Dominant seventh chord

The seventh chord (7) a.k.a dominant seventh – construction, intervals, symbols and examples.

The dominant seventh chord is a major triad with a minor third interval added on top of the perfect fifth of the major triad.

Dominant seventh chord chart

Examples of dominant seventh chords. Chord chart with some examples of dominant seventh chords for the guitar. Dominant 7th chord diagrams.

Dominant seventh chord intervals

The intervals a dominant seventh chord are built of.

Intervals of the dominant seventh chord: perfect unison, major third, perfect fifth, minor seventh.

Chord formula: 1, 3, 5, b7.

It’s common practice to remove the 5th or the root still consider it a dominant 7th chord:

  • Chord formula 7no5: 1, 3, b7.
  • Chord formula 7noRoot: 3, 5, b7.

Dominant seventh chord symbols

The chord symbols of the dominant seventh chord.

Symbols: 7.

Examples: A7, C7, E7.

Dominant seventh chord construction

Construction of the dominant seventh chord.

By adding the interval minor seventh (b7) to a major chord we get a dominant seventh chord.

A dominant seventh chord is constructed by adding a minor third on top of the perfect fifth of the major triad.

The new interval – perfect fifth (5) + minor third (b3) – is equal to the interval minor seventh (b7).

The dominant seventh chord in thirds: major third (3) + minor third (b3) + minor third (b3):

  1. 3 + b3 -> major triad chord.
  2. 3 + b3 + b3 -> dominant seventh chord.

Another way to end up with a major 7th chord is by picking every other note in the dominant seventh (mixolydian) scale:

  • Dominant 7th scale intervals: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7.
  • Dominant 7th intervals: 1, 3, 5, b7.
E -> E7
Add the dominant seventh interval (b7) to the E major triad and E becomes E7.

Construction of the A7 chord

The dominant 7th scale in the key of A consists of the notes A B C# D E F# G and thus the A7 chord is built by the notes A, C#, E, G.

    The interval distance between the notes A and C# is a major third (3).
    The interval distance between the notes C# and E is a minor third (b3).
    The interval distance between the notes E och G is a minor third (b3).
    The interval distance between the notes A och G is a minor seventh (b7).