What The F? Ma­jor 7 th Chords

Learn about ma­jor 7ths and put some colour into your chords

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

There are two ba­sic types of chords: ma­jor and mi­nor. In their most sim­ple form they have three notes called a triad. Be­cause we’re lucky enough to have six strings on our gui­tars th­ese three notes are of­ten re­peated in dif­fer­ent reg­is­ters to give us a nice full sound. The thing is, th­ese two chords types are black and white. A ma­jor chord sounds happy, while a mi­nor chord sounds sad. So what do you do when you want dif­fer­ent shades in your mu­sic? Well, you in­sert ex­tra notes to th­ese ba­sic chords. The ma­jor 7th chord is pro­duced by adding a fourth note to a three-note ma­jor chord. Let’s look at how you do this.

1 mak­ing a ma­jor chord

This is the C ma­jor scale. As you can see there are seven notes with the first note (called the root note) re­peated at the end in a higher reg­is­ter. A ma­jor chord is con­structed by us­ing the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of this scale. Like the scale the root note is of­ten re­peated in a higher reg­is­ter.

2 con­struct­ing a ma­jor 7th chord

The ma­jor 7th chord adds a fourth note to the ma­jor chord. No­tice there is only one fret’s dif­fer­ence be­tween the two chords, but the ma­jor 7th chord has a more float­ing, re­flec­tive sound.

3 Ma­jor 7th chords in con­text

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