Minor 7th Chords (Guitar Lesson)

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Brendan Burns

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.

Taught by Brendan Burns in Jazz Guitar with Brendan Burns seriesLength: 15:07Difficulty: 2.0 of 5


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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


brandben7brandben7 replied

Hey there Brendan! I had a question. When you demonstrate these chord progressions with voice leading, you mentioned thinking about "What is ____ note in relation to _____ chord?" That method definitely allows me to see how to use the other three chord tones to support the melody line, but here is my question: If someone puts a lead sheet in front of you, is this how you personally comp? It seems like a lot to think about for each chord change when playing in a live setting!

oliviernoliviern replied

The "Bill Evans Chord" sounds the the first chord played in the beautiful "I'm calling you" - soundtrack of Bagdad Cafe by Jevetta Steele. Altering the 5 into a 5+ sounds like the second chord of the song... Now I feel like transcribing the song: thanks!

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

This is good to hear! Keep rockin'!

eandy5000eandy5000 replied

Ok that makes sense I wasn't playing with a low tonic. Thanks for another great lesson set.

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

Wait until we get to the minor7b5s. They sound like so many different things!

eandy5000eandy5000 replied

I don't have the best ear but for some reason some of these voicings don't sound very minor to me. Is that the function of the inversions or because my ear isn't very good?

Brendan.BurnsBrendan.Burns replied

You'll have to be more specific for me to understand exactly what voicing you are hearing, but one thing that you may be picking up on is a substitute function for one or two of the voicings. As this series develops it does look at enharmonic and substitute voicings. Some of these minor grips can be used as a major 6th, major7, Dom9, and other chords. When you are practicing, it's good to notice both what they could be subbed for, and what they are being presented as. To give yourself more of the minor sound, try playing it against a low tonic note (either on the guitar or sustain it on a keyboard).

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.



Dominant 7th ChordsLesson 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 FREE
Minor 7th ChordsLesson 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
Major 7th ChordsLesson 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
Minor 7th Flat 5 ChordsLesson 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
Brendan Burns

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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