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Dominant Seventh Chords?

Not all seventh chords are actually "Dominant" seventh chords.

PUBLISHED: Jan 2, 2005 UPDATED: Feb 10, 2020 • VIEWS: 38 • LESSON CODE: UL42-7-dom

Instruments: ukulele music Subjects: advancedchordsjazzscalesmodesdominantseventh

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Dominant Seventh Chords?

Not all seventh chords are actually "dominant" seventh chords. This lesson covers when is a Dominant Seventh Chord NOT truly a Dominant seventh?

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Players will often refer to ALL seventh chords as dominant or dominant seventh chords. In the key of C major when referring to the G or G7, this is correct. But - Dominant, in this context actually refers to the chord's Harmonic Function within a scale and harmony. So, unless you can determine that a seventh chord is functioning as a V or dominant chord in the current tonality. The chord is just a seventh chord and does not need the additional dominant designation.

Dominant Seventh Chords?

A chord has a name - the root or letter name of the chord and chord type information. Dominant is not type it is a function.

Most chords are build in thirds and start as triads. 4-part chords are additional notes added to triads. The traditional triads are: major, monir, diminished and augmented. Notice - No Dominant.

To determine the function of a chord, you need to do a harmonic analysis (HA) which is beyond the scope of this article.

Here are the traditional function names of the scale degrees of a Diatonic major scale:

... the demand of the V7 for resolution is, to our ears, almost inescapably compelling. The dominant seventh is, in fact, the central propulsive force in our music; it is unambiguous and unequivocal. — Goldman, 1965

  • First note and chord: Tonic
  • Second note and chord: Supertonic
  • Third note and chord: Mediant
  • Fourth note and chord: Subdominant
  • Fifth note and chord: Dominant
  • Sixth note and chord: Submediant
  • Seventh note and chord: Leading/Subtonic

We don't call other seventh chords: Tonic Seventh, Supertonic Seventh, Secondary Dominant, etc... Dominant is the harmonic function of a chord - NOT part of its name.

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Videos

Videos for Dominant Seventh Chords?.

Ukulele Chord a Day, January 10th - C7

Learn a new Ukulele chord every day of the year. The chord for January 10th is C7. Often called a “C Dominant 7’. The dominant actually refers to its function and is not a chord type. See the Dominant Seventh? lesson for the complete details: https://learningukulele.com/lessons/code/UL42-7-dom

C7 is a primary chord and the dominant chord in the key of F major.

This C7 is one of the open position seventh chords that form the foundation for all of our Big Six core chords include: Seventh (7), Major Seventh (maj7), Minor Seventh (m7), Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five diminished 7 (m7b5), Diminished Seventh (°7), and Augmented Seventh (+7). These six chords form a core set of chords. The Core Ukulele Chords - The Big Six lesson series can be found here: https://learningukulele.com/series/code/UL42-7

For a further exploration of this chord and its movable form visit the Movable Ukulele Chords series of lessons: https://learningukulele.com/lessons/code/UL200.

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Ukulele Chord a Day, January 11th - D7

Learn a new Ukulele chord every day of the year. The chord for January 11th is D7. Often called a “D Dominant 7’. The dominant actually refers to its function and is not a chord type.

D7 is a primary chord and the dominant chord in the key of G major.

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Ukulele Chord a Day, January 4th - G7

Learn a new Ukulele chord every day of the year. The chord for January 4th is G7.

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Ukulele Chord a Day, January 14th - A7

Learn a new Ukulele chord every day of the year. The chord for January 14th is A7.

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