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What does the 7 mean in major 7th

Music Theory
mused  
9 Feb 2010 17:09 | Quote
Joined: 27 Jan 2010
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What does the 7 mean in major 7th? Like what is it called? I would like to look for a lesson on it. I see so many things that say that like major 5th and stuff?
Domigan_Lefty  
9 Feb 2010 17:13 | Quote
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I think its the distance between notes. Dont completely remember...
EMB5490  
9 Feb 2010 19:10 | Quote
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it means your playing the "7th" note of the scale. amound the root 3rd and fifth.

the 7th is the note defore the 1st again. so lets say a is the tone, the 7th would be g#.
JustJeff  
9 Feb 2010 20:04 | Quote
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I'll try to do this as short as possible:

There are things called steps in music. A full step is the space that exists between two notes (i.e. A->B). A half step is a shorter distance between two notes (i.e. A->A#). Now, these are NOTES, not CHORDS. Do not get confused that I am talking about chords right now, these are individual notes.

So a step in music is a 2 fret gap on the guitar, where each fret represents a half step.

Scales are built on patterns. The major Ionian, or the most common mode, is the one I will discuss quickly here. The pattern it follows is:

Whole Step, Whole Step, Half Step, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half.
G -> A -> B -> C -> D -> E -> F# -> G
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

When we build chords, we make them using thirds, starting at our root. Our root note is our bass note, or the lowest note in our chord. So say for example, we are going to play a G major, our root note would be G. A third up from there would be B, and a third from B is D.

The G is our 1, B is our 3, and D is our 5.

Now, the 7th in a major comes in by taking the 7th above our root note. In this case, that would be a F#.

If we wanted to build, say a C major, it would be the same pattern.

C, E, G, and then a 7th would be B.




Hope this clears up some of the confusion! If not, just ignore what I say here. :/
gx1327  
10 Feb 2010 09:13 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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i have a question along the same lines. in a major chord you play the 1st (root), 3rd, and 5th notes in the scale. in a major 7th you play the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th.

but what about "9th", "11th", and "13th"? considering that the major scale only has 7 notes in it. the 9th is just the 2nd note, a higher octave right? but does the octave really matter? so let's take the G major scale

1G 2A 3B 4C 5D 6E 7F# 8G 9A 10B 11C etc.

if you play the "9th" chord it would be G, B, D (major), F# (7th), A (9th). right?
carlsnow  
10 Feb 2010 09:49 | Quote
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gx1327 says:
have a question along the same lines. in a major chord you play the 1st (root), 3rd, and 5th notes in the scale. in a major 7th you play the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th.

but what about "9th", "11th", and "13th"? considering that the major scale only has 7 notes in it. the 9th is just the 2nd note, a higher octave right? but does the octave really matter? so let's take the G major scale

1G 2A 3B 4C 5D 6E 7F# 8G 9A 10B 11C etc.

if you play the "9th" chord it would be G, B, D (major), F# (7th), A (9th). right?


kinda...

heres the layout as simple as my squishy old brain can plop it as chordal theory in text:
(works 'off' any Major Root)


(1)R 2 3 4 5 6 7 (8/1)
Octave 9th 11th 13th

hope that helped

RAWK!
Cs

looked at this again ... was hard to "line Up"

the VERY short version =
all = same but


VISUAL AID EDIT >>

2 = 9

4 = 11

6 = 13
macandkanga  
10 Feb 2010 12:33 | Quote
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@justjeff
Great explanation! Even though I knew this I didnt really understand. If that makes any sense.
gx1327  
10 Feb 2010 15:46 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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mr. snow, try using the "TAB" feature... i think it uses a monospaced text (similar to the one you type with, even though it's not displayed that way)



R1(1)-2--3--4--5--6--7--R2(8)
--(8)-9-10-11-12-13-etc.
mused  
10 Feb 2010 19:46 | Quote
Joined: 27 Jan 2010
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But i don't get the point of it? Also if i play the g major7th is it still in the same key as G then?
JustJeff  
10 Feb 2010 23:42 | Quote
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If i remember correctly, there is a difference between G7 and Gmaj7.

A G7 is a special "Dominant 7th" chord that exists when you play the 5th degree of a key. Every 5th, or the Dominant, has a 7 chord form that is called (note)7... i.e. G7.

A Gmaj7 exists for all other cases of major 7's in keys.



For minor chords, a Gm7 would be for all minor cases. There is a Gmmaj7, and this would be for the melodic minor and harmonic minor keys... i think.

Then when you get into diminished chords, you have half diminished 7ths, fully diminished 7ths, and one more case that i can't remember off the top of my head.
gx1327  
11 Feb 2010 07:40 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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oh yes, you are right. don't quote me on this, but i think the Major 7th (xMaj7) is 1, 3, 7 and Dominant 7th (x7) is 1, 3, 5, 7. i dont' know why i'm speculating; there is a tool on this very website that defines all of the chords.

mused the point of it is that is sounds different than a major chord. just like a minor chord sounds different than a major chord. the difference in sound might be sublte, but subtle differences can give a song a different feel. the only song i can think of that uses a lot of 7ths is The Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go (it's also ridiculously easy to play and a lot of fun, like most of their music). by "a lot" of 7ths i mean there are three chords in the whole song, and one of them is a minor 7th.
carlsnow  
11 Feb 2010 10:45 | Quote
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JustJeff says:

For minor chords, a Gm7 would be for all minor cases. There is a Gmmaj7, and this would be for the melodic minor and harmonic minor keys... i think.


