Five Essential Seventh Chords

This lesson will get you playing lead sheets faster than any other method. There are five types of seventh chords that make up the chord progressions to most tunes. Learn these and you will be able to play the chords to virtually any tune. This method streamlines the process of learning the chords by starting with the first, third, fifth and seventh notes of the major scale and then adjusting these notes by half step to form the remaining chord types. In addition, you will learn how to read chord symbols and learn the chord changes to four tunes: "Solar," "Night and Day," "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise" and "There is No Greater Love."

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Lesson Stats
When added: 4/6/07; updated: 1/11/09, 10/18/12
Duration: 19:46
Chord Changes for Tunes Used: Solar, Night and Day, Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, There is No Greater Love
Transcriptions Used: Bill Evans playing "Night and Day" from "Everybody Digs Bill Evans."
Practice Sessions
Practice Session 1 - Play the Bill Evans Transcription
Practice Session 2 - Major Scale Refresher
Practice Session 3 - Five Essential Seventh Chord Drill
Practice Session 4 - Playing the Chords to Night and Day, Softly and There is No Greater Love
Prerequisite Lessons
None. Moderate keyboard proficiency, ability to read notation and play all 12 major scales. If you need help achieving these prerequisites see Practice Session 2 - Major Scale Refresher.
Q: Why are the comping chords in the transcription different from the ones that you are showing me in the lesson?
A: Rootless voicings are used in the transcription. Rootless voicings are chords without roots (the bass player plays the roots) that allow for added tension notes to richen the sound. After you learn the basic root position chords presented in this lesson you can move on to learning rootless voicings.
Further Listening
Listen to Bill Evans play the introduction to this lesson, "Night and Day," on his album, "Everybody Digs Bill Evans."
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