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  1. #1
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    Default 7 Dominant Chords

    Hello all,

    This is my first time posting on here, this seems like a great resource! If anyone could help clarify some things for me I have the following questions regarding dominant 7 chords:

    I have read that one can use Dom 7th chords for ALL chords in a blues progression, is this true and if so does it change the key? Also why would this be specific to blues and not music in general?

    I have also read that typically the 7th major chord is a good substitue for the 5th chord in a Major chord progression...is there any theory reason as to why it can't be used for the 1,2,3,4,6 etc. chords? Also, where does the 7th major chord fit into minor chord progressions?

    Is it a major chord? If so than I am a bit confused as their a both 7th Dom chords and 7th Major chords.


    Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Premium Member palico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paaron85 View Post
    Hello all,

    This is my first time posting on here, this seems like a great resource! If anyone could help clarify some things for me I have the following questions regarding dominant 7 chords:

    I have read that one can use Dom 7th chords for ALL chords in a blues progression, is this true and if so does it change the key? Also why would this be specific to blues and not music in general?

    I have also read that typically the 7th major chord is a good substitue for the 5th chord in a Major chord progression...is there any theory reason as to why it can't be used for the 1,2,3,4,6 etc. chords? Also, where does the 7th major chord fit into minor chord progressions?

    Is it a major chord? If so than I am a bit confused as their a both 7th Dom chords and 7th Major chords.


    Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
    You have a couple of question here
    1. Can you use Dom 7th chord for ALL chords in Blues Progression? and does that change the key.
    - Yes and it's very common. No it doesn't change they key. Why? Because Blues mixes up Major and Minor tonality to create it's sound. If I'm soloing over a E7 A7 B7 12-bar blues in fact the most often used scale will be a Blues E minor scale. Even more confusion here. One the Blues E minor is one a minor of the same note I'm playing a major or 7th over and is really just the E minor penatonic with a flatted 5th added. Simple answer, it's blues it needs to feel right not follow any logic! lol. My best answer here Dom 7th create feeling of want to resolve to something. It's about tension and release, so it works for blues based material. Maybe someone else can come along and correct me here or explain a bit better.

    2. read that typically the 7th major chord is a good substitue for the 5th chord in a Major chord progression
    - Not sure you might have Dom 7th and major 7th confused here. A dom 7th includes a flat 7 notes an Major 7 includes the natural 7th note. So I would not see a major 7th being a good subsitute in a major scale but a Dom 7th would. Why? If I'm playing a C Major scale C D E F G A B . G is my fifth of that scale. So to construct the chord for the 5th (G) I would use the 1 3 & 5 notes from G. So that is G B & D, which are all in the C Major scale and make the G Major chord. Now if I wanted to extend by adding a 7th, that would F from the C major scale. That would make it the G7 chord, not a G Maj 7th. G Maj 7th would have F# not F. So If I wanted to add the 7th to 1st, 4th and 5th chords. Well the first would be C E G & B or C maj 7. My 4th of F would have F A C E which is a F maj 7 but the G would end up G7 (G B D F).

    One thing to keep in mind is theory explains why something tends to work. It doesn't define it. Sometimes in music you will find notes outside a key in a solo or even chord. Done tastefully they can create a dissonance in the sound which can be useful. The flat 5 is good example. For instance play a A power chord. Follow it up with a D# power chord. D# doesn't make sense. It's dissonate but enough to create an almost evil sounding progression, which depending on the mood you what to portray might be exactly what you want.

  3. #3
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    Thank you very much!!! So are Dom 7th chords neither Major nor minor?




    Quote Originally Posted by palico View Post
    You have a couple of question here
    1. Can you use Dom 7th chord for ALL chords in Blues Progression? and does that change the key.
    - Yes and it's very common. No it doesn't change they key. Why? Because Blues mixes up Major and Minor tonality to create it's sound. If I'm soloing over a E7 A7 B7 12-bar blues in fact the most often used scale will be a Blues E minor scale. Even more confusion here. One the Blues E minor is one a minor of the same note I'm playing a major or 7th over and is really just the E minor penatonic with a flatted 5th added. Simple answer, it's blues it needs to feel right not follow any logic! lol. My best answer here Dom 7th create feeling of want to resolve to something. It's about tension and release, so it works for blues based material. Maybe someone else can come along and correct me here or explain a bit better.

