Dominant 7th Chords (Guitar Lesson)


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Brendan Burns

Dominant 7th Chords

Brendan Burns discusses drop two voicings. Then, he explains how to explain dominant seventh voicings on strings 4, 3, 2, and 1.

Taught by Brendan Burns in Jazz Guitar with Brendan Burns seriesLength: 24:11Difficulty: 2.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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brian1962brian1962 replied on December 15th, 2016

i'm very turned around on your supplemental sheet in G. i'm in lesson 2, you're starting in A yet your supp material is in G?? and you go A7 to A9 to A7 etc yet the G supp doesn't really illustrate that move. then you hop down to A with a G melody note on 2nd fret and you called it something but i am very confused how these supp materials go along with the lesson. can you please lay out the supp material in a way that makes sense to the lesson. i am spending too much time and way too confused by trying to understand the supp material. i'm sorry i sound a bit upset but it's very frustrating from my end.

dcapilidcapili replied on March 30th, 2017

Same here. And the instructor is also speaking so fast

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on December 15th, 2016

For scene 2 of this lesson where Brendan is talking about dominant 7th chords and their usage, he's not really playing anything other than chords here and as a result the supplemental content is reflective of that in chord charts. Just below the main list of supplemental content you'll see a box that contains chord charts. All of the A dominant variants discussed are provided there. Take the information that Brendan is discussing in how each type of dominant chord is used (regardless of chord name, A, G, C etc.) and implement that across any key. The playing parts that are transcribed are from scene 1 of this lesson where he's playing in G. Think of these as two separate chapters in a book and not necessarily dealing with exactly the same thing.

robertlincolnrobertlincoln replied on October 19th, 2013

I'm having trouble finding some of your supplemental sheets. For example, in Lesson 1 at 3:21, you say "If you look at your sheet your flat 7 voicing is this way..." I can't find any supplemental sheet that shows the A7 chord you are playing, which I think is xx2223

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on October 19th, 2013

Check out the first Supplemental Sheet: Jazz Chord Voicings. I've written everything in the key of G. The voicing you are talking about it the second to last grip.

stevedowns80stevedowns80 replied on February 23rd, 2013

I wish someone would have laid out 7th chords in such a logical way when I was learning years ago. Great job!

bila0004bila0004 replied on January 3rd, 2013

Brendan, when you play your A13 chord (C#, G, B, F#), I was wondering why you're playing B since it's not the part of the A7 chord. Wouldn't you want to bar F# and C# on first two strings (14th fret), and play C# on 4th and G on 3rd?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on January 3rd, 2013

Great question! In this case, I'm subbing the 9th for the root. It's partially because I like the sound, but also because it's pretty easy to play. Take a look at the minor 7th and you'll see there is another great sub of the 9 when the b7 is in the lead (that's one of my favorite chords). Truthfully, I can't remember if I go over substitutions this early into the series, but I'm pretty sure I talk about it later on. Does this answer your question?

bila0004bila0004 replied on January 22nd, 2013

Yes. Thanks very much for your quick response.

rtstoddenrtstodden replied on September 28th, 2012

This was a fantastic lesson Brendan! So are the other 3 you have posted. Looking forward to the next one!

Sandy GSandy G replied on August 13th, 2012

i think this lesson is great no matter the solfege / for me the most benefit is naming notes that are in the lead . This is great preparation for harmonizing melody notes :-]

Sandy GSandy G replied on August 13th, 2012

OK -- thanks Brendan, for your explanation of 'moveable Do ' . i understand what you're doing . i'm going to continue doing my modal solfege , ex. mixolydian: sol, la ti do re mi fa sol and likewise for the other modes

Sandy GSandy G replied on August 13th, 2012

OK -- thanks Brendan, for your explanation of 'moveable Do ' . i understand what you're doing . i'm going to continue doing my modal solfege , ex. mixolydian: sol, la ti do re mi fa sol and likewise for the other modes

rtstoddenrtstodden replied on April 1st, 2012

Thanks for the info on the guitar Brendan. I am just starting on the Dominant 7th chord voicings. -Rich

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on April 1st, 2012

They can keep you busy for a while. Enjoy!

rtstoddenrtstodden replied on March 31st, 2012

Brendan, love the sound of your guitar! What model is it? I travel quite a bit, and this guitar looks pretty compact.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on March 31st, 2012

It's a Klein Electric Guitar. Unfortunately, they are currently out of production. I think there is a video somewhere here on JamPlay where I talk about this guitar.

franklbarbierifranklbarbieri replied on March 14th, 2012

Brendan-I appreciate the lesson. A little discouraged thats its the first one and I am having trouble. I am trying to match up a supplemental piece with the voicings you are using as you move through "Do, Re,Mi...Te(b7)". I need to keep pausing to see your fingering-then trying to look through the chords given to try and see where we are. I could follow these grips and change keys easier if I had a supplement--or maybe I am missing it or how to use what is provided. Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on March 14th, 2012

I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble. The PDF to reference is titled: "Jazz Dominant 7ths" in the Supplemental Content section. This handout has all the melodic tones for a Dominant 7th chord (of which there are a lot!). Try starting with the Diatonic ones: In the key of G, it would G, A, B, C, D, E & F in the lead. The Ab, A# are alterations. I give you two voicings for the 5th & 6th in the lead (just pick one for now). In retrospect, it might have been wiser to do break this down into 7 chord basic chord voicings, and then some alterations. I get this impression that all of this information is a little overwhelming. Does this help?

franklbarbierifranklbarbieri replied on March 14th, 2012

Thank You I figured I was just mising it. Let me work through it but I think I got it. It is alot to take in with one go round--like swallowing a watermelon whole. I am getting alot from your lessons--and here it was me misinterpreting what was provided.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on March 14th, 2012

This stuff takes time. Go slow. Be clear. Let me know if you run into any other snags.

