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Old 03-21-2013, 03:20 AM   #1
Ahmed Kamal
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How to play C7 Properly?

Hello everyone,

I once saw this fingering for the C7 chord x32310 and by checking the voicing of the chord I noticed that the 5th of the C chord was replaced with the minor seventh. And according to my knowledge, A 7th chord is a major chord with a minor seventh added to it. So it should have the 5th as well. At first I thought it might just be a wrong voicing but later I started seeing it in a lot of places. It seems pretty common. Can someone illustrate why?

Thanks
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:59 AM   #2
Dreamdancer11
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Its not uncommon for the fifth to be missing(or even the root).Just think that in the context of a band you may have other musicians to complete the harmony for example the bassist to play the root and fifth and you the third and flat seventh.The fifth omitted doesnt change the...flavor of the chord.Its a dom7th mainly cause of the major third and the flat seventh.

You could use your pinky to fret the g(fifth) on the high e string and then your fingers 2 1 3 for the C E and B flat respectively or even bend your third finger to fret it on the sixth string like a bar with C but all these are unessesary...the tones that make a C7 what it is are there ....
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:59 AM   #3
Shor
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For starters, it's really hard to fit all the voicings of complex chords on the guitar.
Secondly, as long as the chord sounds like/implies a C7 it pretty much is a C7.
I am sure others can explain this all in greater detail than I can, but essentially you can remove voicings from a chord and have it still sound like that chord. 5th is pretty much the first to go...and I can't remember exactly, but I believe the 3rd is also not that uncommon to remove.
Remember that guitar is seldom played entirely by itself. In orchestrations you will often have other instruments to fill in "missing" voicings as well.

Missing voices are often filled in by the other chords in your given chord progressions as well.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:48 AM   #4
UnmagicMushroom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahmed Kamal
Hello everyone,

I once saw this fingering for the C7 chord x32310 and by checking the voicing of the chord I noticed that the 5th of the C chord was replaced with the minor seventh. And according to my knowledge, A 7th chord is a major chord with a minor seventh added to it. So it should have the 5th as well. At first I thought it might just be a wrong voicing but later I started seeing it in a lot of places. It seems pretty common. Can someone illustrate why?

Thanks


Your music theory knowledge of 7th chords is correct, but unaltered 5th in a chord is quite common to ommit because it doesn't change the chord's quality - if the 5th was sharpened or flattened then it may be another story. So the 5th is not vital in the case of your C7 because it doesn't obscure the chord's vibe. You can't ommit the 3rd or the 7th here because those are the two most important chord tones in this case; with out the 7th (Bb) it wouldn't be a 7th chord (duh), and without the 3rd you won't be able to tell whether the chord is supposed to be a dominant 7th, a minor 7th etc.
If you REALLY want to add the 5th to a C7, you're most likely going to have to use barre chords:

e--3----------8------------------
b--5----------8-----------------
g--3----------9------------------
d--5----------8------------------
a--3---------10-------------------
E-------------8------------------
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Last edited by UnmagicMushroom : 03-21-2013 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:14 AM   #5
bondmorkret
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Yep, as pointed out by others, the fifth is often dropped from a dom7 voicing. In fact its advantageous to do so, because it allows greater freedom for the soloist. A dom7 with a 5th can make playing altered lines a bit trickier since the b5 and b13 in the scale can clash with the P5.

So to summarize, no problems with that voicing at all!
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:35 AM   #6
ruletheneck
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your question has already been answered in above replies, i just wanted to suggest that you experiment with the effect of omitting notes in more complex chords i think it's amazing how much two or three notes can imply
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:03 AM   #7
Ahmed Kamal
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Yeah I understand now. Thank you all for your answers
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:02 AM   #8
cdgraves
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The 3rd and 7th are the really important ones in a dominant chord. The root and 5th are frequently omitted or substituted. The tritone made by the 3rd/7th is what you want to preserve, because it begs for resolution.
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