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Lesson 13: Minor 7th Chord Forms



Minor 7th chord interval construction is 1 - m3 - P5 - m7.



Below are 3 common forms that should provide you with a good foundation in minor 7th chords.







Take a look at each of these chords and see how they differ from the minor chords (triads).

Also, find the differences between these chords and the major 7th chords. Knowing the differences between these chords will strengthen your understanding of them.

The roots of the chords have been circled. Roots are the notes for which the chords have been named.

For example, to play a G minor 7th chord, make sure that the circled note of the form is on the note G on the fretboard.

Notice that the roots of forms 1 and 2 are on the 5th string and the root of form 3 is on the 6th string. X's indicate strings should not be played, and the number over the fret indicates the fret number. The numbers in the black dots indicate which finger to use.



Exercise #1:

Play chord form #1.

Make sure that your left hand thumb is near the center of the curve in the neck so that your fingers can come straight at the fretboard.

Play each note of the chord one at a time to make sure that each note sounds clear.

Once this is done, slide the entire chord up the fretboard one half-step.

Again, play each note of the chord one at a time to make sure that each note sounds clear.

Then move up one more fret and play the chord. Keep doing this until you run out of fretboard.

Now, move back down the fretboard by half-steps.

Repeat the above steps using form #2 and then again using form #3.



Exercise #2:

Play through all three forms for each chord in the order listed after the chord name.



Play:

Cm7 forms: 1 --> 2 --> 3

Fm7 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2

Bm7 forms: 2 --> 3 --> 1

Em7 forms: 1 --> 2 --> 3

Am7 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2

Dm7 forms: 1 --> 2 --> 3

Gm7 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2

Bm7 forms: 2 --> 3 --> 1

Em7 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2

Am7 forms: 2 --> 3 --> 1

Dm7 forms: 1 --> 2 --> 3

Gm7 forms: 3 --> 1 --> 2


Exercise #3:

Play the following minor 7th chords. Make sure to play the chord form number specified in parenthesis. After playing through this exercise you should begin to see a pattern.

Cm7 (form 3) --> Fm7 (form 2) --> Bm7 (form 3) --> Em7 (form 2) --> Am7 (form 3) --> Dm7 (form 2) --> Gm7 (form 3) --> Bm7 (form 2) --> Em7 (form 2) --> Am7 (form 3) --> Dm7 (form 2) --> Gm7 (form 3).


Exercise #4:

Play the following minor 7th chords. Again, you should begin to see a pattern.

Cm7 (form 3) --> Fm7 (form 1) --> Bm7 (form 3) --> Em7 (form 1) --> Am7 (form 3) --> Dm7 (form 1) --> Gm7 (form 3) --> Bm7 (form 3) --> Em7 (form 1) --> Am7 (form 3) --> Dm7 (form 1) --> Gm7 (form 3).


Exercise #5:

Now that you have the chords under your fingers it's time to do a little brain work. Go through each of these chords and identify each note - whether it is the Tonic, the Third, the Fifth or the Seventh.


Final Note: The chord forms you have just been working on sometimes provide too many notes. For example, if you are working with a keyboard player and you are both playing big full chords, things might start to sound a little muddy. Sometimes it is better to play only two or three notes of the chord. This can help clean up the sound. You can use any combination of notes of the 3 forms.












Copyright 2001 T.A. Vieira, Jr.
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