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Building 7 Type Chords

Core Location: Theory and Mapping

eon for 7 type chords

To build 7 type chords, we take EON one more step; we go every other note, until we have 4 tones.

There are different ways of understanding 7 chords. We think the stickiest way is to consider the type of triad [Major, minor, diminished in a Major key], and the type of 7 [the Major 7 interval is 11 half steps away from the root, while a minor 7 type interval is 10 half steps].

We can also think in terms of types of 3rds [how far each tone is to the next]. Those numbers [5 to the 7] are on the graphic if you would like to integrate that info as well].

We figured out the triads in a Major key in a previous session. We will now take EON until we have 4 tones, rather than just 3. When we do this, we get 4 chord qualities from the key: Major 7, minor 7, Dominant 7, and minor 7 flat 5. The m7b5 is also known as half-diminished. I & IV become Major 7's, the V becomes Dominant 7, the ii, iii, and vi become minor 7's, and the vii chord becomes min7♭5.


We can see these types of chords written in a number of ways.

  • Major 7 = Maj7, Ma7, M7 (or a strikethrough 7)
  • minor 7 = m7, min7, -7
  • Dominant 7 are written just one way: the root + 7 [e.g. G7]. In chord symbols, the 7 means that the 7 is 10 half steps away from the root [as in the minor 7 and min7♭5 as well - the little m is for the triad, the 7 is for the type of 7].
  • minor 7 flat 5 = m7♭5, min7♭5, -7♭5, or as half-diminished.

Half diminished symbol can also be shown as a degree sign with a line through it: