18. Scales and chords revisited

So what you’re saying is you’re as confused as the rest of us regarding diminished seventh chords but don’t want to admit it?

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we will be taking a breather and look back at scales and chords, while also figuring out where all the new chords we have learned fit in. So, let’s have some fun.

2. Reviewing scales and chords

I originally planned on talking about diminished 7th chords in this tutorial, but what we’re about to discuss today fits better for a learning process, at least in my book.

A while back we learned what quality each chord from a diatonic scale has. Visually, it’s something like this:

I II III IV V VI VII
major scale maj min min maj maj min dim
natural minor scale min dim maj min min maj maj

This is all fine and dandy for major and minor chords. But where and how do you play a seventh chord in all of this? Well, it goes something like this:

I II III IV V VI VII
major scale maj7 m7 m7 maj7 7 m7 m7(♭5)
natural minor scale m7 m7(♭5) maj7 m7 m7 maj7 7

As you can see, more often than not, there is a correspondence between the quality of the normal and seventh chords (in that where you would normally have a major chord, you could play a major seventh). The only exceptions are the chords formed on the 5th and 7th notes/degrees of the scale.

That about covers it for this tutorial. In the next one, we will be taking a look at some chord progressions that make use of seventh chords. See you then.

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