Seventh chords are an integral part of music, and we will be exploring some common shapes for them in this article.
A seventh chord adds one note an octave higher to a major triad. You can create these chords by stacking two thirds on the tonic (C major in this example), with interval relationships determining its quality.
Dominant seventh chords consist of a major triad with an additional minor seventh above its root note, creating tension within the chord that tends to resolve into its tonic triad form.
Blues music makes use of these chords often due to their tension-inducing nature; however, these same chords also add an unresolved sound when used within progressions – as can often be found in funk music.
The tension inherent to dominant seventh chords gives them tremendous power in any song, as evidenced by their widespread usage among famous artists who use them regularly in 12 bar blues songs and compositions.
The Rolling Stones famously utilized a B7 chord in their classic track “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” while Blue Oyster Cult added G7 into their hit, “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” You can find similar examples throughout contemporary pop, rock and funk music as well.
Major seventh chords combine a major triad with a minor seventh above the root to produce an elegant yet soothing chord that is frequently found in rock, blues and jazz music.
Artists often don’t specify the triad or seventh type in order to shorten chord names; for instance, major/minor seventh chords are commonly known by their initial letters – for instance a C7 chord is commonly referred to.
An alternative way of playing a major seventh chord is to substitute its seventh note with six. This produces more consonant sounds that don’t sound dissonant like what can be heard in songs such as Stone Temple Pilots’ Interstate Love Song; give this approach a try and see what you think! Seven-note chords add depth and character to music as well as tension and suspense – experiment with them today until you find your preferred methods!
Addition of the seventh note from any scale can give your chord a lot of depth and complexity, providing another layer of expression and story-telling through guitar playing. Seventh chords can be found across musical genres as a staple feature and they’re ideal tools for expressing emotion or telling tales through guitar playing.
Minor seventh chords are created by shifting down one full step from major third to minor 3rd and adding the flattened minor 7th above it, giving rise to an unsettling or mournful sounding chord.
All four seventh chord types (maj7, min7, dominant7 and half-diminished) occur naturally in both major and minor scales. You can also construct them from other triads by altering the notes that comprise them; for example you could make a dominant seventh chord by taking a minor triad and adding a flattened major 7th above it; to learn how this works check out this guitar neck diagram of four drop 2 minor seventh chord voicings with three inversions for reference.
Minor Seven Flat Five
The minor seventh flat-five chord is an intriguing chord in music theory because its two distinct names represent two parts of one entity (it would be like giving your child two names; without all the arguments!).
First is m7b5, an ordinary minor seventh chord with a flattened fifth. It’s most frequently found in jazz harmony.
Another way of building this chord is a half-diminished seventh chord. A half diminished chord follows the same formula as its full-diminished cousin (1 b3 b5) but does not feature a minor seventh as part of its formula; instead it contains a flat fifth (m7b5) instead. While you might not encounter such chords often in other genres of music, they still remain essential building blocks of modern compositions.