    2. read that typically the 7th major chord is a good substitue for the 5th chord in a Major chord progression
    - Not sure you might have Dom 7th and major 7th confused here. A dom 7th includes a flat 7 notes an Major 7 includes the natural 7th note. So I would not see a major 7th being a good subsitute in a major scale but a Dom 7th would. Why? If I'm playing a C Major scale C D E F G A B . G is my fifth of that scale. So to construct the chord for the 5th (G) I would use the 1 3 & 5 notes from G. So that is G B & D, which are all in the C Major scale and make the G Major chord. Now if I wanted to extend by adding a 7th, that would F from the C major scale. That would make it the G7 chord, not a G Maj 7th. G Maj 7th would have F# not F. So If I wanted to add the 7th to 1st, 4th and 5th chords. Well the first would be C E G & B or C maj 7. My 4th of F would have F A C E which is a F maj 7 but the G would end up G7 (G B D F).

    One thing to keep in mind is theory explains why something tends to work. It doesn't define it. Sometimes in music you will find notes outside a key in a solo or even chord. Done tastefully they can create a dissonance in the sound which can be useful. The flat 5 is good example. For instance play a A power chord. Follow it up with a D# power chord. D# doesn't make sense. It's dissonate but enough to create an almost evil sounding progression, which depending on the mood you what to portray might be exactly what you want.

  4. #4

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    You can do anything you decide to do and should feel good about that based on if you reached your intended art of the moment. However, based on common themes that sound good historically in a universal way AKA music theory.. Yes people commonly play all dominant 7th chords on I IV V changes but it DOES change the key. Every dominant chord is the V chord of a major scale.. also other scales but they are less used in the genre you mentioned.
    So for this progression:
    E7 - A7 - B7
    The keys/major scales you play are
    A major scale on the E7 chord
    D major scale on the A7 chord
    and E major scale on the B7 chord

    Most reference the tonal center of E for each major scale... since mode sounds occur from comparing the tonal center to the scale set used we get these sounds...

    E mixolydian on the E7
    E dorian on the A7
    E ionian on the B7

    People who play the minor 3rd over a 7 chord usually do it because they don't know any better.. some do it to create a 7#9 chord.. like hendrix. Either way.. back to the start.. anything is good if you decide to do it as an intended sound you want.

    This gets into better detail in my live jamchat sessions.. come in and ask about this and I will do a full rundown and examples.

    Allen

    P.S. yeah the 7th chords are major triads besides the b7th note

  5. #5

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    Forgot to mention also that 7 chord as V over the MINOR tonal center usually means harmonic minor there... same as major triad on V of minor cause the 3rd of that chord forces the leading tone of tonal center one.
    Harmonic minor is just the 6th note tonal center of the major scale that has the 5th note raised a half step.

    Nothing new or different.
    Thrill is gone BB KING uses harmonic minor in this way... many songs do in many gebres.. blues is not some special case.. All the same since sound doesn't change how it works cause you call something blues.

    Again visit my love jamchat lessons and never be confused again.

  6. #6
    Premium Member palico's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification Allen. I didn't realize it changed the key doing it that way. The E mixolydian to E dorian, to E ionioan make sense as the E minor penatonic pattern fits nicely into any of those, which is what I've seen most people use in that context. Since I understand better about it, opens up some ideas! on throwing in other notes from the scales at the right points. hmmm. that could be a fun way to do something a bit different that everyone else.

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    Awesome, thank you...great explanation!!!!

  8. #8
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    Thank you! I will def. check out your lessons!

  9. #9
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    Allen sure is one heck of a clever cookie.
    When doing an 8 or 13 bar blues (for example) with E7, A7 and B7, which notes are you best to play? All of them! Some will sound better than others. So sure E would sound better than C but it helps with painting an audio audible picture.

 

 

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