Major 7th, Minor 7th and Dominant 7th Arpeggios

composition 3 major minor dominant 7 a Reviews

In this lesson we’re going to take a look at the major 7th, minor 7th, and dominant 7th arpeggios. These arpeggios are similar to the major and minor one but with an added 7th interval.

The 7th arpeggios can add a bit of color to your playing, particularly when the seventh degree is used. It pulls in the bluesy feel over the blues progression beautifully.

What are Seventh Chords

Although there are many definitions of “chord”, the most common one is a harmonic grouping of notes that can be sounded together. A seventh is made up of two notes with seven letter names (e.g. A and G.

A “seventh chord” can be described as a chord that consists of a triad and a note that forms the interval of a seventh above a chord’s root (the lowest notes). Here’s an example:

It doesn’t matter how the notes have been shaped or flattened, this chord is still a seventh-chord, even though the type of seventh chord has changed.

There are five types of seventh chords: dominant, diminished and diminished. This article will focus on the dominant and diminished seventh chords.

Although there are many uses for seventh chords, they have been used to create tension through harmony. This allows the writer to emphasize movement by addressing tension.

Seventh chords were used mainly as embellishments in the past. However, dissonance has become more mainstream over the 20th and 21st century. Seventh chords are also mainstays in certain genres like jazz and metal where dissonance can be used to create harsh and funky sounds.

What are Dominant and Diminished Seventh Chords

Music’s dominant and diminished seventh chords can be important and common features. You’d be hard-pressed to find music that doesn’t include either one of these chords. They are so common that students must know them well to get higher grades on the ABRSM exams.

They can also sound dissonant and strange. They can sound beautiful and logical when used in the context of the entire piece. These chords are likely familiar to many people, and they can be heard in many pieces of music without them being noticed.

3 Variations of Arpeggios – Major, Dominant and Minor 7th

These 7th arpeggiate patterns are made using four main notes and selected chord notes from different major and minor scales. When we sing these arpeggiate patterns, our pitch is checked. These are the basic intervals described in another section, ‘Minor’ and ‘Major.

The 7th arpeggiate is named so because it includes a 7th note from the scale.

There are three main types of 7th arpeggiate progression: Major 7th, Dominant7th and Minor 7.

  • Major 7th arpeggio in solfeggio notation: 1 (To), 3 (Mi), 5 (Salt), 7 (Ti), 1 (High To)
  • Dominant 7th arpeggio in solfeggio notation: 1 (Doh), 3 (Mi), 5 (Salt), b7 (Ti flat), 1 (High Doh)

If you’re observant enough you’ll notice that there is only one difference between the Major 7th Progression and the Dominant 7th Progression. The Major 7th Progression uses a 7 (Ti) note while the dominant 7th Progression uses a b7 (7 (Ti flat).

  • Minor 7th arpeggio in solfeggio notation: 1 (C), b3 (E-flat), 5 (Salt), b7 (T-Flat), 1 (High C)

You can also see the difference in the Minor 7th Progression from the Dominant 7th Progression. The Dominant 7th Progression uses note 3 (Mi), while the minor 7th progression uses note b3(E-flat). It is possible to make subtle differences in the arpeggiate progression constructions.

Major 7th Arpeggios

Major 7th arpeggios can be derived from the major 7th chord notes. To create the major7th chord, you simply add the major7th interval to a major chord. This will create a 4-note chord.

Major chords include the root, major 3rd and perfect 5th intervals. The root, major 3rd and perfect 5th intervals make up the major 7th chord.

Major 7th Root Major 3rd Perfect 5th Major 7th

In the diagram below you can see the intervals of a major scale (from C-E-G) with major 7th chords highlighted. The guitar fretboard is a helpful tool in musical composition it can provide the “distance” between each structure and make possible useful relative comparisons. You can use this technique when relating major 7th chords to the dominant 7th chords or major arpeggios, and when relating minor 2nd arpeggios to minor 2nd arppegios.

CAGED Chord Forms

Below are the forms of arpeggio. We’ll use the CAGED system for relating the arpeggio form to a chord. Even though they may not match the form as closely as the base chord, it is still helpful to establish the connections between the arpeggio and the chord form.

Each diagram shows the chord (left), arpeggio, and suggested fingering. You can change the fingering to suit your needs.

Each fretboard diagram has the tab for the arpeggio and an audio clip.

Pay attention to the root notes for each arpeggio shape as you learn them. This root note provides an anchor point from which to identify arpeggio patterns, and then move between them.

