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How to Play Major 7th Chords

Playing Major 7th Chords on the Piano

Video Transcription

In this video, we're going to talk about major seventh chords, as opposed to dominant seven chords, and a major seventh chord uses just what it's called, a major seventh in it. So if you talk about a C major seven, let's first start with the C major triad, which we discussed in previous videos. And then to make it a major seventh chord, if you go up and find the octave above, the C, and go down just a half step, that's your major seven because if you were to build the scale, C major scale, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, there's your major seven, as opposed to the dominant seven or the flatted seven, as if you came down another half-step. So in C, major seven is always down a half-step. That goes with any key. So in C, that note's going to be a B on top. So what you want to do, just like with the dominant sevens or any chord voicing is first learn it in group position, get it comfortable in both hands, and then start learning its different inversions. So this is root position inversion. The second inversion is if you take the C and put it on top. The next inversion, take the E and put it on top. Then take the G and put it on top. And then take the B and put it on top. So, again, that's… Then you can arpeggiate them. It's a really nice sound to use over any major tonality, and the best thing to do is start taking them into other keys. If you get it in C, then say, okay, what is it in F, what is it in G, what is it in A-flat? Pick out B-flat, all the different ones that you have, and do the same thing with them. B-flat is really the first inversion, second, and all the way up. Until you get used to getting them in all keys, then you'll never be caught off guard when a song calls for a major seventh chord.

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