Seventh Chords

Previously, I talked about the basic three-note chord types, the triads. To review, there are four basic types that are commonly used. Here they are with their interval formulas:

Major Minor Augmented Diminished
root, major third, perfect fifth root, minor third, perfect fifth root, major third, augmented fifth root, minor third, diminished fifth

To each of these chord types, we can add more notes to create more complicated chords. There is no limit to what we can add, but the most common type of note to add is a seventh, either a minor seventh, major seventh, or diminished seventh. As you can imagine, when combined with the four chord types we have to start with, this leads to, like, a million different chords (ok, actually 12, but you get the idea). Fortunately, some are used more frequently than others, and some are almost never used, so I’ll present the most common ones first.

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