Most Common Variations on the Seventh Chord

"'Backdoor' ii-V" in C: ii- Unable t...Image via Wikipedia
Most Common Variations on the Seventh Chord:

* All these chords are possible substitutions for the plain sounding seventh chord, although not every alternative works in all situations. This leaves experimentation up to you.

* All the chords in the group below contain the flat seven (Bb).


* An understanding of these C7 chord types will lead to mastery of the corresponding chords in other keys. Figure them out, write them down, practice them, and memorize them.


C9 = C E G Bb D


Caug7 = C E G# Bb


C7-9 = C E G Bb Db


C7+9 = C E G Bb D#


Csus4(7) = C F G Bb


C11 = C E G Bb D F

Exercises on C Am Dm G7

This simple four-chord progression contains major, minor, and seventh chords. Thus, it makes a wonderful basis for an exercise witht the chord substitutions. Practice using all the substitutions we have learned in this pattern until your hands are familiar with the chords and your ears are familiar with how they sound.


C = C E G

Am = A C E


Dm = D F A


G7 = G B D F


Scale-tone 7th Chords
The Scale-tone 7th chords of the major scale are formed in the same way as the scale-tone triads . For the 7th chords four notes of the major scale are used instead of three.

  1. By stacking three alternate notes of the C major scale on top of the tonic C, a C major 7th chord is formed :
    C - E - G - B
  2. Stacking three alternate notes of the C major scale on top of D produces the second scale-tone 7th chord, this time Dm7 :
    D - F - A - C
  3. Stacking three alternate notes of the C major scale on top of E produces the third scale-tone 7th chord, Em7 :
    E - G - B - D
    and so on.
Repeating this process for each note of the C major scale produces seven scale-tone 7th chords.



  • the I Chord is always a major 7th chord

  • the II Chord is always a minor 7th chord

  • the III Chord is always a minor 7th chord

  • the IV Chord is always a major 7th chord

  • the V Chord is always a dominant 7th chord

  • the VI Chord is always a minor 7th chord

  • the VII Chord is always a half diminished chord

  • Learn about nearest notes and common notes:
    Seventh Chords


    Here's a review on altered chords, chord substitutions, secondary chords:
    http://mugglinw.ipower.com/chordmaps/part4.htm
     
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