Seventh Chords

Structure and Function


A seventh chord (or 7th), is a four note chord containing a root, 3rd, 5th and 7th.

7th chord

There are several types of 7th chords - 7th, minor 7th (m7), major 7th (maj7), diminished 7th (dim7) and half diminished 7th (ø7)

Each is determined by the size of 3rd, 5th and 7th.

  • 7th = root, M3, P5 and m7
  • m7 = root, m3, P5 and m7
  • maj7 = root, M3 P5 and M7
  • dim7 = root, m3, dim5 and dim7
  • ø7 = root, m3, dim5 and m7

FREE DOWNLOAD: Seventh chords!

Click the icon to download s free PDF of ALL 7th, minor 7th and major 7th CHORDS.  You can then save a copy or print a hard copy of the included sheet.


Seventh Chords

The following 7th chords each contain a:

root - major 3rd - perfect 5th - minor 7th

7th-chords

Minor 7th Chords

The following minor 7th chords each contain a:

root - minor 3rd - perfect 5th - minor 7th

m7 chord
m7 chords
m7 chords broken

Diminished 7th Chords

The following dim 7th chords each contain a:

root - minor 3rd - dim 5th - dim 7th

dim7 chord
dim7 chords
dim7 broken chords

double flats & double sharps

Occasionally you will come across a double flat or double sharp, especially when dealing with diminished chords, diminished 7th chords or augmented chords

double flat

A double flat (pictured left) lowers - or flattens - a note twice without changing the letter name of the note.
So a B double flat would look the same on the keyboard, and sound the same, as an A - (both white keys); but it would be notated as a B double flat, not an A.

double sharp

A double sharp (pictured left) raises - or sharpens - a note twice without changing the letter name of the note.
So a C double sharp would look the same on the keyboard, and sound the same, as a D - (both white keys); but it would be notated as a C double sharp, not a D

In popular music with chord symbol notation, it is very common to re-spell some notes enharmonically to avoid using double sharps or double flats. For example:

enharmonic 1
enharmonic 2

The example below is the same as one above... however, the double flats have been respelled with more recognizable notes. The 7ths in the Cdim7 and the Fdim7 have been respelled enharmonically to an A and a D.

dimt chords alt

Half Diminished 7th Chords

The following half dim 7th (ø7) chords each contain a:

root - minor 3rd - dim 5th - m 7th

half dim7 chord

the m7b5 chord & ø7 chord

In popular music using chord symbol notation it is very common to use m7b5 instead of ø7 for a half diminished chord; for instance, Fm7b5 instead of Fø7. The notes and spelling are exactly the same. In Pop sheet music and jazz you would probably see Fm7b5

half dim7 chords

or

half dim7 chords broken

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7th chords - chord inversions - sus chords

extended chords - diatonic triads - diatonic 7th chords

primary chords - secondary chords - secondary dominants



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