• Chord Analysis: The Eb/C Chord (The C Minor Seventh Chord)

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    We featured the Eb/C (C minor seventh chord) as our Chord of the Day on our Facebook page:

    …and I was really impressed with the answers we got from you all.

    Attention: If you’re yet to like our Facebook page, please do, so that you’d not miss out on any of our daily content ranging from video to blog lessons.

    Alright! So, the Chord of the Day is the C minor seventh chord:

    However, because of the way it was rearranged, you’ll notice that the first inversion of the Eb major triad:

    …is played over “C-Eb” (on the bass):

    So, it’s an Eb/C slash chord:

    …that can be played with any inversion of the Eb major chord played over C on the bass.

    Chord Analysis Of The Eb/C Chord (The C Minor Seventh Chord)

    The C minor seventh chord is considered as a minor chord because it is derived from the minor scale and most importantly, the minor third distance (aka – “interval”) between its first and third tone (which are C and Eb):

    So, the first, third, fifth, and seventh tones of the C minor scale:

    …which are C, Eb, G, and Bb:

    …are the same tones the C minor seventh chord is made up of.

    Now that we’ve seen where the C minor seventh chord is derived from and the relationship between its notes, let’s go ahead and break it down.

    A Breakdown Of The C Minor Seventh Chord

    There’s a reason why the Chord of the Day is called the C minor seventh chord and the only way I can help you understand and appreciate that is by breaking it down to you.

    C

    The C note:

    …in the Chord of the Day is the root or foundation of the chord and is usually played as the lowest-sounding chord tone (aka – “bass note”) because of its importance to the chord. Beyond that, the chord takes its name from the C note because that’s its foundation.

    Minor

    The chord quality of the Chord of the Day is “minor” and that’s because the tones of the C minor seventh chord:

    …are derived from the “minor” scale. Also, the interval between C and Eb (which are the first and third chord tones of the C minor seventh chord):

    …is a “minor” third interval.

    Seventh

    The term seventh is used to describe chords that encompass an interval of seven scale tones. For example, the C minor seventh chord when played in root position:

    …encompasses seven scale tones of the C minor scale:

    …which are: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, and Bb.

    The distance between C and Bb:

    …is a seventh interval and that’s where the C minor seventh chord takes the name seventh chord from.

    The “Part-Over-Root” Voicing Technique

    The term voicing refers to the consideration of the notes of a chord as voices and then the rearrangement of those voices using certain rearrangement techniques to produce voicings or chord voicings.

    The Chord of the Day features a unique rearrangement of the notes of the C minor seventh chord in a way that makes it very easy to think about.

    “Here’s What I Mean…”

    The root of the C minor seventh chord:

    …which is C:

    …can be isolated from the rest of the chord tones and played as a bass note (C):

    …and we’ll be left with “Eb-G-Bb”:

    …which (for all intents and purposes) is the Eb major chord.

    By the isolation of the C-bass note, we now have two components:

    The part (Eb major chord):

    The root (C-bass note):

    …and when they are played together, you have the part-over-root voicing of the C minor seventh chord:

    …and although that’s NOT exactly what we have on the Chord of the Day:

    …it would help you understand why the C minor seventh chord can be played as Eb/C (which is pronounced as Eb major over C on the bass.)

    Application Of The C Minor Seventh Chord

    The C minor seventh chord:

    …is the 2-chord in the key of Bb major:

    So, if you’re playing a song in the key of Bb major, you can use the Chord of the Day as the 2-chord and you’d be glad you did —  I promise.

    But there are other keys where the C minor seventh chord can also be applied and I’m going to be showing you those keys.

    The C Minor Seventh Chord As The 3-Chord In Ab Major

    In the key of Ab major:

    …the third tone of the scale is C:

    …and the C minor seventh chord:

    …is a great chord option for the 3-chord because the chord of the third tone is usually a minor quality chord.

    So, keep that in mind and be sure to apply it when next you’re in the key of Ab major.

    Attention: For those who have an understanding of how the minor key works, the relative minor of Ab major is F minor and the C minor seventh chord can also be played as the 5-chord in the key of F minor.

    The C Minor Seventh Chord As The 6-Chord In Eb Major

    When you’re in the key of Eb major:

    …the Chord of the Day can be played as the 6-chord in the key and this is because C:

    …is the sixth tone of the Eb major scale:

    So, the C minor seventh chord:

    …is the 6-chord in the key of Eb major.

    Attention: The relative minor of Eb major is C minor and the C minor seventh chord is the 1-chord in the key of C minor.

    Final Words

    I’m sure you’ve learned a couple of things in today’s chord analysis.

    Special appreciation goes to our founder, Jermaine Griggs (who is also my role-model) for the opportunity to share with you today on the C minor seventh chord.

    Questions, suggestions, and contributions are anticipated and I’ll keep an eye in the comment section.

    See you tomorrow!

    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 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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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 apkxyz

    I will carefully read the issues you just shared, I find there are some places that are not very clear

    Reply

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