• Beginners: These Progressions Will Get You Started With Seventh Chords

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    In this lesson, we’ll be focusing on chord progressions that can get you started with seventh chords.

    Attention: This lesson is written with beginners in mind. Consequently, intermediate and advanced players may not really benefit.

    Once triads are mastered, it’s important to graduate from triads to more sophisticated chords. By sophisticated chords, I’m talking about seventh and extended chords.

    In this lesson, we’ll get started with seventh chords and we’ll be covering chord progressions that will get us acquainted with these chords.

    A Short Note On Seventh Chords

    According to Jermaine Griggs, “a chord is an aggregate of three or more related notes (agreeable or not), which may be played or heard together.”

    Beyond the harmonic level of triads are seventh chords. The C major triad:

    …is a product of the tones of the C major scale:

    …stacked in third intervals.

    The interval between C and E:

    …is a third, and so is the interval between E and G:

    The addition of another tone that is a third above the C major triad:

    …(which is B):

    …produces a seventh chord (the C major seventh chord):

    Seventh chords encompass a seventh interval when played in root position. For example, the interval between the lowest and highest sounding notes of the C major seventh chord (which are C and B):

    …is a seventh interval.

    Common Seventh Chord Qualities

    There are 5 common seventh chord qualities: the major seventh, minor seventh, dominant seventh, half-diminished seventh, diminished seventh chord.

    “Check Out These Seventh Chord Qualities Starting From C…”

    C major seventh chord:

    C minor seventh chord:

    C dominant seventh chord:

    C half-diminished seventh chord:

    C diminished seventh chord:

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

    The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

    The 2-5-1 chord progression entails a harmonic movement or progression from the 2-chord to the 5-chord, then the 1 chord in any major key.

    We’ll use the key of C major as a reference:

    The 2-chord is the D minor seventh chord:

    The 5-chord is the G dominant seventh chord:

    The 1-chord is the C major seventh chord:

    “So, Here’s The Progression…”

    2-chord:

    5-chord:

    1-chord:

    “…Which Can Also Be Played Thus…”

    2-chord:

    5-chord:

    1-chord:

    The 1-4 Chord Progression

    In the 1-4 chord progression, we’re concerned with the movement from the 1-chord to the 4-chord.

    We’ll use the key of C major as a reference:

    The 1-chord is the C major seventh chord:

    The 4-chord is the F major seventh chord:

    “So, Here’s The Progression…”

    1-chord:

    4-chord:

    “…Which Can Also Be Played Thus…”

    1-chord:

    4-chord:

    The 6-2 Chord Progression

    The movement from the 6-chord to the 2-chord in the key produces the 6-2 chord progression.

    We’ll use the key of C major as a reference:

    The 6-chord is the A minor seventh chord:

    The 2-chord is the D minor seventh chord:

    “So, Here’s The Progression…”

    6-chord:

    2-chord:

    “…Which Can Also Be Played Thus…”

    6-chord:

    2-chord:

    The 4-3-2-1 Chord Progression

    The 4-3-2-1 chord progression entails a harmonic movement or progression from the 4-chord to the 3-chord, to the 2-chord, then the 1-chord in any major key.

    We’ll use the key of C major as a reference:

    The 4-chord is the F major seventh chord:

    The 3-chord is the E minor seventh chord:

    The 2-chord is the D minor seventh chord:

    The 1-chord is the C major seventh chord:

    “So, Here’s The Progression…”

    4-chord:

    3-chord:

    2-chord:

    1-chord:

    “…Which Can Also Be Played Thus…”

    4-chord

    3-chord:

    2-chord:

    1-chord:

    Final Words

    Using the progressions covered in this blog, I’m doubly sure that you’ll become more conversant with seventh chords once they’re mastered.

    So, go ahead and print the progressions out and practice them over the next couple of days.

    If you have questions and comments, feel free to post them in the comment box and I’ll reply.

    See you in the next lesson.

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    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 the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

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




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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Carolyn

    Thanks Chuku this is great. Thank you for all your hard effort in helping me be s great musician like you. Be blessed

    Reply

    2 John Brisco

    There is some chord progressions that are easyer for me to learn. Should I master those before I move on or do I work on the hard ones first?

    Reply

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