In this image a blues ends with the tonic chord (E7) preceded by Eb7. Beyond the chromatic effect that can be perceived, is there any way to harmonically define such an Eb7? In other words, what is the harmonic label to stick on this chord?

enter image description here

  • Is the last chord an E7, or is the notated G-natural correct, making it an Em7?
    – Richard
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 1:05
  • 1
    @Richard The fret numbers in the tab confirm Em7 Commented May 30, 2021 at 1:10
  • @ToddWilcox Thanks. Someday I'll learn to read tab, I can't imagine it'd take me any more than a few minutes.
    – Richard
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 1:27
  • I don't read tab either. But I can see that the note marked '5' is the same in each chord.
    – Laurence
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 1:57
  • Eb7 written as D#7? I'm already sceptical...
    – Tim
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 6:59

3 Answers 3


Don't try to force a harmonic function onto it. It's just a decoration created by planing up from the same shaped chord a semitone lower.

It's possible a 'blue' G♮ is intended in the last chord, and that E7 is written as a simplification of E7(#9). But I suspect that either the chord symbol or the staff notation is a misprint. And it COULD be the notation. Yes, the tab agrees with the notation, but one could have been automatically derived from the other. So correct the chord symbol or correct the notation. Your choice.

  • I'm pretty sure the author wanted to write G# instead of G, according to te context of the other liks in that chapter. Tks
    – LeoAn
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 7:26
  • Except it's not the 'same shaped chord' - as written. Something wrong with the tab/dots!
    – Tim
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 8:55
  • Yes, @Tim, I added that point some 7 hours before your comment!
    – Laurence
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 14:07
  • So, another case of question asked under false premises?
    – Tim
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 14:10
  • The main point holds. It's still a chromatic slide-up even if slightly modified. Or misprinted.
    – Laurence
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 14:15

It's simply a chromatic move, playing one semitone down from tonic, then arriving at the tonic. Written as D♯7, although called E♭7, all three notes would play on that chord, then one fret higher.

To me, at least, the G♮ written in the staff ought to become G♯ on the E7 chord. If it is indeed the end, where's the double barline?

I feel that there's a mistake between tab and dots. Usually a piece in key E (Blues, E7?) will end on a dominant rather than a m7 chord. Or maybe a mix - known as E7♯9.

So, answer - a chromatic move.


There's a thing that I think provides a context.

It's in E, so we have E7 - E G# B D. Pay attention to the third and seventh, G# and D.

Now, consider A7. A C# E G. The third and seventh are C# and G.

Let's move to B7. B D# F# A. D# and A.

In a jazzier style, you can drop the root (because the bassist plays it) and the fifth (because it's obvious) and play the harmony three note pairs that are right next to each other.

Now, Eb7. We're talking sharps so far, so D#7. G and C#. That's the same notes as the A7, except the roles of the notes are reversed ( 3 <-> 7 ). A major third and dominant seventh are a tritone away from each other, and using the Eb7 instead of the A7 is an example of Tritone Substitution.

  • 1
    That D# messes up the tts.
    – Tim
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 8:10
  • @Tim - How does the D# mess up the A7 -> "Eb7" TTS where both chords share G and C# (enharmonically speaking)?
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented May 30, 2021 at 12:14

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