Basic Chord Theory II

author: CPDmusic date: 08/06/2010 category: chords
rating: 9.6 / votes: 34 
Intro: Hello, and welcome to part to of the series Basic Chord Theory. Today, we are going to look at four types of seventh chords, being the standard seventh chord, the major seventh chord, the minor seventh chord, and the minor major seventh chord. It is recommended that you read the first part of this series prior to this one, as some of the topics discussed in that lesson are used here. You can read it here. Enjoy! The Seventh Chord: The seventh chord, sometime called a dominant seventh chord, is an important chord to learn, especially in styles of music such as Jazz. The seventh chord goes like this: 1 3 5 b7 So, lets start off by making a C7 chord, starting with the root note, C:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||-------||
E||--8----||
From there, we would add the 3, being the third note of the C major scale, or E:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Next, we would add the fifth note of the C major scale, being G:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Finally, the seventh note of the C major scale is B. But, the seventh chord has a flat or minor seventh, making the final note of this chord Bb:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Now, what I'm about to say is something REALLY IMPORTANT!, which I forgot about in the first lesson, and for that I apologise. This chord is quite the stretch, going from the third fret to the eighth. But, the thing is, there are other ways to play this chord (duh!). The great thing is, you can rearrange the order of the notes! The only stipulation is that the root note stays the same. The theory behind the C7 chord says it's played C E G Bb, but, technically if you ordered the notes, lets say C G Bb E, it would still technically be the same chord, a C7 chord! But, a chord like E C G Bb would not be, as the root note is note C. It would still be chord, just not a C7 chord. So, the standard way of playing this chord is infact C G Bb E, and is played like this:
E||-------||
B||--5----||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Pretty cool, eh? I bet you never thought that if you couldn't play a chord, you could just rearrange the notes, did you? Once again, I apologize for forgetting that in the first lesson. One last thing you should notice is that the C7 chord is really just a major triad with a b7 added. The Major Seventh Chord: The next chord we will quickly look at is the major seventh chord. It is slightly different that the (dominant) seventh chord, and goes like this: 1 3 5 7 So, lets now construct a C7M chord, starting with C: E
||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||-------||
E||--8----||
Than add an E:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
And then a G:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
And than finally, the seventh note of the C major scale, a B:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--4----||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
A bit too much of a stretch? Well, I usually play my C7M chord in the order C G B E, in which case it looks like this:
E||-------||
B||--5----||
G||--4----||
D||--5----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Much like the seventh chord, the major seventh chord is just a major triad, except instead of adding a minor seventh, we're adding a major seventh. The Minor Seventh Chord: The next chord, the minor seventh chord, is also a slight variation on the dominant seventh chord. It is played like this: 1 b3 5 b7 So, lets use this sequence to construct a Cm7 chord (yes, in a major seventh, the M comes after the 7, while in a minor seventh, it comes before. That is not a typo, it's just the way it is) starting with C:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||-------||
E||--8----||
Now, the third note of the C major scale is E, meaning a b3 would be Eb:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--6----||
E||--8----||
Next, we would add a G:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--5----||
A||--6----||
E||--8----||
And finally, we would add a b7, or a Bb:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--6----||
E||--8----||
Yuck, another 3 to 8 stretch! Well, what if you played the Cm7 chord C G Bb Eb:
E||-------||
B||--4----||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Much easier, isn't it! One last thing is that the minor seventh chord is just a minor triad with a flat seventh added on. The Minor Major Seventh Chord: What!? A chord that's both minor AND major!? Yesit's true. This chord has it's name because it has both minor and major intervals, and is basically just a blend between the minor seventh and major seventh chords. It is played like this: 1 b3 5 7 So, you will notice it has the flattened third, like the minor seventh chord, as well as the natural seventh, like the major seventh chord. So, lets construct a Cm7M chord, starting with C:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Next, we will add the flattened third ,or an Eb:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--1----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Now, we add the fifth note of the C major scale, G:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--0----||
D||--1----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
And then we top it off with a B:
E||-------||
B||--0----||
G||--0----||
D||--1----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Hooray, a chord we don't have to rearrange! But hey, if you really want toI won't tell. Anyway, we know how it got its name already, soI guess that's it! Review: Now, lets review all the chords we've learned so far. This will also give us an opportunity to compare chords for similarities. M = 1 3 5 m = 1 b3 5 Aug = 1 3 #5 Dim = 1 b3 b5 7 = 1 3 5 b7 7M = 1 3 5 7 m7 = 1 b3 5 b7 m7M = 1 b3 5 7 Wow, that a lot of chords. Your probably saying how can I remember all that! Well, really, a lot of these chords can be based off the major and minor triads! In fact, now that I have known chord theory for a while, chord names have become self explanatory to me. And it's true! And augmented chord is a major chord with a sharpened fifth, a diminished chord is a minor chord with a flattened fifth (those two aren't really self explanatory, you kind of need to memorize that), a seventh chord is a major chord with a flat seventh, a major seventh is a major chord with a seventh, a minor seventh is a minor chord with a flat seventh and a minor major seventh is a minor chord with an added seventh. In fact, you can even go on to say a minor chord is just a major chord with a flattened third! Really, you can make those eight chords out of just one! Oh, the joys of chord theory! Outro: So, that's all for today's lesson. Hopefully I blew your mind with my one chord turns into eight chords speech above. And if you thought that was crazy, just wait until we get to part 3... Did You Like This Lesson? Check Out All My Lessons Here. More Lessons Coming Soon!
More CPDmusic lessons:
+ A Shortcut For Learning Scales Scales 01/05/2012
+ So You Want To Write A Song. Part 2 Songwriting & Lyrics 01/17/2011
+ So You Want To Write A Song. Part 1 Songwriting & Lyrics 01/05/2011
+ Scale Degrees & Chord Harmonization The Basics 11/05/2010
+ Time Signatures (2) The Basics 09/28/2010
+ Triplet Feel The Basics 09/27/2010
+ view all
Comments
Your captcha is incorrect