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iamfroogle
11-23-2011, 11:40 PM
Hey all, I'm progressing on the uku nicely but fiddling on the major scale is getting quite dull (or maybe I'm running out of ideas!) Well I wanted to incorporate some dominant 7th and major 7th...but how? and why?


Firstly let's make sure I'm using terms correctly:
(in the key of C)
dominant 7th : C E G A#
major 7th : C E G B

So what I guess I'm asking is, are there any general rules as to when you would use these 7th in progression? The dominant seems extra scary because if I was playing in the key of C, wouldn't the C7 chord be off because of the A#? Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks

Ride
11-24-2011, 12:07 AM
Hi,

The 7th grade of C scale should be a B. So, a C dominant 7th chord (C7) should be C E G Bb (technically it's the same note as A#, but it's not the same in harmony). You're adding a minor seventh to the major triad.

The major 7th (Cmaj7) adds a major seventh to the major triad.

So, said this... what was your question? ;) You're asking which scale you have to use in a C7 or Cmaj7 chords?

Ambient Doughnut
11-24-2011, 12:23 AM
You need to add your seventh note using the play one/miss one method of adding notes from the scale of C. This will give you:

Cmaj7
Dm7
Em7
Fmaj7
G7
Am7
Bm7-5 (you can pretty much forget this one, or just play Bdim)

These are of course just the starting point - rules are made for breaking!

iamfroogle
11-24-2011, 01:54 PM
I guess I'm asking - why is this the case that such a situation occur where the 7th note can sometimes be flat. I mean in a major triad - the option for say making the 5th note flat or major does not occur.

So in which situation would it be ideal to use the dominant (flat 7th) or the major 7th?

Ambient Doughnut
11-24-2011, 02:19 PM
Because if you're playing in the scale of C then you make all your chords from notes in that scale.
Cmaj7: c e g b
Dm7: d f a c
Em7: e g b d

Etc

The chord is a major/ dominant 7 because of the way the intervals relate to the root of that chord.
This is also why the 3rd varies between major and minor.
The 5th intervals stay the same because... well, they're perfect like that...

SuzukHammer
11-24-2011, 03:18 PM
My music theory radar just came up.

What does play one miss one method mean.

Thanks for the jazzy little feel on that new chord family.

ramone
11-24-2011, 04:11 PM
What does play one miss one method mean.

Cmaj7 1st, 3rd, 5th & 7th notes in the C major scale
Dm7 2nd, 4th, 6th & 8th notes in the C major scale
Em7 3rd, 5th, 7th & 9th notes in the C major scale. the 9th is the octave of the 2nd note, which is D

to build a chord in the key of C, pick a starting note in the C major scale, then add every other note in the scale.
play one, skip (miss) one. hope that helps

SuzukHammer
11-24-2011, 09:08 PM
Yes, thank you for that splanation.

Tor
11-24-2011, 10:01 PM
If you have a piano keyboard or similar somewhere then it's easy to see the theory "laid out" in the open, as it were.

Use the key of C. Locate the C key, it's the 1st. Then play it together with the 3rd and the 5th, which will all be white keys, skip every second. That's a C chord. Now shift the chord one to the right, so that you play the 2nd, 4th, 6th.. that's a Dm. And so on. So by moving the chord one key to the right you get C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim , C. You'll recognize the three major chords (C, F, G) as the "common" major chords for the key of C.
or half-dim

Now add a fourth note to the chord.. then you have the the list in post #7 above. You can easily see why it'll be Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7. Can you figure you if the chords that follow will be major or major sevens? I bet you can..

The piano keyboard will also show you why there's a "connection" between a C chord and Am, and a G chord and Em (something that ukulele players and guitar players will notice after a while). Try it, you'll see..

A piano keyboard is so useful for understanding theory that it'll make sense to buy a $15 toy keyboard just for that.

-Tor

SuzukHammer
11-25-2011, 01:59 AM
If you have a piano keyboard or similar somewhere then it's easy to see the theory "laid out" in the open, as it were.

Use the key of C. Locate the C key, it's the 1st. Then play it together with the 3rd and the 5th, which will all be white keys, skip every second. That's a C chord. Now shift the chord one to the right, so that you play the 2nd, 4th, 6th.. that's a Dm. And so on. So by moving the chord one key to the right you get C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim , C. You'll recognize the three major chords (C, F, G) as the "common" major chords for the key of C.
or half-dim

Now add a fourth note to the chord.. then you have the the list in post #7 above. You can easily see why it'll be Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7. Can you figure you if the chords that follow will be major or major sevens? I bet you can..