basically yes.

the "trick" with 7th chords, explained here for beginners
(as there ARE exceptions later on... much like Jeff alluded to)
is that the 7's "name" is garnered from its relationship with the 3rd (thus rightly and easily causing muchbeginning guitarist confusion)

take it this way :

start with a Major Barre Chord

(for the sake of example i will use 'G-Major' as a launching point)

Barring G-Major, You are playing, IN ORDER from Low (root) to High (roots 2nd Octave),
G = Root
D = 5th
G = Octave ("hides" the '7' by being 1 again)
B = 3rd - (aka Major 3rd)
D = 5th
G = 1 again-again

NOW


moving to a G7 (some call 'Dominant 7') Chord
the Octave-G (octave to root) is removed, allowing the (due to the Barre) Flatted-7th (b7) to be voiced
one would think this would 'minor' the chord, but this in NOT the case here...HERE is where the 3rd-S come into play.
By Virtue of the Root of the chord still bearing a "major"5th and 3rd
the "Minored"-or, rather: flatted-7th , or b7 becomes a strong voice in what is still a major chord, thus all this 'Dominant' business - and the G7 :

G = Root
D = 5th
F = b7 (minor-7th)(dominant)
B = 3rd - (Major-3rd)
D = 5th
G = 1 again-again-again

you wish to take this a few steps further
, simply remove the 3rd... and it will lower itself to (Via Barre again) a min-3rd or Flat 3 ( b3 ) causing the whole shebang to relate to a minor voicing, in this case a G Minor-7th Barre:

G = Root
D = 5th
F = b7 - (aka minor 7th)
Bb = b3rd - (aka minor-3rd)
D = 5th
G = 1
again-again-again-again

IF you LEAVE the MAJOR 3rd IN the chord and RAISE the 7th from an F to an F#, or rather a (same note) Gb,
carlsnow  
11 Feb 2010 10:50 | Quote
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POST Continued cause it would not all "fit" (or somesuch odd thang)

IF you LEAVE the MAJOR 3rd IN the chord and RAISE the 7th from an F to an F#, or rather a (same note) Gb,
carlsnow  
11 Feb 2010 10:53 | Quote
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IF you LEAVE the MAJOR 3rd IN the chord and RAISE the 7th from an F to an F#, or rather a (same note) Gb,
carlsnow  
11 Feb 2010 10:54 | Quote
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i had a few more chords and scales etc but it seenms the forum is eating them

sorry y'all... i tried


RAWK!
Cs

carlsnow  
11 Feb 2010 10:57 | Quote
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IF you LEAVE the MAJOR 3rd IN the chord and RAISE the 7th from an F to an F#, or rather a (same note) Gb, since the chord name is still G)
The 7 becomes a major-7th,
and by virtue of the 3rd still 'carrying major' you will have a G-Major-7th :

G = Root (1)
D = 5th
Gb = 7th (major 7)
B = 3rd - (aka Major 3rd)
D = 5th
G = 1 again-again-again-again-again

the study of 7's and 3's relationship is a looooong one and reaches as far as you'd like and much like the Blue Note (b5), the relationship between these two notes and the root makes for good and interesting study.
as you (assuming beginners here)move through your years of music theory you will encounter these more and more and in some fascinating voicings - both chorally and modally (i have never "counted them all") but the most 'repeated' figure in scale-theory is that of the 4th major mode, Lydian, which (in the Major Mode) 'contains' a Major 3rd, a 'blue note' (b5)[ in Lydian marked as #4 ] A N D a Major-7th
Lydian Major = 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 ... making for a zillion other "Lydian possibilities" such as L-Dom-7 and such ...

have fun!

hope this helped!

RAWK!
Cs
carlsnow  
11 Feb 2010 10:58 | Quote
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got it !!! :) ^^^^^^^^^^
theletch  
11 Mar 2010 14:23 | Quote
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As a complete rookie I have to say... Ow, my head hurts! :( I decided I wanted to play guitar and began to just pick up tabs and memorize them. This site and threads like this have shown me how much I have to learn to actually LEARN to play guitar. Thanks for your responses.
Jeff
GuitarJoe  
18 Mar 2010 12:11 | Quote
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i think this has already been said, but here's my 2 cents worth
Major7= 1 3 5 7
Minor7= 1 b3 5 b7
Dominant7= 1 3 5 b7
half diminshed7= 1 b3 b5 b7
whole diminshed7= 1 b3 b5 bb7(double flatted, basically a major6)
hope this helps
gx1327  
19 Mar 2010 07:38 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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theletch says:
As a complete rookie I have to say... Ow, my head hurts! :( I decided I wanted to play guitar and began to just pick up tabs and memorize them. This site and threads like this have shown me how much I have to learn to actually LEARN to play guitar.


i don't think it's as difficult as you are making it out to be. it might be overwhelming at first, but it can easily be simplified.

for instance, the Major7 chord is 1 3 5 7. you don't have to know what. all you have to know is how to PLAY that chord. once you can play a G7 you can play an F7 and a A7. you can play any 7 chord. if you just want to learn songs for now, you can learn how to finger the chords without digging deep into what they mean. BUT, once you learn how to play that chord you know how to play it in any key.

so for instance, what notes are in C7? C E G B? i just did that off the top of my head, i'm not even 100% sure it's right. what notes are in G#7? i don't even feel like trying to figure it out. BUT, i can play both a C7 and G#7 if i had to right now, because i know the finger positions to play that chord.


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