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Blues Guitar - Add the m7 chord - Part 1

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It is recommended that you start with the lesson 12-bars, Two Chord Shapes and a Touch of Jazz before this lesson, if you have not been through it already.

If we compare the minor7 with the dominant 7 one difference is of course that the minor7 is a minor chord, and the dominant 7 is a major chord. But a very important difference is that there is no tritone in the minor7 chord. It does not call for a resolution in the same way as a dominant 7, and the flat five substitution does not apply. But it is still a useful chord.

You should know a little bit about the relation between the 6-chord and it's relative m7 chord. A C6 is the C with an added 6th, and it has the notes C-E-G-A. The relative m7 to C6 is Am7, which has the notes A-C-E-G. As you see, they both have the same notes. The Am7 in root position is the same as C6 in third inversion, and the C6 is the same as Am7 in first inversion.

We will use two m7 chord shapes, and they are both three-note fingerings with one note omitted. The first has the notes 1-b7-b3, or A-G-C, if we stick to Am7. Here the 5th is omitted, which does not change the identity or the charachter of the m7 chord. But if we invert the chord, and get the notes C-G-A, it would be the 1-5-6 of a C6. As the 3rd is omitted, it will not the character of major chord.

In the second shape, we have the notes E-C-G. Here the root is omitted, and the chord will loose it's identity as an A-type chord. It is really a C-chord. These chords can substitute each other.

 
m7 - 1-7-b3 voicing
Am7 when played at 5th fret
  m7 - 5-b3-7 voicing (Major 3-1-5)
Am7 (C) when played at 10th fret

In Part 2 of this lesson, we will start with a variation of the 12-bar blues we used in part 1 of the Three Note Chord - Lesson. We will once again be in the key of Bb, and we will use the Cm7 chord, which is the ii-chord of Bb.

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