7th Chord Progressions

Seventh chords can bring vibrancy and variety to your musical progressions. They’re constructed by adding a note that is one-seventh above the root note of a triad chord.

Jazz, R&B and Pop are among the genres where piano solos have long been used as an essential ingredient of their soundscapes. Piano can add depth, complexity and emotion to your progressions that add power and strength.

Major Seventh

Major seventh chords can often be heard in soul music and more modern genres of music, making their debut appearance in Claire De Lune by Claude Debussy as one example. They offer a warm sound that is often associated with love songs.

Maj7 chords are built from the root of major triads and offer much fuller sound than their minor triad counterparts due to the addition of one extra note – giving this chord extra tension due to dissonant tones introduced through dissonance.

It’s no secret why this chord is so widely utilized in modern music; you’ll find it across genres including pop, R&B, jazz and folk as well as classic country such as Johnny Cash’s “Country Boy”. When learning any 7th chord it is always recommended starting off with an open chord before progressing onto more difficult shapes such as vii7 (C – Eb – G) and Half Diminished Seventh (C – Eb – Gb – Bb). These chords are among the most prevalent 7th chords and easier than their dissonant counterparts.

Minor Seventh

Non-diatonic seventh chords such as this create tension and suspense when combined with other types of 7ths to create exciting jazzy progressions. Constructed by lowering a perfect fifth by one semitone and adding a minor seventh above its root note, this chord can be found at any scale degree; hence it is often known as a middle seven chord.

It adds great harmonic depth and can be found across many genres of music – from rock to funk and even romantic pieces such as the song “Claire de Lune” by Claude Debussy.

This type of seventh chord can often be found in rock and blues music, due to its distinctive major7 feel. Additionally, you may come across this chord in classical pieces by romantic composers like Claude Debussy such as his song “Claire de Lune.”

Dominant Seventh

Like major seventh chords, dominant 7ths are four note chords built from stacking thirds on top of a root note. Unlike major seventh chords however, their seventh tone falls one half step lower than its fifth tone for added tension to your progressions.

Dominant 7ths are frequently utilized in blues music and rock. Their presence adds a grandiose element that really elevates certain moments in songs/pieces. Furthermore, these 7ths work great when combined with other types of 7ths (such as minor) for creating jazzier-sounding pieces.

A dominant 7th contains the leading tone (B) from any scale and wants to resolve upwards to its tonic (C), creating tension and drama in music/art pieces and providing powerful chord endings when used with V-I cadences, making this popular in blues/rock/pop genres.

Half-Diminished Seventh

Half-diminished seventh chords feature a flat ninth (b), creating tension and instability while at the same time often resolving upwards to form major chords, unlike their dominant seventh counterparts which tend to resolve downwards into minor tonic chords. Half-diminished sevenths are typically found in progressions leading to minor tonic chords.

7th chords are built upon triad chords, but differ by adding an additional note – the seventh interval above the root. Every note within a 7th chord has a specific chord quality which you can identify by looking at its notes and comparing them against our chart of triad chord qualities above.

Each chord type can be represented on a staff diagram using specific symbols – Cmaj7, Dmaj7 or Fmaj7 as examples – which provide clues as to its type. Also worth remembering are that diminished seventh chords feature a flat ninth, while in major 7th chords the seventh note has an inversion (i.e. sharp fifth).