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Understanding minor 7's

BrianJoeSandy

Member
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269
I just realised that to get a minor 7 chord all you have to do is add the major triad a tone and a half above.
eg E_7 is E G B D where G B D is the G major triad. I wonder how many know/use this on the way to getting all the chords internalised. A good example is F#_7, add major triad on A. Another one is B_7. Sorry if this should be in the beginners section. It works because a minor seven is minor third on major third on minor third ...
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
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2,678
Not sure if it's a beginner thing, probablly not. Playing the 7 triads of the major/minor scales as an exercise is a good way to obtain finger dexterity and gain a sonic understanding of chords.

Eg c e g, d f a, e g b, f a c, g b d, a c e, b d f, c e g, I teach to be able to do this forwards and backwards up and down the scale as a useful goal as triplets cleanly to 120 bpm.

Another example of what you have heard is the Dminor triad played on top of a G7 gives you the 9th 11th and 13th. G7 is the B diminished triad B D F played on top of G
 

zannad

Member
Messages
410
I just realised that to get a minor 7 chord all you have to do is add the major triad a tone and a half above.
eg E_7 is E G B D where G B D is the G major triad. I wonder how many know/use this on the way to getting all the chords internalised. A good example is F#_7, add major triad on A. Another one is B_7. Sorry if this should be in the beginners section. It works because a minor seven is minor third on major third on minor third ...

That's only one of the many ways you can use to "internalize" chords.
The more logical approach would be to add a minor third on top of a minor triad...others would prefer to think of a scale, e.g. if you need a Dm7 think of a C scale and find it on your sax - start from D and skip in thirds 3 times (3 jumps) and you get the 4 notes required to build your Dm7 - others ways are possible - I suggest to use all of them....especially those found by yourself...:thumb:
 

TomMapfumo

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,219
I just think of major scales, and then natural minor scales as the same except for b3rd, b6th and b7th notes. Major 7th chord/arpeggio is 1 3 5 7 notes; Minor 7th chord/arpeggio is then 1 b3 5 b7 notes. Never got into convoluted or subjective methods of doing it.

Simples!
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
I just think of major scales, and then natural minor scales as the same except for b3rd, b6th and b7th notes. Major 7th chord/arpeggio is 1 3 5 7 notes; Minor 7th chord/arpeggio is then 1 b3 5 b7 notes. Never got into convoluted or subjective methods of doing it.

Simples!

I always work from major scales and arpeggios too and work out what is flattened ie flattened 3rd and 7th for a minor 7th, flattened 3rd, 5th, and 7th for half diminished, flattened 7th for the the Dominant 7th etc - and this is how I teach my students too.
 
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zannad

Member
Messages
410
I just think of major scales, and then natural minor scales as the same except for b3rd, b6th and b7th notes. Major 7th chord/arpeggio is 1 3 5 7 notes; Minor 7th chord/arpeggio is then 1 b3 5 b7 notes. Never got into convoluted or subjective methods of doing it.

Simples!

Never liked that way (flattening and sharpening tones from the Major) - I mean the Natural Minor is already included in the Major (the Aeolian mode) so if necessary I think Aeolian rather than having to tweak certain tones...personally, I prefer to memorize other minor scales (Harmonic and Melodic) alongside the Major...(anything goes though, as long as we find our ways).
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,678
Once a student is confident with the diatonic triads IMO the next step is to add the next third in the stack and learn the diatonic chords of a scale.

I major II minor7 III minor7 IV maj7 V dominant 7 VI min7 (relative minor) VII min7b5 (half diminished). I find that once the ear understands these chords and how they function much of the harmony in songs starts to make sense.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,179
I find that once the ear understands these chords and how they function much of the harmony in songs starts to make sense.

This is the important point: we can use tricks for the fingers, as in the OP, but understanding harmony is essential.
Maybe the easy path is not the right one to develop an harmonic sense. Unless a saxophone player happens to play piano as well, to internalize harmony is part of the challenge.

I think a major triad a m3 above, only if the chord is a VI an I want to misplace harmony a bit, but this is my personal use of it.
 

BrianJoeSandy

Member
Messages
269
I think a major triad a m3 above, only if the chord is a VI an I want to misplace harmony a bit, but this is my personal use of it.
Intriguing, that gives me 1 3 5# 7 I think. Why VI and why misplace harmony. I'm out of my depth here.
 

aldevis

Surrealist Contributor.
Cafe Moderator
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12,179
Why VI and why misplace harmony. I'm out of my depth here.

Autumn leaves in A minor:
it is a sequel of A minor and C major cadences (Am is the VI of CM). The tune moves between the two relative tonalities.
Try to swap them when improvising: improvise in Am when the chords are in CM and in CM when in Am.
It sounds moderately wrong, and I like it.

Similar trick (more interesting): think concert CM/DbM on So What or, sharpening your 4ths, FM/F#M
 

jake

Member
Messages
32
Thanks a lot for all these posts on the topic.
I have just started memorising major chords on my tenor and this gives me a lead as to where I am going next.
 
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