not a diminished 7th.


_____________
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| 1 |b7 | |
| |b5 |b3 |
| | | | | |


The Minor Major Seventh Chord
The last chord for this lesson will be the Minor Major 7th. Which consists of a P1, m3, P5, M7


_____________
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| 1 | | | 5
| | | 7 b3|
| | 5 | | |



Seventh Chord Intervals and Chord Charts
For more chord voicings, plug in the names at,
http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/index.php


Major 7th Dominant 7th Minor 7th
P1-M3-P5-M7 P1-M3-P5-m7 P1-m3-P5-m7
1-3-5-7 1-3-5-b7 1-b3-5-b7
_____________ _____________ _____________
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| 1 | | | 5 | 1 |b7 | 5 | 1 |b7 | 5
| | | 7 | | | | | | | | | | | |b3 |
| | 5 | 3 | | | 5 | 3 | | | 5 | | |

Diminished 7th Half-Diminished 7th Minor-Major 7th
P1-m3-d5-d7 P1-m3-d5-m7 P1-m3-P5-M7
1-b3-b5-bb7 1-b3-b5-b7 1-b3-5-7
_____________ _____________ _____________
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | |bb7| | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| 1 | | | | | 1 |b7 | | | 1 | | | 5
| |b5 |b3 | | |b5 |b3 | | | |b7b3 |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | 5 | | |

This is slightly a work in progress. Hopefully I'll throw together a chord progression to work on these new chords, as well as editing it.

I hope this has helped you in some way.

Questions? Comments? Curses? Feel free to ask here or Private Message me.



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