Major 7th Chords

You've encountered Major 7th Chords before - but what does that 7 actually mean?


View the full lesson at Major 7th Chords | JustinGuitar

I started Justin’s Practical Music Theory book a while ago and I’m in grade 4 of the theory course, but I started to dip into quadads already.

I’ve been playing around with major 7, dominant 7 and minor 7 chords, and something occurred to me with which I’d need your help. The chord formulas are the following:

Major 7: 1, 3, 5, 7 – e.g. A maj 7: A, C#, E, G#
Minor 7: 1, b3, 5, b7 – e.g. A min 7: A, C, E, G
A (dominant) 7: 1, 3, 5, b7 – e.g. A7: A, C#, E, G

Here comes my dilemma: what if I flatten only the 3rd of the major 7? It sounds somewhat weird, but what would that chord (1, b3, 5, 7) be called when minor 7 is already used for a different type?

From my understanding it would be a minMaj7 chord. ie. a minor triad with a major 7.

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Shane just plumbed it into to SmartChord and it does show an Ammaj7. Yeah and a whole host of slash chords, How you playing it x02110 ? Never heard of that before but just hit PMT 4.2 this afternoon.
:sunglasses:

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MinorMajor7 is a fairly well known chord for folks who push beyond the usual every-day path.

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Yes, x02110 would be it. It seems to be a case similar to when we use parentheses in mathematics then :smiley: like minor(major 7).

Thank you. Sometimes it feels good to take a little detour off the beaten track. :slight_smile:

It sound interesting in theory, getting late but will have a little dabble with this tomorrow!
:sunglasses:

Does it fall into any particular genre or used generally across the board ? Not something I’ve encountered before.

Toby
Check Justin’s lesson on Rocking Around The Christmas Tree - at 3 minutes.
There is a sequence
Fm, Fminmaj7, Fmin7 Fmin6
He references jazz, rockabilly The Beatles song Michelle.

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Ok my non audible brain, suggests that would sound like a form of walkdown, looking at the chord sequence. One to pursue with hands and ears.
:sunglasses:

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