The difference between C7 and Gmaj, and others

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ThePaste, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. Hi, could someone tell me why you see C7 and Gmaj7, I thought you assumed it was major anyway? Could someone give me the forumulas for these chords, and maybe some of the longer ones (I know major and minor chords), for example F#6b13 or something like that. Thanks!
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    G7 = 1-3-5-b7
    ...the 7th is FLATTED; the 3rd is still MAJOR

    Gmaj7 = 1-3-5-7
    BOTH the 3rd & 7th are natural/major

    Gmin7 = 1-b3-5-b7
    BOTH the 3rd & 7th are FLATTED/minor

    Growing up playing "Rock", if I saw "G"...I assumed it was a G triad(1-3-5) w/ no extensions(7-9-11-13).

    Your other chords, like the F#6b13(for simplicity, I'm gonna use "G" & not "F#").

    Start with the root, build the chord in 3rds, & add the extensions as depicted.



    Those are the possible notes...a guitarist/pianist certainly won't use all of them. This where voicing a chord comes into play.
    ...a guitarist may only play the F-B-Eb-A

    What note(s) the bassist plays becomes pretty
    important...choose wisely. ;)
    Gotta go!
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    General Instruction stuff.

  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Just to clarify, Jim means that the 7th is "LOWERED". I, like most others I think, tend to say the word "FLATTED" in real life, but technically, the note may already be "flat."

    Example. Cbmaj7 = Cb - Eb - Gb - Bb
    So, Cb7 would be Cb - Eb - Gb - Bbb (A)

    Just a technical thing.
  5. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I just love the sound of that C13#11(C E G Bb D F# A) chord.
  6. Ok, so to clarift, if you see a 7th chord, like C7, the 7th note of the major scale is flat? It's an automatic lowering? And a Cmin7 means the 7th is unaffected (it's already lowered) but the 3rd is lowered. Right?
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Sort of... an easier way to think of chord construction is to learn the three basic scale types - Major, Dominant, and minor (and here be sure to understand which type of minor is called for) - and then just built the chords from the scales. Alterations like #5 or b9 are then just corresponding alterations of the parent scale.

    If you compare the three most common jazz scales, you can think of them in terms of how they relate to each other, using Major as a reference.

    Major:.... 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...



    Once you have done that, you can then simply build each chord according to the same basic formula of stacking 3rds - as shown in Jim's post - but using the notes of the parent scale to determine the specifics.

    For upper extensions such as 9ths, 11ths and 13ths, all you have to remember is that these are nothing more than other names for already existing scale degrees:


    The reason they are sometimes notated as above is to indicate that they should be placed in the upper part of the voicing so as to allow the guide tones (3, 7) to establish a foundation before the extensions add color.
  8. Thanks for the replies. Another question: When you write a chord symbol, which is accepted, a # sign or a b sign? For instance, would you say something like F# or Gb? Or Abmin or G#min?
  9. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    Im not really an expert at that, but I believe it really has to do with the key signature.Youre probably not gonna use an F# when youre in the key of Cb (5 flats), or a Gb in the key of G (1 sharp) itll just seem kinda confusing.

    Does anyone know how youd choose to use #'s vs b's that in the Key of C?
  10. Deicide666


    May 1, 2000
    This depends on the key youre playing in. If in a flat key, Eb for example, the B E and A are Flatted. Dont use sharps. The same applies for sharp keys. There are exceptions to this like minor keys. A sharp might show up in a flat key, which is a clue that it might be minor (dominant is usually natural or sharp....probably a little more complex than what youre asking). In C there are no sharps or flats, so anything added is going to be chromatic. Use # or b, just be consistant. i dont think it really matters which, unless youre changing keys, which in that case use the one that will ensure the smoothest songwriting.
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    There's also the "common knowledge" factor to contend with in jazz...some enharmonic spellings seem to be easier to read than others for those who are used to playing music which is more often "flat-based" than "sharp-based". Thus, it is far more common to see a ii-V-I notated
    Ab-7...Db7...GbMa7 than
    G# -7...C#7...F#Ma7, even though the keys of F# and Gb Major each contain an equal number of accidentals. I still blink a bit when I see a G# -7 symbol because I'm so used to seeing it the other way. There are many more examples of this "common knowledge factor", but you need to kind of get a feel for it by experience rather than trying to memorize it.

    The above always seems to work in reverse for Alto Sax players, who are freaks anyway because of their transposition.
  12. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    an Aeolian instead of a dorian?

    I thought a scale with a flat 3rd and flat 7th was a natural minor making it an aeolian.

    But hey Im not expert on this and could be wrong.
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Aeolian has a lowered 6th, Dorian doesn't.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah - like "Blue Daniel" - the Cannonball Adderley favourite (written by Frank Rosolino) - this has a series of 13(#11) chords including C13(#11) at the end and really exploits that sound.

    I'm not sure about the "example F#6b13 " mentioned in the original post - I can only think this will sound pretty "nasty"! ;)

    But - I would assume a 6 chord is Major; whereas a 13 chord would be treated as a Dominant 7th - so I'm not exactly sure what this chord would be anyway - I've never seen this in any songs?
  15. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    see shows what the hell I know :(

    I'll just be crawling back into my hole now with all the others who arent theory experts. ;)
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Actually FUGHORN, D# would have 8 sharps, not 7. C# has 7 sharps, which makes the key of D# a thoretical key.

    Not often you get to correct the master. :cool:
  17. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Bad Fuqua. No biscuit.
  18. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  19. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Dork. :D :D :D
  20. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I hardly think that whether or not we got the point, and actually learned something, is important. What is important, however, is the chance to mock others.