Music Theory #6 – Dominant Seventh Chords

Answers for the minor triads:

To complete the three most used/useful types of chords we must learn DOMINANT SEVENTH CHORDS. Seventh chords are 4 note chords and the name comes from the fact that when you spell them out you use the 1,3,5, and 7 of the scale. While there are many different types of seventh chords the most common one is the bluesy and tense dominant seventh chord. People almost always shorten the name to C7, E7, Db7 (D flat seven) without saying the word dominant.

For all the seventh chords that we will learn in the future, everyone says the full name i.e. C minor seven, B flat major seven, etc.

Compared to the major scale with the same starting pitch, you spell a dom 7: 1 3 5 b7. The b7 is treated the same as the b3 was in minor. You take whatever note is the 7 and make it one half step lower. 

In the G major scale the 7 = F# so the b7 = F. 

G7= G B D F

Eb7= Eb G Bb Db

Remember to experiment with using these as a collection sounds together, one after the other, in mixed up order, and with multiples of some sounds like G7 = F G D F B G G. They work like a salad!

Answers are included below but rely on our ability to work out the answers and listen to see if they sound right before using the answer page. Blues music is full of 7 chords so go listen or learn to play some to discover more. Hopefully even though you won’t understand everything about music theory, you will push yourself to use the new sounds and hunt for more insight.

DON’T SCROLL DOWN! Work out the answers. You’ll learn much more from your mistakes than your successes. -4star