What is a Seventh Chord? Building 4-part Chords | Hub Guitar

What is a Seventh Chord? Building 4-part Chords

In a previous lesson on building chords, we created triadA three-part chord, almost always constructed from thirds. Examples include: major chord, minor chord, augmented chord, diminished chord. Also includes suspended chords, which are not constructed from thirds.s or three-note harmonies using the major scale as a basis of pitch, stacking our notes into thirds to make chords.

To give our chords more color, we can continue this process, adding a diatonic seventh(chord) Seventh chords constructed from the available notes in the key, in clusters of four consecutive thirds. For instance, in C major, Cmaj7 (C–E–G–B) is a diatonic seventh chord. above each chord’s root. This note is another third in the stack. This changes the name of the chord. For this lesson, there are two types of sevenths: one is a major seventh, just a half step away from the root (B to C in Cmaj7). Another is a minor seventh, a whole step away from the root (C to D in D-7). The following apply:

Results of Adding Sevenths

  • Adding a major seventh to a major triad creates a Major 7th Chord. (Cmaj7)
  • Adding a minor seventh to a major triad creates a Dominant 7th Chord. (C7)
  • Adding a minor seventh to a minor triad creates a Minor 7th Chord. (C-7)
  • Adding a minor seventh to a diminished triad creates a m7♭5 Chord. (Cm7♭5)

Seventh Chords in C

Now that we’ve found all of the chords that exist within a key, we can give them a name that describes how they work without using specific note names. For instance, we can call the first chord a Imaj7, reflecting that it is a major 7th chord and that it is built from the first degree of the key. This is called chord functionThe role a chord plays within a musical piece, defined by the relationship that chord has with the key. Chord function is analyzed using Roman numerals, which help separate the chord’s conceptual function from its actual name. . It lets us think about the chord separately from the key; we can think more about the relationships between chords and less about their specific notes.

Seventh Chord Functions

Don’t stare at this for too long

Staring at these strange diagrams on the screen for too long might give you a disease. Instead, try using a pen and paper to explain the concepts to yourself on paper, and also try playing them on the guitar.

Hear an Example

Key tasks

  1. Memorize the chord types.
    • Which chord(s) are maj7?
    • Which chord(s) are min7?
    • Which chord(s) are dom7?
    • Which chord(s) are m7♭5?

  2. Memorize the chord formulas:
    • major 7th: 1 __ __ __
    • minor 7th: 1 __ __ __
    • dominant 7th: 1 __ __ __
    • minor 7♭5: 1 __ __ __

  3. Write out all 7 chords in the following keys:
    • F major:

    • G major:

    • E Major:

    • B♭ Major:

As the creator of Hub Guitar, Grey has compiled hundreds of guitar lessons, written several books, and filmed hundreds of video lessons. He teaches private lessons in his Boston studio, as well as via video chat through TakeLessons.

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