In our first article of Fundamental Ear Training Exercises, we covered how to choose an ear training partner, the correct mindset to approach ear training with, and exercises about singing & hearing intervals, harmonic intervals, and triads.
After you feel you’ve got a pretty good handle on everything presented in that previous article, it’s time to explore seventh chords. The easiest way to approach this group of chords is by focusing on just root position chords that contain a root, a third, a fifth, and a seventh.
No ninths, elevenths, or thirteenths to worry about just yet. Look for that in the next part of this series. However, we will be making alterations to the 5th, which in a sense is making alterations to the 11th and 13th (b5 is equal to #11 and #5 is equal to b13. See my notes for major 7b5 chords about why the b5 can be different that the #11).
Since we’re only concerned with seventh chords in root position containing chord tones 1357, there are 12 seventh chords that we’re going to hone in on:
Major seventh, Major seventh b5, Major seventh +5, Sus major seventh
Minor seventh, Minor major seventh, Half diminished seventh (aka minor seven flat five), Fully diminished seventh
Dominant seventh, Dominant seventh b5, Dominant seventh +5, and Sus dominant seventh
Notes on each seventh chord
Go to the piano and play these 12 chords. Work on hearing the intricacies of each chord.
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