GondekGondek replied on January 31st, 2012

A solid piece of work...Thanks

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on February 1st, 2012

Rock it!

Martin2014Martin2014 replied on January 1st, 2012

Brendan, Happy New Year! Wow, just got through this for the first time and I had to comment here...Incredibly helpful lesson. This really is putting it all together for me.....voice leading and chords and melody?!?!? Looking forward to more....

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on January 3rd, 2012

There is so much more! Keep exploring on your own. I'll have some new lesson up in late Spring this year.

mikekerrmikekerr replied on December 8th, 2011

my favorite teacher! thank you man!

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on December 9th, 2011

Thanks Mike!

oliviernoliviern replied on September 29th, 2011

Again, as usual with Brendan, great lesson! I'm a follower! Thanks

nanthilnanthil replied on September 18th, 2011

Fantastic lesson. Learned a lot about jazz from this video.

tomcanozotomcanozo replied on September 5th, 2011

Hi Brendan you are very good teacher, but please use a guitar with reference dot on the fretboard, it is easier to understand on the other side on the screen

Sandy GSandy G replied on August 10th, 2011

When you sing through the mixolydian mode, shouldn't you start on 'sol' when the root of the 7th chord is in the lead ?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on August 11th, 2011

I'm not exactly sure what you are referencing, but there are several ways to use solfege. I use a "moveable 'do'" system where the mixolydian scale would is: Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Te - (Te is flat Ti). Does this help clarify?

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on August 2nd, 2011

Supplemental content is up!

eandy5000eandy5000 replied on August 2nd, 2011

I'm excited for this lesson set. Brenden's lessons from intervals to tiny triads and now jazz voicings have been very helpful. I don't have a music background but these lessons have been very helpful and really opened up my playing.

jj90jj90 replied on August 2nd, 2011

Ooh a lot of Jazz lessons already but this is a nice addition. Now Jamplay has a lot of Blues and Jazz lessons, I like both! Looking forward to these series, really like the way you teach Brendan!

mattbrownmattbrown replied on August 2nd, 2011

Hey! Just thought I'd leave a quick note regarding how some of the chords are labeled. A dominant chord with a (#5) or a (+) after the name of the chord is considered to be pretty much interchangeable with a (b13) in most jazz circles. Although they are technically different (distance of an octave), these labels pretty much mean the same thing for all intensive purposes...You'll probably run into all these different names on lead sheets at some point in time...

mdelprioremdelpriore replied on August 1st, 2011

no supplemental material provided.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied on August 1st, 2011

Whoops! I'm working on this right now. It should be up in under 24hrs.

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on August 1st, 2011

Supplemental content will be up shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Jazz Guitar with Brendan Burns

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Brendan Burns breaks down jazz styling and chord voicings for lead ideas and comping.



Lesson 1

Dominant 7th Chords

Brendan Burns discusses drop two voicings. Then, he explains how to explain dominant seventh voicings on strings 4, 3, 2, and 1.

Length: 24:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Minor 7th Chords

Brendan Burns discusses the minor 7th chord voicings on strings 4, 3, 2, and 1. To form a minor seventh chord, simply flat the third of its dominant seventh counterpart.

Length: 15:07 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Major 7th Chords

Brendan adds to his jazz chord voicings series with a discussion of major 7th chords.

Length: 24:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Minor 7th Flat 5 Chords

In the final installment of his Jazz Chord Voicings series, Brendan discusses and demonstrates the minor 7 flat 5 chord voicings.

Length: 12:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Brendan Burns View Full Biography Brendan has been passionate about music since childhood. He began his studies on trumpet, in elementary school, and then moved to guitar as a teenager. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Berklee College of Music, and has studied with Norm Zocher, Joe Stump, Bret Willmott, Bob Pilkington, Jay Weik, Tim Miller, & Charlie Banacos.

While at Berklee, Brendan was a member of the Music Mentoring Program, teaching private lessons to gifted high school students. He is currently teaches, and is chair of the guitar department at Brookline Music School. Brendan also teaches guitar for Tune Foolery & privately at his home in Cambridge, MA.

Along with educating, Brendan plays out often as a Solo Guitarist, performing standards, pop, and classical repertoire. He has recorded and played with the chamber-fusion band Ra Quintent, and as well as Vessela Stoyanova's Eastern Stories Under Western Skies Project. Brendan also performs as a leader, director and sideman for various Boston art-rock projects, and is former member of MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika.

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