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Chords Part 4 7th Chords

 

4.1 Minor 7th

For minor chords there is one common type of 7th - the minor 7th.

As you might expect, you start with the minor triad, then add the minor 7th.

So, as an example lets take D minor 7th (Dm7)

The spelling is : 1st, minor 3rd, 5th, minor 7th

Using the table of intervals, we count up from D to get the other notes.

To get the min 3rd, count up 3 semitones - F
To get the 5th count up 7 semitones - A
To get the min 7th count up 10 semitones - C

So Dm7 is made up of the notes : D F A C

If you use the open D string for th D note, you could use these two shapes :

d minor 7 chords

Min/maj 7th chords

There is another chord called the min/maj7th. This is a bit of a weird fish, but you might come across it once in a while. It's made up by taking the minor triad and adding the major 7th to it.

So Dm/maj7th would be : D F A C#

4.2 Major and flat 7th (dominant 7th)

With major triads you can build 2 types of 7th chord. If you add the major 7th of the scale, you get the major 7th chord. If you add the *flat* 7th to the major triad you get the so-called dominant 7th chord.

When guitarists talk about '7th chords' as in 12-bar blues etc, then they mean chords with the *flat* 7th.

Major 7th chords are written as Cmaj7, Dmaj7 etc but the flat 7 or 'blues' 7th is written simply as C7, D7 etc.

So for a major 7th chord the spelling is :

1st major 3rd 5th major 7th

If we start with F as our root, and count up we get this :

Go up 4 semitones from F for major 3rd : A
Go up 7 semitones from F for 5th : C
Go up 11 semitones from F for maj 7th : E

So the notes of the chord Fmaj7 are : F A C E

To build an F7 chord, the only difference is that we add a flat 7 instead of a maj7. So we add an Eb instead of E, so the notes of a F7 chord are : F A C Eb

As with simple triads, you can double up on some of the notes to make a chord. With 7th chords you could double up on the root, 3rd, 7th or 5th.

Take a standard 7th chord, E7 :

The notes are : E B D G# B E, so the root and 5th have both been doubled.

e 7 chord



 


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