Five Essential Seventh Chords Practice Sessions

Practice Session 3: Five Essential Seventh Chord Drill

Objective
To memorize the five essential seventh chord types in all twelve keys.
Task
Play the five essential seventh chord drill through the cycle of fourths.
Procedure
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With your left hand, play one octave of the C major scale starting on middle C.
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Play 1, 3, 5 and 7 of the scale together to form the C major 7th chord.
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Alter 7, 3, 5 and 7 again by half steps in that order to build the remaining four chords:
Lower the 7th by half step to get C7
Lower the 3rd by half step to get C-7
Lower the 5th by half step to get C-7b5
Lower the 7th by half step again to get C°7
Repeat the drill in reverse:
Raise the 7th by half step to get C-7b5
Raise the 5th by half step to get C-7
Raise the 3rd by half step to get C7
Raise the 7th by half step to get Cmaj7
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Continue the drill through the cycle of 4ths (F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G) until you reach C again. Start each scale in the mid-range of the piano right around middle C where chords sounds best. Name each chord out loud as you play it. If you need help, check the chord spellings below.
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Repeat the drill through all 12 keys three more times, then, using a metronome, try to play the drill at 40 bpm, one chord per click. Continue to practice the drill until you can play it at 60 bpm.
Five Essential Seventh Chords in Twelve Keys
Self Assessment
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If you played all the chords correctly and in time with no mistakes, move on to the next practice session.
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If you played most of the chords correctly and in time with a few mistakes, try it again at a slower tempo, say 40 bpm. Once you can play it with no mistakes at 40bpm, increase it until you can play it with no mistakes at 60 bpm, then move on to the next practice session.
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If you were unable to play any of the chords in time review the lesson and feel free to ask questions about anything that you don’t understand. Try it again at a slower tempo, say 40 bpm. Once you can play it with no mistakes at 40 bpm, increase it until you can play it with no mistakes at 50 bpm, then 60 bpm, then move on to the next practice session.