Major 7 Chords: A Touch of Class

What are the nuts and bolts behind the beauty of Major 7 chords?

Major 7 Chords: A Touch of Class
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Major 7 chords, the guitar sound equivalent of riding a velvet chariot through a field of lavender and butterflies. But what are the nuts and bolts behind the beauty?

Let's take the notes of the A major scale:

1 2 3    4 5 6    7

A B C# D E F# G#

Now to make an A major chord, you just scoop up the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes, take your A-C#-E triad and punch your ticket on the A-Train to Chordtown. But if your guitar playing calls for an extra touch of class, toss in that 7th note, G#, and let your artistry soar.

If you aren't intimately familiar with the 7th note in every major scale, it's a lot easier to count backwards than forwards. Since the 7th note is always only just a half-step away from the root, just think of sliding one semi-tone backward to find that major 7th note. For example, if you wanted to turn an F major into an F major 7, just think of the note directly preceding F, which is an E, and find a way to put that into your chord or lick.

Check out the video to learn 7 different movable chord voicings!


By Sean Daniel

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    beatboy65
    "the guitar sound equivalent of riding a velvet chariot through a field of lavender and butterflies." A musician and a poet! Nice artivcle.
    danhonsinger
    Canadian Railroad Trilogy. Lightfoot is the master of everything, Major 7th chords included.
    HugoPan
    Listen to some bossa nova songs. the majority of major chords on their progressions are the Maj7 ones. the first F7M on the intro of Girl From Ipanema is what define the brazillian jazz sound in my opinion.
    Deadds
    Nope. Maj9's not maj7's define Brazilian bossa nova.
    Lefty7Stringer
    Maj7 denotes 1.3.5.7 degrees. Maj9 denotes 1.3.5.7.9 A maj9 contains a maj7 and functions the same way. Maj add9 would be more different: 1.3.5.9
    RabidPikachu
    The bassist in my band is actually dating Astrid Gilberto's grand daughter. Weird eh?
    NYMetalhead1991
    Think of it as CAGED to remember the most used chords in music. The c chord, the a chord, the g chord, the e chord ,and the d chord.