The last lesson dealt with triads. This lesson adds another third to the chord to give us the seventh chords.

Course Recap

In the previous lesson, we learnt the four main triad shapes and looked at how they are constructed from two stacked thirds.

Major Chord = Major 3rd + Minor 3rd
Minor Chord = Minor 3rd + Major 3rd 
Augmented Chord = Major 3rd + Major 3rd
Diminished Chord = Minor 3rd + Minor 3rd

In this lesson, we will add another third to the triads to create different types of 7th chords. Let’s take each basic triad and see how the chord changes when we add a 7th.

Major triad + Major 7th = Major 7 chord (1 3 5 7)
triad + Minor 7th = Dominant 7 chord (1 3 5 b7)

Minor triad + Major 7th = Minor (Major 7) chord (1 b3 5 7)
Minor triad + Minor 7th = Minor 7 chord (1 b3 5 b7)

Diminished triad + Major 7th = Diminished Major 7 chord (1 b3 b5 7)
Diminished triad + Minor 7th = Minor 7b5 chord (1 b3 b5 b7)

Augmented triad + Major 7th = Major 7#5 chord (1 3 #5 7)
Augmented triad + Minor 7th = Dominant 7#5 chord (1 3 #5 7)

Here are the chords again, notated:

We can practice the 7th chords in the same way we practised the triads. Starting on the same tonic each time, play each arpeggiated chord through four times before moving on to the next.

Order of chords:
Major 7
Dominant 7
Minor 7
Minor (major 7)
Major 7#5
Dominant 7#5
Minor 7b5
Diminished 7

As with the triads, learn to hear the sound of each 7th chord. Every combination of intervals gives us a unique character to each chord.

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