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International Chord of Mystery: The Minor/Major 7th

Jordan Leibel - Oct 12, 2018

 

Your mission, should you choose to accept it… Is to learn our featured chord: the Minor/Major 7th chord. This chord is one of the finest tools for creating tension and a suave, cool, slightly ominous vibe in your music. The chord was made famous in the James Bond theme, and as soon as you play it you’ll hear it’s iconic quality.

 

 

 

The chord itself gets its distinctive quality from the combination of Minor and Major qualities in the notes that make up the chord.  

 

Let’s look at a C Minor/Major 7 chord as an example. This chord is built of the notes C-Eb-G-B. The Minor element of the chord is found in the bottom two notes: C and Eb. Together, those two notes form an interval called the Minor 3rd, which is the most important interval that defines a Minor chord.

 

So that explains the Minor element of the chord, but where does the Major come in?  Well, we get a hint on where it comes from in the name of the chord. The Major 7 is another important interval to remember, as it features in a lot of chords. The way to find this tone is simple enough, all you have to do is count up 7 tones in the Major scale, which will lead you to the top note of the chord:  B.  

 

Put that all together and you've got the perfect combo of minor and major giving you the iconic "spy" sound found in the James Bond theme. Not only will this chord make you sound like a pro but it is a really great tool to learn how more advanced chord types are created and written in a chart.

 

So give this chord a go and play your very own spy theme. No license to kill required. 

 

Jordan

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Hi, I'm Jordan Leibel

I've worked as a composer for film, commercial, and theatre projects as well as a session musician and producer for recording projects. And now, I'm super excited to teach you a thing or two through Pianote!