C form

The major C shape chord is very similar to the C form major 7th chord. Only the difference is that the root note on the second string is moved down half a step to reach the major 7th interval.

Two root notes are found in the C form major 7th Arpeggio. They can be found on the 5th and 2nd strings.

Play the arpeggio starting and ending on the bass root note. Make sure you play through all the notes ascending or descending. The tab below can be used to help you.

A Form

The A form is also very similar to the base major form, with the only difference being that the root note of the 3rd chord has been moved down half a step to the major 7 interval.

The 5th and 3rd string are where the root notes for the A Form Major 7th arpeggio can be found. The bass root is the starting point for the arpeggio. Refer to the tab below.

 G Form  

It is difficult and awkward to play the G form major 7th chord in its most pure G form. It is better to follow the diagram.

Three root notes can be found on the G form major 7th arpeggio. They are located on the 1st and 3rd strings, respectively.

E Form

The E form major 7th chord is now CAGED major, with the root on 4th string being moved down half a step to the major 7.

The E form major 7th arpeggio also includes three root notes. They are located on the 1st and 4th strings, respectively.

D Form

To form the D chord major 7th chord, move the major D root on the 2ndstring down half a step to the major 7. This position contains the root two root notes found on the 5th and 2nd strings.

Dominant 7th Arpeggios

A dominant is the fifth note on any scale in music (ie. “sol” is “do-remi-fas-sol”. A dominant seventh chord is composed of the dominant triad (the root of the dominant chord’s dominant chord), and an additional note, a minor seventh.

For example, G-B-D–F is the dominant seventh chord in C minor (or major).

Roman numerals are used to denote chords. Dominant seventh chords are noted with “V7”. You’ll notice a “7” beside the root of the chord in piano/guitar chords. The chord shown above, for example, is a G7.

Major 7th arpeggios are very similar to dominant arpeggios, with the only difference being in the quality of the 7th interval. Major 7th arpeggios have a major 7th, while dominant 7th arpeggios have a minor 7.

Major 7th Root Major 3rd Perfect 5th Major 7th
Dominant 7th Root Major 3rd Perfect 5th Minor 7th

A minor 7 is found in the dominant 7th arpeggios

C Form

The C form dominant 7th chord is the one with the bass root on the fifth string. The 5th string is left out, leaving only the root, 3rd and 7th. The chord’s quality is determined by the minor 3rd and 7th intervals. Therefore, the 5th is not necessary.

Strings 5 and 2 contain the two root notes for the arpeggio.

A Form

The base major A chord chord is closely modeled by the A form dominant 7th chord. To include the minor 7th degree, the root on the third string is moved down one step.

Root notes on the 5th, and 3rd strings are included in the dominant 7th arpeggio. It is difficult to play the A form arpeggio at first due to the need for a few position shifts, especially descending.

G Form

The G form dominant 7th-chord is basically the same as the C form. However, it has been moved up one string to the 6th.

This form’s arpeggio contains three root notes. They are located on the 6th, 3rd and 1st strings.

E Form

Three root notes are also included in the E dominant arpeggio. These root notes can be found on the 4th, 6th, and 1st strings. This arpeggio has a natural flow that makes it easy for beginners to use.

 D Form  

The dominant chord D7th is similar to the C form but it’s flipped horizontally.

The 2nd and 4th strings contain the root notes of the arpeggio patterns.

Minor 7th Arpeggios

If we take the dominant 7th chord and we lower the 3rd a half step to a minor 3rd, we now have the minor 7th chord.

Major 7th Root Major 3rd Perfect 5th Major 7th
Dominant 7th Root Major 3rd Perfect 5th Minor 7th
Minor 7th Root Minor 3rd Perfect 5th Minor 7th

If you’re familiar with the pentatonic scales, you’ll notice the minor 7th arpeggio shapes have similar minor pentatonic scale shapes. Minor 7th chords include 4 out of the 5 notes that make up a minor pentatonic scale:

  • Minor pentatonic intervals: root – ♭3 – p4 – p5 – ♭7
  • Minor 7th chord: root – ♭3 – p5 – ♭7

The only missing note is the 4th.

C Form

It is not easy to grasp the C form minor 7th chord shape at first. To play the root, minor 7th and 5th chords, you will need to use the 2, 3, 4, and 4 fingers. It takes some practice to master this chord form.

The root notes of the arpeggio pattern are located on the 5th string and 2nd strings.

A Form

The A form minor 7th chord form is very similar to the E for dominant 7th form, but it’s only one string lower.

Strings 5 and 3 contain the root notes.

