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Dominant Chords

Dominant seventh chords are extremely important in the harmonic language of jazz. These chords are discords, meaning that they want to resolve or move to a different chord or triad.

Let's look at this:

dominant7 chord

Okay. You know the drill by now. Play one hand at a time, please. Don’t give in to persuasive peer pressure. If anyone tries to make you play both hands at the same time when you’re not mentally prepared to do so, tell them to “BACK OFF”. You might also add the following: “A real friend would never push me to do something in piano that I don’t want to do”! If they still bother you, buy a very unfriendly dog.

Again, just as before, here are examples of what they sound like, both right and left hand.

For a change, try the first left hand chord.  This chord has a root (the C), a third (the E), a fifth (the G) and a seventh (the Bb). If the third is on the bottom, we call this chord a first inversion chord. If the fifth is on the bottom, we call this a second inversion chord. If the seventh is on the bottom, we call this a third inversion chord.




The distance between the bottom and the middle note is four semitones. The distance between the middle and the top note is three semitones. The distance between the middle and the top note is three semitones. And there you have it. The magic numbers to remember for a dominant seventh chord are 4-3-3 (semitone distances).


Go back to the main piano chord page, or go back to the pianolessons101 main page.

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