Jazz School: Chord Voicings: Major 7 Root Plus Definitive Tones

The Definitive Tones for a Major 7th Chord are “the 3” and “the 7”, so called because they define the chord type. Playing the root plus these two tones as an arpeggio in the left hand is a great accompaniment pattern for ballads.

The 1-3-7 Pattern


The 1-7-3 Pattern



Use your ears and knowledge of scales and chord structure to “transpose” this voicing to all spellings in three musically-useful patterns:

  1. Chromatically Ascending: C > Db > D > Eb > E > F > Gb > G > Ab > A > Bb > B > C.
  2. Chromatically Descending: C > B > Bb > A > Ab > G > Gb > F > E > Eb > D > Db > C.
  3. Cycle of Dominants: C > F > Bb > Eb > Ab > Db > Gb > B > E > A > D > G > C.

Doing so helps to develop an enormous chord vocabulary, one that you will know intimately in many ways: by brain, by eye, by ear, by finger, by body, and by heart… and builds a solid foundation for fluent improvisation.

learn more… Jazz Chords: Major 7, add9

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