Dominant 7th chords
Explore the ingredients of this popular chord type, as heard in blues, jazz, funk, rock and more
Over the last two months we’ve been looking at major and minor 7th chords, so now we move on to the tense, bluesy-sounding ‘dominant’ style 7th. Like major 7th chords, dominant 7ths are a major chord with an extra note added. And, as with all chords, we’ll be using formulas to help you remember how each one is built. Whenever you look at how a chord or scale is constructed it is given a formula that compares it to the major scale. For example, the eight notes of the major scale are written as ‘1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8’ and the three notes of a major chord are written as ‘1 3 5’. The examples below show this approach in a practical setting.