7th Chords and the Muppets.

So you’ve confused Dominant 7 chords with major 7 chords? You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last and more importantly you are here reading this so you won’t do it again… So lets get our thinking head on and sort out this little problem you have..

Firstly we need to have a look at a scale, this scale is the major scale.

Lets use C because it has no sharps or flats and more importantly I like it.

The scale contains 7 different notes, lets count them in the style of the count from Sesame Street…

C 1.. ya ha ha

D 2 ya ha ha

E 3 ya ha ha

F 4 ya ha ha

G 5 ya ha ha

A 6 ya ha ha

B 7 yah ha ha aha aha

Alright enough of that.

CDEFGAB are our notes. Lets keep the numerical values for them as ably supplied by our puppet friend ( wait til I start doing Swedish chef.. I am ace at him).

A standard major triad consists of the 1, 3, 5 notes.  So in this instance C E G. Play a C chord see which notes you are playing.. if you are playing it correctly you will see those notes.  If you don’t..you need to play it correctly and don’t make me send Oscar the grouch round..

Now if we add the 7th note of the scale, we find we have a B added on.  This note has come from the MAJOR scale and thus is a MAJOR 7. This makes a MAJOR 7 chord.  In order to make a 7 chord, a 7 chord is the short way of saying a Dominant 7 chord.  This chord contains a flattened 7th note, or b7. A B that is flattened is unlikely to make honey, I mean a B that is flattened is a Bb. Add that to your basic C chord and listen to the difference in the sound. To my ear Cmaj7 sounds like of lounge bar jazz, you may have a different image for it, C Dom7 or just C7 as it is known has a dirtier grittier sound to it, sounds like the bluesy rock of a texan bar, or  the kind of girl you like but would never take home to mum..

Now as an exercise try this difference with all the major chords you know. Hopefully there are 12.  To work out the 7th note may take you a little time to begin with but it is an invaluable lesson and information that you will use continually from now on it. It will also help you with soloing, and as we all know, being great at solos will bring top models to your door demanding your body.. and they pay for the privilege. ( ok maybe Miss Piggy.. )

The most important thing here are you understand how you added the note to the basic chord and you can HEAR the difference between the 2 types of chord.  Spend some time just doing that, it will be time well spent in the long run

This blog was brought to by the Letter C and the number 7 …  I’m off for some cookies…


~ by Geoff Lea Guitar on January 12, 2012.

One Response to “7th Chords and the Muppets.”

  1. Reblogged this on Geoffleaguitar's Blog.

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