What The F? Major 7 th Chords
Learn about major 7ths and put some colour into your chords
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