7th chords on piano are often the first group of 4 note chords people learn. Seventh chords are quite common and you'll find them everywhere. So they're definitely a chord family to learn!
Here you'll find:
7th chords or seventh chords are a 4 note piano chord.
A 7th chord has the root note (which can include a sharp or flat) and a 7. That's it. For example: C7, C#7, Bb7.
Note: this chord is different than a 7th chord that has a m or M - or any other additional letters or symbols. This one only has the 7.
Chords are built on major scales. When you have a 7th chord, you start on the first note of the scale and count up 7 notes. This 7th note that you land on is a note in this chord.
However, with a 7th chord, you need to lower that note a semi-tone (go to the next note to the left, whether black or white).
In music theory, the way to find this 7th note of a chord is to count up to that 7th note in whatever major scale the chord is in. Then you need to lower that note. For example, F# becomes F or B becomes Bb.
You need to be aware of the key signature when doing this. (There's another way to work this out also I'll explain below.)
All chords have a formula and the 7th chord is no different.
7th Chord Formula: 1 3 5 b7.
This chord is made up partly of the major chord (which is the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of a major scale) and then the second part which is the 7th.
We've added in the 7th note there but also something else. The "b" - a flat. When you see this, it means to lower the note a semi-tone. So b7 means lowered 7th.
Here is an easy pattern you can use to find a 7th chord.
1. Play the major chord.
2. Skip 2 semi-tones.
3. Play the next semi-tone. This is the 7th note.
This will work on any 7th chord starting on any note.
Seventh chords pop up all over the place. They are used to create more interest and make a song go beyond the basic major and minor chords.
One of the main places to find a 7th chord is near the end on a piece of music - especially if it's a classical piece. It's often the chord that comes right before the final chord of the song.
You'll also find this in modern and pop songs.
It is a foundational chord for both blue and jazz.
All 7th Chords:
C7 = C E G Bb
C#7 - C# E# G# B
Db7 = Db F Ab Cb
D7 = D F# A C
Eb7 = Eb G Bb Db
E7 = E G# B D
F7 = F A C Eb
F#7 = F# A# C# E
Gb7 = Gb Bb Db Fb
G7 = G B D F
G#7 = G# B# D# F#
Ab7 = Ab C Eb Gb
A7 = A C# E G
Bb7 = Bb D F Ab
B7 = B D# F# A
If you can read music, go to the major scales page and practice making chords based off of the scales written there.
If you don't read music all that well, you can practice this using the pattern outlined above. Play a major chord and then find the 7th note to add in to it.
You can check all your chords with the free Ultimate Chord Cheat Sheet below.
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