• Playing scales with major seventh chords

    in Chords & Progressions,Scales

    “The C major scale with 7th chords”

    This progression is very interesting. It does not utilize every note of the 7th chord however. In fact, it only utilizes 3 fingers of the chord (but sounds excellent)!

    Here it is:

    1) Bass = C

    Right hand = E + B + E (higher)

    Note: With the “B”, after you have played the chord above, play “A”, then return back to the “B.” Because I have to write this, it is very hard to explain. I’ll try:

    Right hand = E + “B” + E
    Right hand = E + “A” + E
    Right hand = E + “B” + E

    Note: You don’t even have to play the two “E’s” on the end each time. Just alternate between the “B” and “A.” You will have to do this with every chord below. Simply alternate the 2nd finger with the white note right next to it, ok?

    1) Bass = C

    Right hand = E + B + E

    2) Bass = D

    Right hand = F + C + F

    3) Bass = E

    Right hand = G + D + G

    4) Bass = F

    Right hand = A + E + A

    5) Bass = G

    Right hand = B + F + B

    6) Bass = A

    Right hand = C + G + C

    7) Bass = B

    Right hand = D + A + D

    8) Bass = C

    Right hand = E + B + E (back to the beginning)

    There’s since been an update to this post per a comment left by one of our students. I then replied with a quick mp3 file explaining the concept a little more. Check out the discussion and audio clip below…
    Update: Check out this newer lesson for additional insight on this progression.
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    1 chawk


    I’m not understanding the concept of this lesson. I understand the major seventh’s of the 12 keys, I also see you are using every note of the C major scale such as the D minor scale and the seventh note is C, but where are you getting the two F, G, etc. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 Jermaine

    @chawk: I recorded this audio explanation for you.


    3 Sharon Davis-Dixon

    just remember and never forget that tha Lord had placed u here, so as to make a difference in the lives of many including me. Thank u for being there for me. May God bless u and ur family forever n ever.

    4 chawk

    maybe I try to explain what I’m saying again, for instance you got C for the bass, now I would like to know why are you using the E’s. (2) D for the bass but then you have the two F”s. Explain that for me.

    5 Jermaine

    Hi Chawk: Did you listen to the audio file above?

    In it, I talked about each chord being the bass: 3rd and 7th.

    C is bass, E is 3rd, B is 7th

    Same thing when you move up the scale:

    D is bass, F is 3rd, C is 7th (these are the notes of D minor 7)

    Same thing when you move up the scale:

    E is bass, G is 3rd, D is 7th (these are the notes of the E minor 7)

    So basically, this is just a different way to voice the same ole’ chords of the scale.

    Normally it would be

    C E G B
    D F A C
    E G B D

    And so forth…

    All we’re doing is:

    C E B E (added the octave E to emphasize the nice sound of the “third” interval)
    D F C F
    E G D E

    I hope this helps. Listen to audio again too if you get a moment.

    6 chawk

    Yes I listen, but sometimes like Brian said on his way on practicing you have to write it down. So since you just wrote it this way I can see it better. You have to use the third also. Right? as well as the seventh. Thank you.

    7 chawk

    Also I would like to thank you for going the extra mile. When we don’t get it. You will work with us until we do. I really can as I hear you often say. I APPRECIATE THAT. Thanks again

    8 Jermaine

    Thanks Chawk! I appreciate it!

    Yes, you have to use the 3rd and 7th and each of these chord use them. What they each leave out (and what I think you’re referring to) is the 5th.

    So when you leave out the fifth, play the root (keynote) in the left hand and play the 3 + 7 + 3 (octave) in your right hand, you get these nice voicings. Just take them all the way up the piano and that gives you the voicings for every chord of the C major scale.





    10 samuel patrick

    Brethren I want to used this little opportunity to thank you all for your loving kindness towards my piano learning lesson, I said may God in heaven continue to bless you all.
    Sir my primary aim of writing u this comment is to let u know that i don’t piano at home I am a boy of 17years old, and I happen to be a friend with keyboard but i don’t have any at home my father died of recent , and he was my hope when a friend of mine told me about this website of hear and play i was very happy up to the essence that i told my father about it, and he promise to buy me a keyboard. so ever since then he died. Am just here reading my piano lesson all through without a piano for practical. the church am going does not have any and in Nigeria here if u don’t belongs to a church they won’t let u to touch their instrument, so please sir am just pleading you, if you can afford to buy me one or send me the one u are no longer using it a again i shall be very grateful. this is my phone number 08056139464 as for the piano lesson may God continue to strengthen u all in Jesus name I have Prayed

    11 Peter

    wow, Jermaine that’s a wonderful one thanks alot i really appreciate that okay.
    my regards.

    12 Henry

    I want to thank you for making learning the piano easier.however,i have a burning question about the minor scale.what chord types go with the different number degrees of the minor scale as in the major scale having the 1,4&5 as major chords.thank you oncemore.

    13 AKOMS

    Nice one man…….Keep it up.

    14 simeon

    i have heard this type of arrangement in a song before . It is a nice one . It would have been pretty difficult to singlehandedly decode this voicing . Thanks jermaine

    15 Al

    Hi Jermaine Griggs,

    Can You do a course that talks about doing runs in your right hand while your left hand doing chords…..I know its about doing scales, but what scale for what chord?

    16 Deonna Keplinger

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    18 Onome

    Greetings to u J.Griggs
    its being quite a while i really visited, and i must say i have been very lazy of late. Though i have being playing in church but haven’t take take time to study.
    I must say this piece has inspired me to resume again, and i hope i won’t be lazy no more.
    God bless u real good
    Rgds Onome

    19 curtis hairston

    what is your take on soloing technique and modes

    20 Stev

    pls what are minor seventh chords.how do i recognise them!

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    25 Isaac Appiah-kubi

    Please I would like to know the chords substitutes for All FMajor chord notes.. starting from 1-7

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