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7th cords??? I dont understand???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by basseddie, Mar 26, 2001.

  1. Ok so last night I was going over some 7th arpaggios, you know root 3rd 5th 7th, and some inversions (hey this is cool stuff!) when it hit me that the 7th is flat. Ie in key of g
    you have G-B-D-F but not F# as is in the g- scale???
    Can someone explain this to me??
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Is it so hard to understand? :) You don't have to be a slave under a key signature! In fact, music would be very boring if everyone followed them completely. Nothing prevents you from playing a G7 in the key of G (well, unless it's a modal tune). Have fun with the voicings and don't just look at what key you play in. "Play with your ears"!
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    For starters, there are four important seventh chords, each having distinctive features you must know so you don't play a flat seventh when a major seventh is required and reverse. Also you have to be aware of whether the third is major or minor.

    Major Seventh: 1, 3, 5, 7
    Minor Seventh: 1, flat 3, 5, flat 7
    Dominant Seventh: 1, 3, 5, flat 7
    Minor Seven Flat Five:1, flat 3, flat 5, flat 7

    Plus, to add to the fun, each has three inversions on the basic root position chord. Thus you have a huge variety of seventh chord possibliites, some with flatted sevenths and some with major sevenths.

    There are different ways of writing the names of these chords, but one of the most common in the U.S. is that a chord, say C7, is meant to indicate the dominant seventh (having a flat seven) and the major seventh is often written Cmaj7, meaning the seventh interval is major, not flat. A minor seventh would be written Cmi7 and a minor seven flat five would be written Cmi7b5.

    So a Gma7 would be played G,B, D, F#

    G7 (or dominant seven) would be played G,B,D,F

    Gmi7 would be played G, Bb, D, F.

    Each of those can have three inversions of the root position.

    I hope that answers your question. If not, please let us know. Someone here will be able to help you.

  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Whoops! Ed Fuqua and I posted at the same time. I hope I didn't confuse the issue. Ed is the Supreme Master of music theory. I wouldn't have psoted had I known he was going to beat me to it by a second or two. I always defer to Ed Fuqua. He is "the Maestro."

  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    All hail DEAD PUKESPRAY!

  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    :D For instance you didn't know that JO really is female. Anyhow, ya rule, BAD FUNGUS!
  7. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Wait, did I start something here? I didn't mean to cause a ruckus and I apologize to anybody who was offended or took at offense at what I wrote.

    Fact is I do admire Ed Fuqua and if I had known he was going to answer, I wouldn't have. (Too risky...he knows minutia of theory I never dreamed of.)

    Now I've got EVERYBODY mad. Sigh. All because of seventh chords. Who knew they were so powerful?

  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I ain't mad at ya.

    And, by the by, I knew that 7th chords were that powerful. :D
  9. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    Anyway basseddie, what you were asking was a fairly basic music theory question. While I agree with Oysterman about playing what you hear in your head, it wouldn't hurt to get a little music theory in there also. Check with your area community college and see if they offer a music theory and ear training course. I think that would help you out alot. I see by your profile that you are about my age 45. cool
  10. <i>"All because of seventh chords. Who knew they were so powerful?"</i>

    No wonder... major 3rd + flat 7th = diabolus in musica!
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I like the b3 + a maj 7= carambaus en toda la musica!

    "Dead Pukespray", "Bad Fungus", eh? ;)
  12. uh,,, yeah .. ok thanx everyone for the advice, its as clear as mud now...no just kidding. My inital inquirey was that it just didnt make sense. I thought cord structure was, for a major cord it is R-3-5 and to make a seventh you add the seventh note in the scale of the cord. This music theory stuff is kind of making sense, but i am still new to it. the exersice i was working on was 7th cord apeggios were start "walking" up say,F7 then down A7(Im not sure if that is the rite one, going from memory here, which isnt very good,) then moving up a fret to F#7/A#7 up an octave, and then back down, then do it again with the 1st inversion, then second, third. Real cool stuff.
    My hat is off to all you jazz guys who know all this stuff.
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...that's exactly what's goin' on. A 7th chord is usually a Dominant 7th, not a major/minor 7th.
    A maj 7th chord will be called a Gmaj7; a minor will be Gm7. Got it?
    Later, when you get to extensions, a G9, a G13, a G9b5, G13b5#9, blahblah...all these chorda are Dominant & not major/minor.

    So, if you see, for example, a G7(very possibly a V7 chord...note the "5")...that's a Dominant 7 chord. For now, think "Key of C Major"-
    G-B-D-F=V7...here's your Dominant 7th chord
    B-D-F-A=viio(1/2 diminished; m7b5)

    ...any better?
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, if we're talking about "walking" then it can get more confusing, as you could always add in a chromatic passing note that isn't in the chord or key - so you might legitimately play the major or flat 7 when constructing a bassline. Probably best not to think about that when starting out though! ;)
  15. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    7th cords . . . . . . 7th cords . . . . . . . . . . 7th cords . . . . . . this is an old style of trouser that has been worn by 6th people before you get your hands on them. The joy of unearthing a 7th Cord can be immense and must be resolved by a sustained wail.

    A flattened 7th chord is something irrelevant in music, mainly blues.

    Bloody Yanks!!!! Learn English!!!!!!!!
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I'm sure you mean something along the lines of "flatted" 7th chord and "relevant to music"

    how that for an english lesson?
  17. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    A 7th chord like G B D F implies a dominant or fifth degree of a scale. So, for this example, the G7 chord is built on the fifth degree of the C major (or minor) scale, which has an F natural. So, C is the root scale, not G. These dominant 7th chords have a tritone interval (diminished fifth or augmented fourth-it depends on the inversion) which creates a tension that needs to be resolved. For the G7 example, B and F form a tritone. B resolves to C and F resolves to E natural or E flat, depending on the root scale (C major or C minor). Note that the dominant 7th chord always have the major third (B natural in this case), regardless of the root scale (major or minor). Of course, this is the basic theory about dominant seventh chords. If you put them in a modal music context, or as a double dominant chord, or as a pivot chord for a modulation, the concept expands a lot.

    This stuff has already been said in other words, but anyway hope mine also help you. :)

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