G Form  

The G minor 7th chord is simple. It has three root notes that can be found on the 1st and 3rd strings, as well as the 6th string.

E Form

The E form minor 7th Arpeggio also includes three root notes. They are located on the 1st, 4th and 6th strings.

D Form

It can be difficult to grasp the D form minor 7th chord at first. You have two options: you can either use your middle finger to bar the 7 or 3 and your ring fingers to play them, or your middle and ring finger to grab the p5 using your pinky.

Two root notes are found in the D Form Arpeggio. They are located on the 4th or 2nd strings.

Conclusion

In this lesson, we looked at the 7th major, 7th minor and dominant 7th arpeggios. The quality of the 3rd and 7th is what gives the arpeggio its sound. The notes are A, C#, E and G#.

7th Major: contains 3rd major and 7th:

  • 1 – 3 – 5 – 7
  • 1 – 3 – 5 – ♭7
  • 1 – ♭3 – 5 – ♭7

Once you’ve decided on the shapes, you can start applying them to the chord sequence. Start with simple two-chord sequences that use arpeggios to tune the chord tones. Once you get comfortable with two chords and how they sound, expand to three chords eventually.

FAQ for Major 7th, Minor 7th and Dominant 7th Arpeggios

What is a Major 7th arpeggio?

A major seventh arpeggio is a chord made up of a major triad with an added seventh. The term “arpeggio” means “broken chord.” A broken chord is a group of notes from the same chord, played one after another.

What is a Minor 7th arpeggio?

A Minor 7th arpeggio is the chord that you would play when you are in the key of C major.

A Minor 7th arpeggio is a chord that is made up of three notes: C, E, and G. The first note (C) is found on the first string of the guitar and the other two notes are found on the second string.

What is a Dominant 7th arpeggio?

A dominant 7th arpeggio is a chord that consists of a root note, the major third, perfect fifth and minor seventh.

What is a Diminished 7th arpeggio?

A diminished 7th arpeggio is a chord that contains the notes of a diminished triad and the interval of a minor seventh.

Diminished 7th chords are often used to create a sense of tension and suspense. The diminished quality creates an unstable sound that can be resolved by moving to another chord type.

What are the differences between major, minor and dominant 7th arpeggios?

Major arpeggios are made up of the root note, a major 3rd interval and a perfect 5th interval. They are often used to create happy sounding music. Minor arpeggios are made up of the root note, a minor 3rd interval and a perfect 5th interval. They are often used to create sad sounding music. Dominant 7th arpeggios are made up of the root note, a major 3rd interval and an augmented 5th interval. They can be used to create both happy and sad sounding music depending on how they’re played or written in the song or melody line.

Which arpeggios can be used to create a song’s melody?

A melody is the tune of a song. The melody can be made from different arpeggios in different combinations, including the following:

  • Major – the most common type of arpeggio, it contains three notes
  • Minor – it has three notes but with a lowered third note
  • Augmented – it has four notes and the third note is raised by a semitone
  • Diminished – it has four notes and the third note is lowered by a semitone

How can I use arpeggios in my playing?

Arpeggios are quite a popular technique for guitarists. They are used to create a more interesting sound and add some variety to your playing.

There are many different ways to play arpeggios, but the most common is the one where you pluck each note in sequence and then strum all of them at once. This will give you a nice, even sound that is easy to play with.

The next time you want to spice up your playing, try using arpeggios!

Do you need to play the 5th, 3rd and 7th notes in a major scale to create a major arpeggio?

No. A major arpeggio is a chord that consists of a root note, the 3rd, 5th and 7th notes in a major scale.

It’s not necessary to play all five notes in an arpeggio to create one. For example, if you’re playing in C Major, you can play the root note (C), the 3rd (E), and the 7th (G) and still have an arpeggio.

What are the benefits of playing arpeggios on guitar?

Arpeggios are a great way to improve your technique and to learn new chords. Arpeggios can also be used for improvisation.

A great way to start is by playing arpeggios in different positions on the guitar neck. The most common positions are the first, second, third, fourth and fifth frets on each string.

How do know which arpeggios are which when reading music?

Arpeggios are a very important aspect of music. They are used to give the music a sense of motion and to create tension or release.

An arpeggio is a musical chord that is broken up into its individual notes. Arpeggios can be played as chords, or they can be broken up into their individual notes for an expressive effect.

A good example of this would be the song “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. The arpeggios in this song are not just chords, but they break up into their individual notes when he sings “I’m yours” and then go back to the chords when he sings “for eternity”

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