Day 164: Dominant 7 Chords

More interesting chords today. If you know the major chords, you turn it into a 7 chord by taking what would be the 7th note in the scale and flattening it by one semitone, or one fret. In contrast to the notes in the “major 7” chords from yesterday, we’re flattening what would be the octave note by one full tone, or two frets.

Let’s go back to the C major scale for an example. The C major scale’s notes are all natural keys, C D E F G A B C. In Western music theory, we count “intervals” from the root note (C for this scale). So C would be 1, D is 2, and so on until you get to B, which would be the 7th note, and the next C which would be the octave or the 8th. Part of what makes chord voicings sound “colorful” is intentional “dissonance,” which is like taking a harmonious chord (C major) and inserting an unusual note (the A#). C major would be C E G C E but the dominant 7 chord is C E A# C E.

Just like yesterday’s post, here are the notes and chord charts for the 7 chords:

C7 C E A# C E
D7 D A C F#
E7 E B D G# B E
F7 F C D# A C F
G7 G B D G B F
A7 A E G C# E
B7 B D# A B F#

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