Feel the Blues and Jazz with Dominant 7th chords
The Dominant 7th Chords – sounds very heavy, isn’t it? Do not worry, it is not.
Dominant 7th chords are just some simple modifications of their parent chords. It is very easy to play with little practice.
There is a lot of confusion amongst guitarists with these chords. This is because of the multiple ways to denote these chords. Often the word ‘dominant’ is skipped so that the chords are called just 7th. Unless otherwise specified, when a guitarists talks of 7th chords, you can be sure they mean the Dominant 7th Chords.
How are Dominant 7th Chords formed?
A Dominant 7th Chord is very easy to form. In simple words, you just have to add the flatted 7th note to the major scale of parent chord.
Didn’t understand it?
Ok, let’s take an example. Consider the C major chord. Any major chord is formed by combining the root note, the third note and the fifth note. So the dominant 7th chord of C major (denoted as C7) will be a combination of the root note, the third note, the fifth note and the flatted 7th note (see below).
C D E F G A B
1 – 3 – 5 – b7
So, C7 = C E G Bb
Now look at the C7 chord below. Focus on the third fret of the third string. That is the Bb note. That is the note added to the regular C major chord.
Let’s take another example.
Consider the G7 chord. First we will write the scale of the G major chord. Then find all the relevant notes.
G A B C D E F#
1 – 3 – 5 – b7
So, G7 = G B D F
Now look at the G7 chord below. The first fret on the first string is the F note which is added to the regular G chord.
Isn’t it easy now?! Figure out the rest of the chords below yourself.
Where are the Dominant 7th Chords played?
Dominant 7th chords are mostly found in jazz and blues song. They bring a dissonance sound to the music. Hence they often lead strongly to another chord, especially the root note chord.