Piano lesson: The Power of the Major Seventh

Jazz and gospel music use a lot of 2-5-1 progressions. In the key of C a 2-5-1 progression would be:Dmin-G7-CMajor7. This comes from the fact that C-D-E-F-G-A-B=1-2-3-4-5-6-7.

The major seventh is used to construct minor 11 chords. Minor 11 chords can be used in place of minor chords. Let’s say we are in the key of Eb, F will be a minor in this key. An advance way of playing this chord in this key would be:

LH

RH

F C F

Eb G Ab C (Ab major seventh)

But then, the more advanced way of playing the chord according to GOSPELKEYS EXTREME is this:

LH

RH

F C G

Ab Eb G Bb (Ab Major 9)

This is a minor 11 chord, a very versatile chord that you can also use as a passing chord. Please note that when playing this minor 11 chord, the thumb playing the G and the Ab should almost touch, they are a half a step apart!


How to construct the minor 11 chord

Scale of F=F-G-A-Bb-C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb=1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11

Or you can look at it like this: Fmajor scale=F(1)-G(2)-A(3)-Bb(4)-C(5)-D(6)-E(7)-F(8)-G(9)-A(10)-Bb(11)


Therefore the formula for minor 11 chord:

LH=1-5-9 and RH=b3-b7-9-11

Then, just replace the numbers with the corresponding notes from the scale of F.


Let do an example for a C minor 11 chord


Scale of C major=C(1)-D(2)-E(3)-F(4)-G(5)-A(6)-B(7)-C(8)-D(9)-E(10)-F(11)

Using the above formula, we then get:

LH= C-G-D and RH=Eb-Bb-D-F

Now let’s play a 2-5-1 in the key of Eb.

What chord can we play on the 5th scale degree(i.e. Bb)? Well, this will generally be a dominant chord. Have you ever heard of tritones? If you do a search here at Hearandplay.com, you should get an explanation of tritones.

But this is how I personally look at it, a tritone of a specific note is a flattened 5th away of that note. Suppose we wanted to find the the tritone of C, the answer is Gb, since Gb is the flattened fifth in the key of C.

Now, the tritone of Bb is the note E(b5 of Bb). Now since these notes are tritone relatives, when you play the Bb on your LH you can play a Emajor or Eminor chord on your right hand.

Here is then the 2-5-1 in the key of Eb:

LH

RH

F C G

Ab Eb G Bb

Bb F Ab

B E Ab (Emajor)

Eb Bb F

G D G

Now let’s add those minor 11's as passing chordsbetween the II and the V.

LH

RH

F C G

Ab Eb G Bb

G D A

Bb F A C

A E B

C G B D

Bb F Ab

B E Ab (Emajor)

Eb Bb F

G D G

Enjoy the chords!

To listen to the chords, please click on this link: http://zone.hearandplay.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=8331

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