• A 15-Second Trick To Transform Major 7 Chords Into Minor 9 Chords!

    in Chords & Progressions

    In music, when you get this one single concept, it unlocks the door to many things!

    The 6th tone of any major scale is your gateway to “minor!”

    Just remember the 6th tone. That’s it.

    For example, if you take a regular C major scale (C D E F G A B C) and start and end on the 6th tone without changing any of the notes, you’ll get an “A minor” scale (A B C D E F G A).

    The same applies for chords.

    If you take a C majorchord (C + E + G) and play the 6th tone as the lowest “bass” note (A), you’ll have an “A minor 7” chord (A + C + E + G).

    Once you understand that concept, just make your C major chord bigger.

    Playing C major 7 (C + E + G + B) on your right hand with “A” (the 6th tone of C) on your left, gives you an “A minor 9” chord.

    Want to take it a step further?

    Simply play a C major 9 (C + E + G + B + D) on your right hand with the 6th tone, “A,” on your left and you’ve got yourself an “A minor 11” chord.

    Just remember: “If you know major, you know minor!” (an original quote I’ve made famous on my dvds).

    It’s true.

    Don’t think of minor as its own world. Don’t think of minor scales as things you have to memorize from scratch using half steps and whole steps.

    You’ve already done the hard part by learning your major scales. Now, just convert them all to minor scales by starting and ending on the 6th tone. It’s that simple.

    And the same goes for chords. Playing major chords over their “6” bass gives you a minor chord. The bigger the chords involved, the bigger the end result.

    Hope this 15 second trick changes your thinking about minor.

    Until next time —

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    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.



    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Humberto

    Hi, Jermaine, love your postings about chords.

    Since a C6 chord has the same notes as the Am7 chord

    then ANY 6 chord built from the notes of a major scale will always have the same notes as the minor7 chord where the root is the first tone of the related minor scale, no?

    In some future post, could you explain seconedary dominant chords?

    Thank you, Humberto


    2 Cindy Windsor

    How do you play chords B flat15, A flat15 and A15? Can you show me either on a chord grid or tab? Thank you!


    3 Carl Clark

    Well there’s not really a such thing as a 15th chord. The 15 is just the third of a chord, C, E,G,C,E the top not the E is a 15th


    4 Jermaine Griggs

    No, the top E would be a “10th”. Top C is 8, D is 9, E is 10. And people use that interval to describe playing huge stretched voicings in the left hand for example.


    5 click this

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