where to use maj 7 chords? and diminished?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Guitartom_ca, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. Guitartom_ca

    Guitartom_ca Tele-Holic

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    I am trying to learn how to use maj 7 chords and Dim, chords in a progression.
    where do they fit in?
    thanks
     
  2. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Maj7 chords are used just like major chords, functioning as I or IV chords. That is, in the key of C, where the major type chords are I-C, IV-F with V-G7, you can use CM7 and FM7. For a lot of types of music though, they sound too sweet. "Schmaltzy" is technical musical term. For Jazz of a certain era, or style, and for classic American songbooks type tunes, they are the default major chord type; much less often in other styles.

    Diminished chords are usually used as passing chords between regular chords. A common use is to replace the last part of a IV chord with IV#dim. For example, in playing a blues tune in C:

    |C///|F/F#dim/|C///|C7///|F///|F#dim///|C///|C///|G7//|F///|G7///C/F/|C/G7/|

    Very common also on bridges in Swing tunes where you go the IV chord.

    Or like this:

    |G/G#dim/|Am7/D7| repeated as a vamp, or at the end of verse as a turnaround.
     
  3. bingy

    bingy Friend of Leo's

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    Mr. Grizzard knows what he is talking about.
    No further comment necessary.

    Although... how many know where the term "schmaltz" came from?

    In Jewish cuisine schmaltz is rendered chicken fat that is served as a condiment to pour over food.
     
  4. Charlesinator

    Charlesinator Tele-Meister

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    By cracky learned a couple of things ... not counting the term "schmaltz" which may be more important than when to use a diminished chord. Folks I've got to tell you a major 7 is my favorite chord. It makes me feel good and nothing you can say will "diminish" that feeling.
     
  5. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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  6. brokenjoe

    brokenjoe Friend of Leo's

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    As usual Leon's advice and answer is spot on!

    The only thing I'll add is that Maj 7ths can be voiced in many different manners -like all chords. Different voicings will make the 'sweetness' more, or less pronounced.
     
  7. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Here’s the two-edged sword of the major 7th chord illustrated. The opening is a super schmaltzy FM7 and Gm, but when it goes to the BbM7 on “county” in the first vocal line, it is dreamy perfect.

    (Gm) I am a lineman for the (BbM7) county.



    The riff on Gary Stewart’s Empty Glass has a major seventh sound. The second note, F#, is the major seventh to the G chord. And if you come in with IVM7, CM7 on the bridge at about 1:08, again, just perfect.

    Code:
     G
    -3-2--------
    -----3------
    -------4----
    ------------
    ------------
    ------------
    


    If you don't know them, these are good forms for rhythm guitar:

    Code:
      GM7  CM7
    ------------
    -3-----5----
    -4-----4----
    -4-----5----
    -------3----
    -3----(3)---
    
    
    
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  8. fakeocaster

    fakeocaster Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Also try a maj7 a whole step below a dominant(eg F maj7 when the rest of the band play G7)


    Maj7 3 frets above a minor(eg band plays Am and you play C maj 7)
     
  9. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Explore the Maj6 and Maj9 chords....I like them a lot and think that they can spice up normally dull strumming tunes witout really getting in the way.
     
  10. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of my favorite uses of diminished (o) is as a "two" chord in a minor key. E.g., Bo, E7, Am.

    A quick and dirty way to understand major 6th chords is that they work in place of major 7th chords if/when the root of the chord is in the melody. Use of the 6th instead of the 7th avoids the halfstep dissonance (ti-do). Halfstep dissonance is usually very tasty, just not against the melody note...
     
  11. morroben

    morroben Friend of Leo's

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    If you change one, would you pretty much need to change both? Would a C, FM7, G7 work? Or CM7, F, G7?
     
  12. dburns

    dburns Friend of Leo's

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    All good responses.

    Like broken joe said, learn different voicings. For years I only played Maj 7,9 etc chords in a few positions with the roots on the low E or A strings. After learning and being able to use them with the root on every string, my playing really opened up. And it's relatively easy. The 2nd string root Maj 7 chord can be a slightly awkward 'grip' at first, but it sounds great. It has the "sweetness that broken joe describes. After learning your maj 7 chords, try doing the same thing with minor 7, dominant 7, diminished, augmented chords...learning them with the root on every string.
     
  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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  14. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Anything goes; it is just a color note added to a major chord. On Empty Glass, above, I would play the I chords as plain majors, and just use a IVM7 on the bridge.
     
  15. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    Here's a key of G ending, courtesy of Mickey Baker vol. one. You can use the last chord when you have your promo photo taken.

    Code:
     GM7  FM7  BbM7  AbM7  GM7
    -----------------------7----
    -3-----1----6----4-----7----
    -4-----2----7----5-----4----
    -4-----2----7----5----------
    -----------------------5----
    -3-----1----6----4-----3----
    
    
    
     
  16. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    I don't like to post on weekend nights because everyone can tell I don't have a gig, but here is the guitar version of the Buddy Emmons' steel guitar intro to St. Willie of Austin's The Nightlife:

    Code:
     CM7 EbM7 AbM7 G7 (or DbM7)  
    ----------------------------
    -5---8----4---------6--------
    -4---7----5----4----5------—-  X2
    -5---8----5----3----6--------
    -3---6--------------4--------
    ----------4----3-------------
    
    
    
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  17. Oldgitplayer

    Oldgitplayer Tele-Holic

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    A Maj 7th chord doesn't have to be schmaltzy.
    Just about every 2nd popular tune between 1955 and 1965 ended on a Maj 7th, as the only use of the chord in the song.
     
  18. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    In pop music, the major seventh is often used as a passing tone (a passing tone is just a note to get you from here to yonder):

    For example, in the Eagles "Lying Eyes" the chords at the start of the verse ("City girls seem to find out early") are G ... GMaj7 ... C. Here the major seventh note (F#) takes you from G to E.

    In jazz, the major seventh chords (and extensions) are part of the furniture. If you have just a triad (major or minor) on its lonesome, it sounds nekkid.

    A series of major sevenths can be used as an alternate turn-around, rather than the usual I-VI-ii-V, for example Cmaj7 EbMaj7 F#Maj7 AMaj7:

    7x555x
    6x574x
    6x466x
    5x665x

    I like to play that as a slow, introspective vamp, too. The first chord there is cool because the seventh is in the bass, which sounds interesting. The second chord has the seventh and root next to each other, which also always sounds cool, but is a lot easier to do on a piano than a guitar.
     
  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Use Maj7 chords when being sensitive.
    They're the best for meeting girls.
    Dim chords are OK, but not quite as good.
    If you use BOTH at a gig, charge extra.
    Chords like that don't come cheap.
     
  20. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    don't forget the age old, diminished chord as a sub for a VI(7)

    so in a I VI ii V in C

    Cmaj7--A7--Dm7--G7 becomes...

    Cmaj7--C#dim--Am7--G7

    why?

    A7: A C# E G

    C#dim: C# G Bb E---> it's a rootless A7b9!


    and by the way, the key to making the schmaltz leave and open some doors to the "ethereal" is to put the maj7 and the root in the same octave, preferably (on guitar) in the middle or top of the chord.
     
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