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?7 Chords

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?7 Chords

Postby avion » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:04 pm

Hello all, not sure about this being a theory question but I'm trying to wrap my limited grey matter around this. Why are the ?7 chords called "7"? Take it easy on me, I'm an old guy just beginning to learn to play the guitar (as of December).your help appreciated all!
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Re: ?7 Chords

Postby mreisz » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:30 am

The notes of a scale are numbered. In a G scale, G is 1, A is 2 etc. It gets a bit odd in that an F# would be the 7th note, but a G7 has an natural F. 7 chords use a minor seventh. So in a nutshell a 7 chord is just a major chord with the addition of a minor 7th note.
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Re: ?7 Chords

Postby avion » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:57 am

Thanks a million Mike! Well explained and Understand that now!
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Re: ?7 Chords

Postby oldhat » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:41 pm

Avion,

I wanted to mention what I consider the common use of the 7th chord.....It's a nice transition chord. To me it does not only add to enriching the sound, but it kind of let's other folks playing know where you are going.

For instance, If you are hanging out in G and the next chord is C, show that G7 before you go into C and others will know the next chord. If you end up going to a D then you can show that D7 before you go back to G and the others can follow you.

If you start venturing into blues and jazz then be prepared to become real familiar with your 7th chords.

That's my "layman's" idea on 7th chords and how to show them properly to help other musicians that know how to play bu tmay not know the progression....you help them out by showing that 7th and they then somewhat know where you are going. It's a way of being courteous when picking with others on songs they may not be familiar with.

Hope I have helped.
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Setting The Ear Up

Postby 5stringpreacher » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:18 pm

I've heard the idea about 7th chords being transition chords, but I've also heard that they set our ears up for certain chords because they leave something missing.

If I'm understanding correctly, this is an example what I'm learning:

For instance if you play this progression: C - F - G7 - C You will notice how the G7 leaves our ear on edge until it is relieved by the C chord

Now play this progression: C - F - G7 - F - C Even though we threw in an F chord after G7, our ear still didn't feel relieved until we progressed into the C chord

So if it is the G7 that sets our ear up for C, then it would stand to reason that D7 would set our ear up for G ... but my ear doesn't seem to go through the same stress/relief process like with the G7 and C

Did I make any sense at all?
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Re: ?7 Chords

Postby markrocka » Mon Sep 12, 2016 9:18 pm

7ths are great transition chords. The reason for that, at least the way I understand it, is that the minor 7th note in the chord is literally walking down the root note to the 1st inversion of the 4 chord.

So, for example, the 1, 4 & 5 of the key of G is G, C & D.

G chord = G B D
C chord = C E G

The minor 7th note of the G scale is an F. So, you're walking the G (root) note of the G chord down to the E (1st inversion) note of the C chord. That E in the C chord is the resolve your ear is wanting to hear.

What I've never understood is why we call it a G7 when it's technically a Gm7. To my knowledge, that's the only label we do that with. A G6 is the actual 6th note of the scale. A G9 is a minor 7th + the actual 2nd (9th) note on the scale.... so why the G7 label?
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Re: ?7 Chords

Postby mreisz » Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:27 am

markrocka wrote:so why the G7 label?


I am guessing, but I think it is simply because it is the most common type of 7 chord (a minor 7th over a major chord). Your G7 example is also called a "G dominant 7th chord" but that's just too many words for a lazy guy like me. Also, (again guessing) another commonly used chord is a minor chord with a minor 7 and that is commonly written as something like Am7 (which is often used in the key of C). Making the "normal" G7 denote the minor-ness of the seventh would then make it difficult to describe a m7 chord.

Now that I typed that I had a further thought... did you ever notice that all the normal chords in a given key use the notes from the scale of the key you are playing in? In the key of C we "normally" use base chords of C, F, G and Am. All those chords are made of notes found in the C scale. Getting back to the 7 chord, the F major of the G7 chord belongs to the major scale (C) of which G is the dominant (5th) note. Sooooo, since we are playing in C when we "normally" use G7 (like a couple guys pointed out above) the normal note to be added in the key of C would be an F (which is in the C scale) and not an F# (which is in the G scale). So the 5 (or dominant) chord (G) would "normally" have an m7 (relative to G) for that chord added. Since that is "normal" someone just named it the most easy way (simply as a G7).

I think I talked myself into a circle, but it made sense as I was typing it. I hope it makes sense to anyone else who reads it :oops:
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Re: ?7 Chords

Postby markrocka » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:32 am

mreisz wrote:
markrocka wrote:so why the G7 label?


I think it is simply because it is the most common type of 7 chord (a minor 7th over a major chord).


That's probably as good-an explanation as any, I guess. It's just always struck me as odd since that minor 7th note doesn't even fall on the major scale of the root note.

mreisz wrote:Now that I typed that I had a further thought... did you ever notice that all the normal chords in a given key use the notes from the scale of the key you are playing in?


YES! That was actually one of my AHA! moments I posted about in another thread. Like when playing in C, we often switch to the D before moving to G. For years I called that a 1, 2, 5 progression until a friend pointed out that there's a note in the D chord that doesn't fall on the C scale. So it's actually a 1, 5 of 5, 5 progression. That one little explanation from my friend opened up all kinds of realizations for me. Theory is so cool!

I think I see what you're saying regarding the C and G scales. If you're transitioning from a G to a C, the F note that makes the transition sound good is in the C scale, which is the key you're transitioning to. Did I understand you correctly?

Yes, that's really interesting! I hadn't considered the shift in the scale to be a factor in the transition, but that makes perfect sense. You're shifting out of one scale into another, leaving the ear wanting resolution to the new scale.

Did I mention theory is cool? :)
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Re: ?7 Chords

Postby mreisz » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:46 am

markrocka wrote:I think I see what you're saying regarding the C and G scales. If you're transitioning from a G to a C, the F note that makes the transition sound good is in the C scale, which is the key you're transitioning to. Did I understand you correctly?


Yep, with one minor note on the key. Let's say we play the following chord progression (in the key of C): C, F, G, G7 and then back to C. While playing all those chords, we are still staying in our key of C.

To rephrase what I was trying to say in the earlier post, I think that our ears like to hear the F in the G7 chord as it creates tension because there is a small bit of dissonance with the G chord, but the F is part of the C scale (which is the key we are playing in) so it telegraphs to where it wants to resolve.
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Re: ?7 Chords

Postby 5stringpreacher » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:00 pm

I feel like I just asked for someone to give me a drink of water and yall two just opened up a fire hydrant.

Good stuff.
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