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Thread: Dominant 7th vs. Major 7th

  1. #1

    Default Dominant 7th vs. Major 7th

    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

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    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?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    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!

  4. #4

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    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?

  5. #5
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    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...

  6. #6
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    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.
    Last edited by SuzukHammer; 11-24-2011 at 02:24 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzukHammer View Post
    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
    Last edited by ramone; 11-24-2011 at 03:13 PM.

  8. #8
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    Yes, thank you for that splanation.

  9. #9
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    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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tor View Post
    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.

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