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Chord Progressions — Seventh Chords of Major

[ back to Triad Progressions of Major for Guitar or Mandolin ]

 


Diatonic Seventh Chords

In the direction of things that lay beyond the Major scale’s triad progression materials; here’s a chart of the natural seventh chords of the Major scale.

On each scale degree, note the base triad of each chord (R 3 5) and the type of seventh interval (Major or minor in this case) added above it to form the natural seventh chord of the given degree.

There are four distinctly different types of seventh chord that arise naturally within the Major scale. They are all called diatonic constructions (they’re natural to the scale): Major, minor, Dominant, and half-diminished.

Scale and chord spellings are rendered in C Major, but all other formula data is generic (applies to any key or tonic). These seventh chords are derived by using the “chord construction in thirds” technique discussed on the chord construction page. This chart shows the greater pallet of triads and seventh chords of Major. From this pallet,  countless smaller chord progressions could be isolated.

Natural minor seventh chords

Due the the similarities (shared genes) of relative Major and minor scales, the seventh chords of the (relative) natural minor scale are basically identical to those of Major. The only difference is the starting point. Take the sixth degree of Major as the “I” chord of natural minor. In the key of C Major that means “vi 7” (A minor 7) is “i 7” of the key of A natural minor. The sequence and qualities of chords then follows the same pattern as Major from the sixth degree up. See the the table in Figure 1:
The GREEN 6th degree of C Major (is an A minor 7 chord) becomes GREEN 1st degree of it’s relative natural A minor (is also an A minor 7 chord). The next chord after the GREEN in both keys (Major or minor) is ½ dim 7 — all the chords are following the same pattern,  the same types.

See: Jazz Guitar voicings, seventh chords on four-string string-sets

 

 

Figure 1

 

Diatonic Seventh Chords of Major

 

 

 

C

D

E

F

G

A

B

C

I 7

ii 7

iii 7

IV 7

V 7

vi 7

vii° 7

I 7

Maj 7

min 7

min 7

Maj 7

Dom 7

min 7

½ dim 7

Maj 7

 

Diatonic Seventh Chords of relative natural minor

 

 

 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

A

i 7

ii° 7

III 7

iv 7

v 7

VI 7

VII 7

i 7

min 7

½ dim 7

Maj 7

min 7

min 7

Maj 7

Dom 7

min 7

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2

 

 

 

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© Copyright 2002   Roger Edward Blumberg

 


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