The piano keyboard will also show you why there's a "connection" between a C chord and Am, and a G chord and Em (something that ukulele players and guitar players will notice after a while). Try it, you'll see..

A piano keyboard is so useful for understanding theory that it'll make sense to buy a $15 toy keyboard just for that.

-Tor

Yes, I can agree with you.

And... to teach my child.

uke4ia
11-25-2011, 03:00 PM
If I understand your original question, I think you were asking where you would use these chords.

A dominant 7th is commonly used as a transitional chord, on your way from one chord to another. The chord has a tension to it that sounds like it wants to resolve by going to a different chord. 7th chords are very common in old music, like the ukulele songs from the 1920s.

A major 7th has a more jazzy sound. It tends to stand on its own, rather than being used in transitions.

iamfroogle
11-26-2011, 12:20 AM
If I understand your original question, I think you were asking where you would use these chords.

A dominant 7th is commonly used as a transitional chord, on your way from one chord to another. The chord has a tension to it that sounds like it wants to resolve by going to a different chord. 7th chords are very common in old music, like the ukulele songs from the 1920s.

A major 7th has a more jazzy sound. It tends to stand on its own, rather than being used in transitions.


Very cool explanation...thank you!

I definitely hear the transition part now that you brought it up. Going from C to C7, F7 to G...

Thanks!

OldePhart
11-26-2011, 04:46 AM
And, just to muddy the waters a little - it depends a lot on what genre of music you're playing. Blues, for example, often uses dominant seventh (or sometimes ninth or 11th) chords for all or most of the major chords in the key. Of course, blues also violates some other "rules" in that you will often find both the minor and major third and the perfect and flat fifth being used.

That's the wonderful thing about music - memorable music is often defined more by the exceptions than by the rules. :)

John

JamieFromOntario
11-26-2011, 04:48 AM
froogle,

uke4ia is right; dominant 7ths are sometimes used as transitional chords or pivot chords (ones which below to more than one key).

Here's a fun way to see just how these chords can be used. Try playing the following:

D - D7 - G - G7 - C - C7 - F - F7 - Bb - Bb7 - Eb - Eb7 - Ab...

This kind of pattern is a series of V to I progressions (V being a major triad built on the fifth note/degree of the scale, I being a major triad built on the tonic/first note of the scale). This kind of progress can be really useful if you want to change to any other key - just keep following the pattern and stop once you get to your desired key.



In general, the most important relationship in tonal music (most classical, rock, jazz, pop...) is the V to I relationship. The idea in most music is that there is a constant build up of tension (as the chords move away from the tonic chord, I) followed by a release of tension when the music returns to the I chord usually via the V7 (aka dominant 7th) chord.
So, in C major, this relationship can be demonstrated with this simple chord progression:

C (the tonic chord aka home base) - F (the IV chord) - G7 (the V chord/dominant 7) - C (back home to the tonic)

This progression starts at home base (C), moves somewhat far away from home to IV (F) and then comes back home via the V7 chord. Doesn't it feel like a complete piece of music? Sounds nice when you get back to the C.

If you end on the V or V7, you'll find that the music sounds 'incomplete' or unfinished. Try:

C - Am - F - G7

This one sounds great, but if you don't return to C, it just won't feel quite right.


This is really one of the main purposes of the Dominant 7th chords - to increase the drive/push/impulse back to the tonic. The regular dominant chord does a good job, but, by adding the flatted 7th, you add a further drive to the tonic. For whatever reason, that flatted 7th on the dominant chord (F, in the case of a song in C major) really wants to fall to the third scale degree (E in this case). This is also why the major 7th chord doesn't have the same drive to another chord.


anyhoo - sorry if that's too much info - I often get carried away with these theory topics

JamieFromOntario
11-26-2011, 04:53 AM
And, just to muddy the waters a little - it depends a lot on what genre of music you're playing. Blues, for example, often uses dominant seventh (or sometimes ninth or 11th) chords for all or most of the major chords in the key. Of course, blues also violates some other "rules" in that you will often find both the minor and major third and the perfect and flat fifth being used.

