diatonic chords in a major key

Discussion in 'Ask Mike Watt [Archived]' started by smeaton_bass, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. this is hard for me to explain but i'll give it a go, i need to find out what the name of the 5th chord with a 7th in the key of CMajor is!!!! i don't know if this is a challenge but my teacher asked me to find out, here is a sort of diagram if i wasn't clear enough:




    5th ----G-----A-----B-----C------D-----E------F




    i need to find out the spaces where the stars are. anything would be very much apreciated.thanks.
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Sorry Mike, I don't mean to intrude on your space, but I thought I'd take a stab at this question.

    Smeaton, take a read through this link, and you should find your answer in there:


    So, in C Major, you're scale tones are:

    C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- A -- B -- c
    I -- ii -- iii -- IV - V -- vi - vii

    The roman numerals relate to scale position and the color of the chord that would be built from the scale degree. Major scales work from a series of intervals, each scale tone is a 2nd from the next. (It may be a major 2nd or a minor 2nd). That being said, every other chord tone is built from the interval of a 3rd, (either major, minor). 7th chords are built on a system of 3rds. Your job is to figure out what kind of 7th chord is built.

    Major 7th = Major 3rd + minor 3rd + Major 3rd
    Minor 7th = minor 3th + Major 3th + minor 3th
    Dom 7th = Major 3rd + minor 3rd + minor 3rd
    Minor 7thb5 = minor 3rd + minor 3rd + Major 3rd.

    So, let's build the I chord from C major. Building 7th chords diatonically, you take every other note, C - E - G - B.

    C to E is a major 3rd.
    E to G is a minor 3rd.
    G to B is a major 3rd.

    So major 3rd+ minor 3rd + major 3rd is a Major 7th chord.

    C-E-G-B is a major 7th.

    Doing this for D you get a Dminor7th, (D-F-A-C)

    Now, you're missing the 5th degree and the 7th degree.

    The fifth degree of the scale we know, G. Take every other note, G - B - D - F.

    G to B is a major 3rd.
    B to D is a minor 3rd.
    D to F is a minor 3rd.

    G-B-D-F is a Dominant 7th chord. Very important chord.

    B is tougher. Every other note = B - D - F - A

    B to D is a minor 3rd.
    D to F is a minor 3rd.
    F to A is a major 3rd.

    B-D-F-A is a minor 7thb5 chord.

    C - C Major 7th (CEGB)
    D - D minor 7th (DFAC)
    E - E minor 7th (EGBD)
    F - F Major 7th (FACE)
    G - G Dominant 7th (GBDF)
    A - A minor 7th (ACEG)
    B - B minor 7th b5 (BDFA) (also known as half diminished, because the 7th isn't fully diminished to Ab)

    Now, explore the functional harmony, remembering how the V chord works to resolve to the I.

    Make up chord patterns. Start basic. Start with the I chord, end with the I chord.

    I ------------ V ------------V- I

    For the dashes, experiment with how the ii or iii chord sounds after the I, or after another chord. Play the I then V then I to hear how the V resolves to the I. Try different turnarounds to resolve to I, (iii-IV-V-I, ii-V-I, IV-V-I, vi-V-I).
  3. chuckyt


    Sep 6, 2001
    lafayette, LA
    i am terribly sorry to bother you, i am sure you must get tired of repeating the same beginner level theory to people. however i have a few questions.

    i was reading that last post by jazzbo the other night, it was about someone having questions reguarding scales and 7th chords and things. i have looked at the pages jazzbo and gard posted concerning entry level theory such as the circle of fifths and basic scales and chord construction and stuff and i understand most of it. what i haven't gained yet is the ever important ear for what sounds good. anyways, in the post he mentioned "G-B-D-F is a Dominant 7th chord. Very important chord." i don't understand why it is important. the only thing i can guest at is that I, IV, and V are major chords, but V differs slightly becuase of the finger positions.

    my second question pertains to the last part of the post. i don't understand how V resolves I. i guess what i am saying is i don't understand how to read I------V----V-I. does that mean "CEGC GBDG ....." or does it mean "CEGB GBDF...." or does it mean "CEG GDB...". in terms of being able to hear the differences and such, does it matter how you play it on the fretboard, for instance if i play "vi-V-I" as A and G on the E string and C on the A string

    like i said, i am sorry to bother with such entry level stuff. i really appreciate it and i thank you.
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey Chucky,

    I got your PM the other day, and I simply didn't have time to give you a response that was well-thought out enough, so I'll try and respond tomorrow.

    I'm not ignoring you! :D

  5. thanks everyone i just needed to know that it was called the DOMINANT, all of it was a great help, thanks again.