PIANO CHORDS (3): Seventh Piano Chords

Now that you’ve gotten a comprehensive look at how to form intervals, scales, and foundational  chords, let’s take it a step further by expanding our chords. If you are new in this series. Check out the previous lessons.. PIANO CHORDS 1: THE FOUNDATION OF CHORDS    OR PIANO CHORDS 2: DIMINISHED AND AUGMENTED CHORDS

We will be studying the below 7th chords but in this lesson, we will discuss the first four

  • Major seventh chord
  • Minor seventh chord
  • Diminished seventh chord
  • Augmented major seventh chord
  • Half­-Diminished seventh chord
  • Dominant seventh chord
  • Augmented seventh chord
  • Minor-­major seventh chord

Chord Type:​Major seventh chord

Scale Formula:​1+3+5+7

Interval Formula:​major third + minor third + major third

Notes in C:​ C + E + G + B

C + (major third) = C + E

E + (minor third) = E + G

G + (major third) = G + B

Combine all intervals: C + E + G + B

Chord Type:​ Minor seventh chord

Scale Formula:​  1+♭3+5+♭7

Interval Formula:​ minor third + major third + minor third

Notes in C:​ C + Eb + G + Bb

C + (minor third) = C + Eb

Eb + (major third) = Eb + G

G + (minor third) = G + Bb

Combine all intervals: C + Eb + G + Bb

If you are having issues with understanding Intervals, you can read our lessons on Intervals.. here

Chord Type:​ Diminished seventh chord

Scale Formula:​  1+♭3+♭5+♭♭7

Interval Formula:​ minor third + minor third + minor third

Notes in C:​ C + Eb + Gb + Bbb

*Don’t let the ♭♭ (double flat) throw you off. If one ♭ means to lower by one half step, then ♭♭  must mean to lower by how many half steps? You got it, 2. (And because 2 half steps are equal to 1 whole step, you can think of this as one whole step as well). In other words, this formula could really be

1 + ♭3 + b5 + 6 (although saying “A” instead of “Bbb” would not be correct for generic

interval  purposes. You can read our posts on intervals here

C + (minor third) = C + Eb

Eb + (minor third) = Eb + Gb

Gb + (minor third) = Gb + Bbb (aka – “A”)

*As funny as it sounds, my piano graphic script does not do “Bbb” so I’m forced to place “A” there.  But you know the truth!!!

Combine all intervals: C + Eb + Gb + Bbb (aka – “A”)

Chord Type:​Augmented major seventh chord

Scale Formula:​1+3+#5+7

Interval Formula:​major third + major third + minor third

Notes in C:​C + E + G# + B

C + (major third) = C + E

E + (major third) = E + G#

G# + (minor third) = G# + B

Combine all intervals: C + E + G# + B

In our next lesson, we will continue on the other 7th Chords. Feel free to drop your questions…

Olowu Daniel is a Musicologist and Pianist that started his musical career as a Pianist in the year 2007. He is a Music Tutor also. feel free to contact me for anything. +2348176251802..I am the Crazy Music Freak you've not heard about.


  1. […] the series on PIANO CHORDS. If you are new here, you can check out the previous topic in the series here. In this lesson, we will be looking at the Half Diminished Seventh Chords, Dominant Seventh Chords, […]

  2. Job Wledone sir… But sir, the issue I’m having is how to apply all the seventh chord to songs.. Please help sir

    • Hello Segun, the seenth chord creates a special kind of feeling. Application of the Seventh Chord isnt quite tasking. First of all, I will advise you practice using the diatonic scale. Then apply it in replace of your normal triad. For instance if you are on key C and you want to play the 4th triad (F-A-C), you can replace it with the seventh(F-A-C-E). If you have further question, you can drop them.

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