That's the wonderful thing about music - memorable music is often defined more by the exceptions than by the rules. :)

John


John, I totally agree with you. Though I see the extra 7ths, 9ths, 11ths (or whatever) as adding flavour to the chords - they don't change their function. If you ignore these extraneous 'blue' notes, the general patterns of chords (aka I - IV - IV - II - V7 - I....or whatever progression) will be very similar to classical music using 'conventional' harmonies.


Of course, as you say, some of the best and most memorable music is that music that breaks the rules.
I was watching Neil Young's great concert/movie "Heart of Gold" last night; he certainly uses some different progressions - though the V7 to I resolution occurs frequently throughout.

Ukulele JJ
11-27-2011, 04:43 AM
Hey all, I'm progressing on the uku nicely but fiddling on the major scale is getting quite dull (or maybe I'm running out of ideas!) Well I wanted to incorporate some dominant 7th and major 7th...but how? and why?


Firstly let's make sure I'm using terms correctly:
(in the key of C)
dominant 7th : C E G A#
major 7th : C E G B

So what I guess I'm asking is, are there any general rules as to when you would use these 7th in progression? The dominant seems extra scary because if I was playing in the key of C, wouldn't the C7 chord be off because of the A#? Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks

Just to restate and add to what has been said, and to further answer your question...

You're right that, in the key of C major, the dominant seventh chord doesn't "naturally" occur with the C chord. That A# (or Bb) is outside of the key. But it does naturally occur with the G chord--that is, G7 is made up entirely of notes found in the C major scale.

In fact, that's a music theory "rule": The V chord in any major key (that is, the chord based on the fifth note of the scale) can be made into a V7 without having to go outside the key. So in the key of C, you have a G7. D has an A7, E has a B7, and so on.

But you might have noticed that some songs in the key of C do have a C7 despite the "rule".

Why would you do that?

And more importantly why does it work so well? ;)

Well, when the ear hears a dominant seventh chord, it usually "wants" it to resolve down a fifth. That is, we expect G7 chords to eventually change to a C chord, ideally on the very next chord.

Because G7 chords are so common in the key of C and naturally occur there, we're just used to hearing that sort of thing. The G7 chord is a signal to the western music-listening world that we are in the key of C, even if only temporarily. Our ears are just conditioned that way. And because of the built-in tension within the G7 chord (between the B and D notes, if you really want to know) the ear specifically expects a C chord to be next. It's sort of the "home base" for the key, and the most comfortable way to resolve musical tension.

This works with other chords too. When we hear an A7, we tend to think "hmm... it feels like D. I bet a D chord is next!" (Beause, remember, A7 is the "naturally occurring" dominant chord in the key of D.) This is true even if you're not fundamentally in the key of D!

When hear a B7, we often think "I feel an E major chord coming on!" whether or not you're actually in the key of E.

And yes, when we hear a C7, we expect an F chord to be next, even if we're not in F.

Which brings us to our answer: When you come across a dominant seventh chord that's foreign to the key you're in, it's probably because it's setting you up for the next chord a fifth lower.

Once you know this trick, you'll start seeing it everywhere*.

JJ




*In fact, it can even work multiple times in a row. Take the song "Five Foot Two" (please!). It uses this trick for pretty much the entire song!
In the key of C, it starts at home on C, but then throws us a curveball with an E7. That's pretty far out of the key of C (it only shares half the notes with the C major scale). Sure enough, the next chord is a fifth lower--an A7.

But A7 isn't in C either. Well wouldn't you know that it goes a fifth lower again, to D7.

That's not in C either, so we go down a fifth yet again to G7 which is the naturally-occurring dominant in C and, as expected, finally lands on a C major chord.

In other words, it's a cascade of chords moving down in fifths, jumping into different "keys of the moment" for very brief periods, and it works because it's all being signaled to our ears via the dominant seventh chord:

C, then... E7 -> A7 -> D7 -> G7 -> C (Ahhhh!!! Home at last!)

It's like starting on the bank of a creek and jumping onto a very wobbly rock in the creek. You "want" to jump to the next logical rock, but to your surprise it's wobbly too! (Although maybe not quite as much) Then you jump to the next suprisingly-wobbly-even-if-less-so rock, until you eventually make it to the other side, safe and sound on the firm ground of the tonic chord (C).

Doghouse_Riley
11-27-2011, 03:14 PM
"In other words, it's a cascade of chords moving down in fifths, jumping into different "keys of the moment" for very brief periods, and it works because it's all being signaled to our ears via the dominant seventh chord:

C, then... E7 -> A7 -> D7 -> G7 -> C (Ahhhh!!! Home at last!)"

