• Who Else Is Interested In Learning The Scale Options For Regular Seventh Chords

    in Chords & Progressions,Improvisation,Piano,Scales,Theory

    Post image for Who Else Is Interested In Learning The Scale Options For Regular Seventh Chords

    Our focus in today’s lesson is on the scale options for regular seventh chords.

    Seventh chords are used a whole lot in popular music styles, most especially in jazz and gospel music and most of the time, the intermediate pianist is faced with the challenge of playing a compatible scale over a given seventh chord.

    As an intermediate pianist, I was faced with this challenge, consequently, I can relate to it.

    Today, if you invest the next 15 minutes or so, reading this blog, I’ll be taking you by the hand and showing you step-by-step, compatible scale options for regular seventh chords.

    A Short Note On Regular Seventh Chords

    It’s important for us to refresh our minds on the regular seventh chord types before we proceed any further.

    A seventh chord is basically a chord that encompasses an interval of a seventh — be it a major, minor, diminished, or augmented seventh interval.

    Due to the fact that seventh chords are formed using third intervals most of the time, most seventh chords have four chord tones:

    The root

    The third

    The fifth

    The seventh

    Regular Seventh Chord Types

    There are several seventh chord types — regular seventh chord types and exotic seventh chord types as well.

    However, in this lesson, we’re focusing on regular seventh chord types and they are considered to be regular because of their frequency in popular music and also their occurrence in the major and minor key.

    Regular seventh chord types include:

    The major seventh chord

    The minor seventh chord

    The dominant seventh chord

    The half-diminished seventh chord

    The diminished seventh chord

    “Check Out All These Regular Seventh Chords Starting From C…”

    The C major seventh chord:

    The C minor seventh chord:

    The C dominant seventh chord:

    The C half-diminished seventh chord:

    The C diminished seventh chord:

    Alright, now that we’ve refreshed our minds on the regular seventh chords, let’s go ahead and cover the scale options that they are compatible with.

    Exposed: The Scale Options For Regular Seventh Chords

    Every chord is a product of the scale relationship between notes and seventh chords are no exception to this. Every seventh chord is a product of a scale and that scale is an option for the seventh chord.

    So the scales you’ll learn in this segment are the scales these regular seventh chords are derived from.

    Scales For The Major Seventh Chord

    The major seventh chord is compatible with the ionian and lydian scales.

    These are the two main scale options for the major seventh. However, the lydian scale bodes well for the major seventh chord because it has no avoid note.

    So, the C ionian scale:

    …and the C lydian scale:

    …are compatible with the C major seventh chord:

    Other scales compatible with the C major seventh chord:

    …include the C major pentatonic scale:

    …G major pentatonic scale:

    …and the D major pentatonic scale:

    Scales For The Minor Seventh Chord

    Some of the scales that are compatible with the minor seventh chord include the aeolian, dorian, and phrygian scales.

    Although there are multiple options, the dorian scale sounds a lot better than the aeolian or phrygian scales.

    For the C minor seventh chord:

    The C dorian scale:

    …the C phrygian scale:

    …and the C aeolian scale:

    …are compatible scale options.

    Additionally, the following pentatonic scales can be used — the Bb major pentatonic scale:

    …the Eb major pentatonic scale:

    …and the F major pentatonic scale:

    Scales For The Dominant Seventh Chord

    The dominant seventh chord is compatible with the mixolydian and Spanish phrygian scales.

    Although there are other scale options, these two scales are common compatible options.

    For example, the C mixolydian scale:

    …and the C Spanish phrygian scale:

    …are compatible with the C dominant seventh chord:

    You may also like the C octatonic (H-W) scale:

    …or the C major pentatonic scale:

    Scales For The Half-diminished Seventh Chord

    The half-diminished seventh chord is compatible with the locrian and super locrian scales.

    These are the two main scale options for the half-diminished seventh chord.

    The compatible scales of the C half-diminished seventh chord:

    …are the C locrian scale:

    …and the C super locrian scale:

    Other scales compatible with the C half-diminished seventh chord:

    …include the Gb major pentatonic scale:

    …and the C octatonic (H-W) scale:

    Final Words

    Using the scale options given for all the regular seventh chords I guarantee that your improvisation would get to the next level, provided you practice, practice, and practice.

    See you in the next lesson!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

    4steps600x400jpg



    { 0 comments… add one now }

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: