Seventh chords and how they are related
So many chords and arpeggios! How can you learn them all? They are closely related, as are the patterns that you can use to help remember how to play them.
Arpeggios using the three standard seventh chords (major, minor and dominant) are shown in detail on their separate pages. People can get overwhelmed with all of the information, so I want to give some ways to look at it and make it more manageable.
First, a little music theory. Major seventh chords are build using the 1, 3, 5 and 7 notes from the major scale. Minor seventh chords use one of the minor scales. Dominant sevenths are built using the Mixolydian Mode, which just means that it is a standard major scale with a flatted seventh note.
All of them use the same 1 and 5 notes, but the 3 and 7 change to form the different seventh chords. Start with the major 7th and drop the 7th by one half-step (or fret) and you have the dominant 7th. Drop the dom's third note by a half-step and you have the minor 7th.
I picked one of the patterns that shows the relations fairly easily, but the same concept applies to all the seventh patterns.
Use this information to learn just one of the patterns, and then rather than memorizing the others, just think about what the difference are.
In the charts below, as usual, the large notes are to root.
The same chords and patterns are shown in both a vertical and a horizontal display because some people have trouble with one form or the other.
The following patterns are for the major, minor and dominant seventh chords. Note how the 1 and 5 notes stay in the same position. The seventh note in the top chart is lowered by one fret in the middle chart, changing it from a major seventh to a dominant seventh. The three note is lowered when moving to the next chart, changing the dominanat to a minor seventh.
It is usually easier to see the similarities by looking at the horizontal charts.