Seventh Chords

Seventh Chords Feature Image

To understand this method of figuring out seventh chords, you must have a basic knowledge of the degrees of the major scale.

I will show you how to find every 7th chord you’ll ever need in three patterns and with four rules. Obviously, this will not show you every voicing there is on guitar but it is a start if you really want to try it.

The Three Patterns

Place your fingers where the numbers are. The numbers represent the degree of that note. (1=root note)

Seventh Chord Patterns - Dominant 7

The Four Rules

All of the rules refer to the chord symbol which is the expression used to name chords

  1. The 5th is natural unless you’re told otherwise by the chord symbol
  2. “7” means ♭7
  3. “maj7” means that the 7th is not flatted
  4. “min” (or “m”) means to flat the 3rd

Examples

A7
7th is flatted
A7♭5
7th and 5th are flatted
Amin7
7th and 3rd are flatted
Amaj7
7th is natural (not flatted)
Am maj7
3rd is flatted, 7th is natural
Am maj7♭5
3rd and 5th are flatted 7th is natural

Note: When you see “aug” or “+” raise the 5th a half step.

What you must do is adjust the patterns according to chord symbol. Examples are shown below.
Dominant 7 vs Major 7

Dominant 7 vs Minor 7

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