"Dominant Seventh Chords Rule!"


Dominant seventh chords certainly do, no doubt about it. They were given this name for good reason, which you'll learn more and more about as you continue your journey down Seventh Avenue.

Here's something interesting... if you only learned a few dominant sevenths, you'd be well equipped to having loads of fun playing the Blues. It's not their only function, of course - far from it. And you should be inspired to learn everything you can about all your chords, eventually.

However, this one is our focus today, so let's get to it...

Using a major triad as your starting point, this is so very easy.

Here's the C major triad:


Now, here's what to do: simply add one note to the triad by counting three half steps up from the third note (key furthest to the right) - in this case we have a Bb.

Bingo! There you have it - a C Dominant 7th chord. By the way, in music notation, this chord has a very recognizable symbol. Here is what it looks like: C7

On the piano keyboard, here's the C7:


Okay, let's look at arriving at this chord from a different angle, which will give us the same result. If you have already learned the major seventh chord as shown here then simply take the last note (called the 7th, of course) and lower it by one half step.

Review your Cmaj7 and then you'll clearly see how easy this is. Again, we take the 7th and simply lower it one half step... and we arrive at C7.

Easy, eh? Yep.

We use the same fingerings as we did with the maj7 chord too, so it's worth reviewing this page okay?

We are going to have a whole lot more fun with the dominant chord, including fully understanding why we call it by that name to begin with.

For now, I really do totally encourage you to play more of these in other keys. For starters, play the F7 and the G7. You see, if you know C7, F7, and G7, you're ready to start gettin' down with some blues piano, so why not go for it?

Apply the fun techniques we discussed from the very beginning when it comes to feeling comfortable playing chords, including everything discussed on this page

Again, in this lesson, we are simply learning how to play dominant seventh chords, but there's so much more material coming your way utilizing them, so keep your enthusiasm at a high level for what's ahead on our excursion!

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