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7th chords

You can use the chord-making technique I’ve been talking about to make 7th chords too. All you do is add the 7th note of the scale to 1, 3, and 5 that you already have.


E   F#   G#   A    B    C#   D#

  2    3       4    5    6      7


That gives you E G# B D#. These are the notes of an E major 7th chord.


Invent some chords

Find three different groupings of those four notes. This a bit more challenging than doing it with triads, but in some ways it’s more fun. Sometimes you get three of the notes, but can’t get the 4th because your fingers can’t stretch that far. So you’re faced with a puzzle.


Is there another way to play that 4th note if you can’t reach it with a left hand finger? The answer to that question will take you in directions you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.


Two possibilities:

  1. Play the three-note chord by itself and then play the 4th note by itself.  This means that you have to let go of the chord to play the note. You get something more like an arpeggio. You can invent some interesting chord/note patterns this way (i.e. chord – chord – note – chord – note –note, etc).

emaj7 paradiddle

The more comfortable you get moving between chord and note, the more interesting the rhythm will become.

2.Play the three-note chord, hold it, and then play the 4th note by tapping it. This is like playing chord and melody together. Try                 tapping other notes besides the initial note you couldn’t reach.


Can you think of any other possibilities for playing impossible chords?

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