• Seventh Chords

    in Chords & Progressions,Theory

    Now that you know how to build a major chord, we want to introduce you to another type of chord.

    If you remember, a 3-toned chord is called a “Triad.”

    A 4-toned chord is called a “Seventh” (what we will learn today)!

    A seventh (or dominant) chord is built similar to a major triad. In fact, a Seventh chord is a major chord with an added “minor third” interval on top.

    Do you get it?

    Remember… a major triad is a:

    major third + perfect fifth

    (Note: Major triad = Major Chord)

    Also, remember:

    A (major third) = 4 half steps or 2 whole steps
    A (minor third) = 3 half steps or 1.5 whole steps

    Seventh Chord = major third + perfect fifth + minor third

    For example, a (C major) chord is: (C) – (E) – (G)

    To create a C Seventh Chord (or C7), simply add a minor third on top of the (G).

    —— from G to A flat is 1 half step
    —— from G to A is 2 half steps
    —— from G to B flat is 3 half steps

    3 half steps = “Minor Third” interval

    So… by adding a (B flat) to a (C major chord), you have now created a (C7) chord.

    C7 = (C) + (E) + (G) + (Bb)

    Try playing this chord in all 12 keys! (C7, D7, E7 and so on …)

    Note: This chord is one of the most utilized chords in gospel music. The added minor third creates the “blues” feeling used in gospel hymns, blues, r & b, rock, etc.

    —In our 300-pg course, Seventh Chords are covered in depth. The coursework teaches you how to play this chord in all 12 keys. You will learn scale degree names, major seventh chords, minor seventh chords, altered seventh chords and more. Visit:


    … for more information on the 300-pg course!

    We hope you enjoyed this lesson on seventh chords. See ya tomorrow!

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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!

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