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Guitar KnowledgeNet Member Lesson Diatonic 7th chords in C Major By Highintel

Diatonic 7th chords in C Major By Highintel

Member Image Highintel

Joined:7/18/2008, 10:15 am
Last Visit:1/7/2015, 7:06 pm

This lesson is of the 7 diatonic chords of the C major scale or key. Very important when training the ear to recognize diatonic harmonies and chord progressions. This same progression can be transposed in any key. The degrees of the scale are a great way to communicate with other educated musicians and to understand target notes. Example.. C = 1, D = 2, E = 3, F = 4, G = 5, A = 6, and B = 7. The chord progression of a 1, 4, 5 in the key of C Major would be C Major, F Major, and G Major.. With the chords I gave you those would be Major 7th and Dominant 7th chords.

Memorize this, (Major, Minor, Minor, Major, Major, Minor, Minor flat 5th). That is the qualaties of the chords in order!

The chords in this progression are all A shaped voicings. (Refer to GAGED sequence lesson for details on shaped voicings) The voicing starting with the lowest tone goes as follows...


The formulas for each quality of chord is here,

Major 7th = 1-3-5-7

Dominant 7th = 1-3-5-b7

Minor 7th = 1-b3-5-b7

Minor 7th flat 5th = 1-b3-b5-b7

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Friday 8:22 am, 7/25/2008 Report
Hey no prob Mike! I'de be happy to report or help work out any bugs. Sense I don't know crap about computers I will just report them..hehe

Speaking of, did you get my message on your first things to learn lesson?



Mike Lindyn
Friday 5:25 am, 7/25/2008 Report
Sorry about that.... I rest your comment. Did that happen when the site was running really slow? I kinda know what happened but I'm not sure why it happened.

From now on if that is about to happen the site will just give an error message and not leave the comment.

Wednesday 1:53 am, 7/23/2008 Report
by root chord I mean the chord from the root of the scale that the chords were taken from. Example..If G is the 5th then C is the root chord.

Makes sense as I am writing it but when I go back and read it I see how it can confuse people..poof_dance1

Wednesday 12:34 am, 7/23/2008 Report
Thanks Mike!

Taz, Actually that has to do with harmony and how leading tones work which may be why it is called the dominant 7th now that you mention it...hehe.

If you analyze the distance of the identifying notes in the dominant 7 compared to the root chord you will see that the 3rd of the dom7 is a half step behind the 1st of the root and the 7th of the dom7 is a half step in front of the 3rd of the root chord. The close leading tones make the strongest harmonic pull towards the root. That's why most songs turn around on the 5th. This makes for another great lesson in harmony and back cycling that I will post soon. Back cycling is a method used to create stronger harmonies in chord progressions and to make them more interesting.

Peace" Very happy

Mike Lindyn
Tuesday 2:40 pm, 7/22/2008 Report
This is one of the most important things you can learning as a guitarist. Diatonic 7ths are great to work with because they add another dimension to your playing. They also make Jazz and more complex progressions possible.

Awesome lesson! Dance

Tuesday 11:58 am, 7/22/2008 Report
Ahh okay I get it now cheers mate. I suppose they called a dominant 7th because when you compare the Maj7 to a Dom7 chord that flat 7th note is a lot more "dominant" sounding...or it is to my ears.

Very cool lesson mate I like it!!

Tuesday 3:43 am, 7/22/2008 Report
If a chord has a major 3rd and a major 7th, it is called a Major 7 chord. If a chord has a Major 3rd and a Flat 7th in it, it is called Dominant 7th. Why they chose those names is probably the same reason as why 12 inches is called a foot! Shortcut of reference I guess....

That might of answered the question better...lol

I developed my own method on understanding all of this that I will post lessons on here when I get a bit of time!


Tuesday 3:36 am, 7/22/2008 Report
Sure thing Taz! Actually it's simple with an example in comparison. If you look at the 4th chord FMaj7 and compare the distance to the 7th tone E to the root note F, you find that E(7) is a half step behind the root F(1). This is the major 7th interval distance. Look At CMaj7, The 7th note B is a half step behind the root C in that chord too. Now look at G7 the 5th chord. How far behind G is it's 7th tone F? It's a whole step. Speaking in intervals from the root, this is what is called a flat 7th. So the G chord naturally has a flat 7th just like the 7th chord of "C Major Key" B naturally has a flat 5th. A close study of intervals is important. The Guitar Grimuar has a good example of this in the first few pages. Other than that the book is only good as a dictionary..lol

I may think of an easier way to explain that but my brain is fried from teaching all day...lol I think I get more confusing as the day goes on!

Hope that helps my friend!


Monday 11:14 am, 7/21/2008 Report
I see you managed to sort it mate.

Fantastic lesson!! Really good insight and very simple to understand. I do have one question though. I understand that the V chord is a dominant 7th. What I don't get is why?? Can you explain that bit for me?? I can see why the I, II, III, IV, VI, VII chords are what they are but I don't understand why the V is a dmoinant 7th and not a Maj7th.

Monday 9:36 am, 7/21/2008 Report
???? For some reason it saved the wrong fret numbers! Anyone else have this problem? This was my first lesson on here so I may of screwed something up!..lol Seems pretty easy to use though!

If I can't edit this here are the correct frets,

CMaj7th = 3rd fret
Dm7th = 5th fret
Em7th = 7th fret
FMaj7th = 8th fret
GDom7th = 10th fret
Am7th = 12th fret
Bm7b5th = 14th fret