Chords G and G7

Tatcho

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Being a 'Newby' and one of my first posts I am having a small problem with these two chords. Whenever I play them on my concert they sound exactly the same. Is my "tuning ear" not working properly? Is there really any difference?
 

jollyboy

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Being a 'Newby' and one of my first posts I am having a small problem with these two chords. Whenever I play them on my concert they sound exactly the same. Is my "tuning ear" not working properly? Is there really any difference?

Try playing them both in a simple progression - C F G then C F G7 - that should make the difference clearer.

Edit: In each case note how strongly you feel the need to return to (and end on) C :)
 
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Tatcho

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Yep jollyboy I do hear the difference when I play those chords with the G & G7. I've been playing them over and over for the past 10 minutes and the difference is very obvious really. Thanks.
 

Mivo

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No, it's not just you. :) I noticed this more on the baritone (where it's D and D7), and a quick googling revealed that guitar players ask the same question. I do hear the difference in a chord progression (when you go from G7 to C again vs. from G to C, or from D/D7 to G on the baritone), like Jollyboy mentioned, but when I just play the two chords back and forth, I hear no clear difference, even though there is an extra note. I hope some day I will, in my own playing. I imagine it's trainable. But yes, we're not the only ones who noticed this. (Phew!)
 

jollyboy

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Yep jollyboy I do hear the difference when I play those chords with the G & G7. I've been playing them over and over for the past 10 minutes and the difference is very obvious really. Thanks.

Glad it helped :)

No, it's not just you. :) I noticed this more on the baritone (where it's D and D7), and a quick googling revealed that guitar players ask the same question. I do hear the difference in a chord progression (when you go from G7 to C again vs. from G to C, or from D/D7 to G on the baritone), like Jollyboy mentioned, but when I just play the two chords back and forth, I hear no clear difference, even though there is an extra note. I hope some day I will, in my own playing. I imagine it's trainable. But yes, we're not the only ones who noticed this. (Phew!)

I agree that it can be hard to distinguish between G and G7 when they are played back to back. I'm still relatively new to all this myself and am just starting to learn some basic music theory. My understanding is that, with 7ths, it's all about how they work in context, ie how they affect and 'colour' a progression. So, that's when you really notice the difference :)
 
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jollyboy

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Thanks davidksmusicschool !!

My, what a lot of links you have in your sig...
 

TopDog

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I instantly thought of one song that our group play regularly,
which has a change during the chorus, from G to G7 and the
difference is immediately noticeable to me! But that may be
because going way back to when I played guitar, the change
was always there,and always just a routine change to play!
 

BobMichel

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Give your ear time to hear the difference between similar chords. G and G7 are different, but if you're playing a song in the key of C (i.e., one that ends on a C chord), one can often be substituted for the other without making a huge change in the harmony. On the other hand, if the song you're playing is in the key of G (ends on a G chord), your ear picks up the difference much more easily.

Here's something that might help: first play a G chord. You're holding down the E (second highest) string at the third fret, right? Now try playing the same chord with one change: hold down the E string at the second fret (you'll need to rearrange the fingers on your left hand to do this). Finally, play your G7 chord, holding that same string down at the first fret.

You've just played a fairly common chord sequence: G/Gmaj7 ("major seventh")/G7. You probably won't need that second chord again for a while, and don't worry just now about the chords' names or the theory behind them. Just listen to the movement in the harmony as you walk down that second string. It's a good exercise in ear training, and after you do it a few times the difference between G and G7 may be a bit easier to hear.

Bob Michel
Near Philly