Tech Tip:Chords - Dominant Seventh

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Slavo Milojevic


Q: What is the difference between a major chord and a dominant chord?


A: A major chord is constructed by taking the 1st , 3rd , and 5th degrees of a major scale. A dominant (or dominant seventh) chord has a formula that takes the 1st , 3rd , and 5th degrees as well, but also adds a flat 7th to the mix.


Using a C major scale, the notes are C-D-E-F-G-A-B. To create a C major chord you take C-E-G, the 1st , 3rd , and 5th degrees. To make a C dominant seventh chord, add the flat 7th (the seventh note lowered one-half step or one fret). The notes of this chord will be C-E-G-B flat.


You can use these chord formulas with any major scale!


Hope this helps!

Yours in Music,
John McCarthy
Rock House