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A Dominant 7th chord is a group of harmonic notes - in which the 7th (dominant 7th) is essentially added to a normal Major chord.  The term Dominant 7th (or just written 7th) really means to flat the 7th note of the scale before adding it.  This is important.  Adding the 7th note of the scale to a chord as it is without flatting it is called a Major 7th.

Dominant 7th chords would have 4 notes since a Major chord has three notes and we are adding one.  However, in practice, some musicians or song writers may elect to not use all 4 notes of the chord. 

To determine which notes are to be used for this chord, let us look at a scale.  We will use a scale in the key of C to show how this chord is put together:

Scale in Key of C

Notes C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C    
Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15    

A scale in the key of C shown above are the normal notes that one might expect in a song.  Instead of calling the notes C, D, E, etc.  or 1, 2, 3 , we also could think of the sequence as the singing notes: do, re, me fa, so, la ti do.

Chromatic Scale starting with C

Notes C C# D Eb E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D    
Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15    

A chromatic scale is all of the possible musical notes - and not just the notes in the C scale.  Note that between two "whole steps" such as C to D, that there is a "half step" in between, that we could call C# (C sharp) or we could also call Db (D flat).  Note that C# and Db are the same note, and could be called by either name.  Basically, one half step down from D is the same as one half step up from C.

Let us first start with a Major chord.  A Major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the scale.  For a C Major chord then (key of C), the notes of this chord would be:  C, E and G.  Let us now add the 7th note - which is B.  But let us remember that we need to flat it first for a Dominant 7th, hence we are adding Bb.  The C 7th chord then is made up of the notes:  C, E, G, Bb.

Musicord Software Note

The Musicord Software shown below for Windows, does include 7th (dominant 7th) chord types as well as 27 other types.


Now Available !  Musicord Version 3 software for Windows
Shows chords and chord fingerings for
Keyboard and many stringed instruments

screen shot of musicord software ehowing E major chord

(note: actual screen size is larger in usage)

Click Here for More Musicord Information

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One person band techniques book   Book: Becoming a One Person Band (click for info)
eBook Available from Google Play, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook

If you have some instrument skills, particularly with a keyboard instrument such as piano, organ, accordion, or keyboard itself or similar, you can do multiple track recording and create you own band recording of perhaps 4 or 8 or 16 or more pieces. This book focuses on music theory on help for determining what some of those other band parts might play, such as strings, bass or other instruments.