Sorry bro but E7 -> A7 -> D7 -> G7 -> C is fourths not fifths.:) Start at E and count to A: E=1, F=2, G=3, A=4 Fourths movement is very common in Tin Pan Alley and jazz as in the ubiquitous ii/V7/I (in the key of C: Dm/G7/C). Five Foot Two is a Tin Pan Alley song and uses this common dominant 7 fourths movement.

Circle of fourths: http://www.pianoclues.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/circle-reverse.gif

Circle of fifths: http://www.guitaristguitarist.com/images/circle_of_fifths.jpg

Notice that the circles are the reverse of each other.

Sorry for the digression.

Something else concerning dominant 7 chords. The dominant 7 corresponds to the mixolydian mode, the 5th degree of the major scale. The tension of the dominant 7 chord is because it has aspects of both major and minor scales having a major 3rd like the major scale but a minor 7th like a minor scale.

Major Scale (Ionian mode): Root, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, major 6th, major 7th, octave. In the key of C: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

Minor Scale (Aeolian mode, relative minor, natural minor, 6th degree of the major scale): Root, major 2nd, minor 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, minor 6th, minor 7th, octave. Key of C: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A

Dominant 7 scale (mixolydian mode, 5th degree of the major scale): Root, major 2nd, major 3rd, perfect 4th, perfect 5th, major 6th, minor 7th, octave. Key of C: G, A, B, C, D, E, F, G

Ukulele JJ
11-27-2011, 05:11 PM
Sorry bro but E7 -> A7 -> D7 -> G7 -> C is fourths not fifths.:) Start at E and count to A: E=1, F=2, G=3, A=4

I said down in fifths.

Start at E and count down to A: E=1, D#=2, C#=3, B=4, A=5.

The circle are indeed the reverse of each other, which is why that works. Down a fifth is the same as moving up a fourth (and vis-versa).

But we typically think of something like G7 to C as moving down a fifth instead of up a fourth because G7 is the fifth degree of the C major scale. From a harmonic analysis standpoint, it's a V7 to I movement, not a I7 to IV movement.

JJ

Doghouse_Riley
11-27-2011, 08:33 PM
^ Ok. I see what you're saying. That's not how I would explain it, obviously. I've always been taught and talked with other musicians in 4ths movement. I'm primarily a bass player and when I first get a jazz chart I look for that 4ths movement. To me 5ths movement is F, C, G, D, A, E, B.

Just different ways of looking at it.

Ambient Doughnut
11-28-2011, 12:05 AM
I said down in fifths.

Start at E and count down to A: E=1, D#=2, C#=3, B=4, A=5.

The circle are indeed the reverse of each other, which is why that works. Down a fifth is the same as moving up a fourth (and vis-versa).

But we typically think of something like G7 to C as moving down a fifth instead of up a fourth because G7 is the fifth degree of the C major scale. From a harmonic analysis standpoint, it's a V7 to I movement, not a I7 to IV movement.

JJ

Very well explained! :)

JamieFromOntario
11-28-2011, 01:50 AM
I think i'm with Doghouse on the terminology here - I prefer describing the pattern in question as moving up in fourths. To me, the Sol-Do progression feels more a fourth than a fifth (I know it can really be either depending on from which way you are approaching the tonic.

I think that I'm with Doghouse because I am a frequent bass singer (ie the bass part of SATB). At cadence points, the sol-do figure more frequently occurs with the sol as the lower of the two notes; somehow, this arrangement feels more satisfying than when the sol is the higher of the two. In the same way, playing a G7 to C progression on a uke tuned with a low g is more satisfying than when played on a uke tuned re-entrent.

Also, if I were to sing or play (say on piano) the two different progressions, one moving by fourths, one by fifths, I would think about them as moving upwards. So, I think of the E7 -> A7 -> D7 -> G7 -> C progression as moving up in fourths - singing a series of sol-do's is just much easier when the movement is ascending. The same is true with the other progression.
I feel too that, if I were given a harmonization/voice-leading exercise, there would be more (low)sol-do figures. It strikes me that, with this figure, you are more likely to avoid parallel of hidden fifths and octaves (when harmonizing in four parts).

JJ, I do hear your point about how saying that the E7 -> A7 -> D7 -> G7 -> C progression is moving in fifths reinforces that each preceding chord is the dominant (aka based on the fifth scale degree). I can see that describing the progression that way may be more intuitive for many.