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I'm reading that Major 7 is : 1-3-5-7.

But most G Maj 7 stuff i see does not have the third. Mainly because keeping a third(2nd fret, 5th string, standard tuning) results in a difficult to hold shape. My question is, Can you omit thirds like this in other cases as well ?

EDIT: This is a screenshot from youtube. some help with the major 3rd here ?

Gmaj7 youtube screenshot

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    There is no point at all in using the D on the 2nd string in this chord voicing. That finger can be used better to put a major 3rd in on 5th string 2nd fret, leaving the 2nd string open as a B. There's the maj. 3rd back. Sometimes websites don't actually know what's what. – Tim Jun 14 '15 at 20:44
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    Omitting 3rd from this chord is rubbish. Just because it says so on a website doesn't mean it's correct. Sorry, but it's plain wrong. Please try to find better sites than this - it's not difficult, and you will benefit from far better informed people. – Tim Jun 18 '18 at 18:58
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Are you sure that the 3rd is omitted? It's really rare to omit the 3rd, because it really signifies the quality of the chord (major or minor). Usually, when people want to omit a note in a 7th chord, they omit the 5th.

A maj7th chord without the third, would be a power chord with a maj 7th (?). What I mean is that it could be both a major chord with a major 7th and a minor chord with a major 7th, and you wouldn't know which one.

From what I've seen on guitar, they omit the 5th or none at all

Εdit: From your image, I can see that he is playing twice the 5th (D). One time as an open string, and one as the 3rd fret on the B string. I don't see any point in doubling the 5th and omitting the 3rd, when you can play both, simply by playing the B string open (which is the 3rd of the chord).

This seems wrong to me.

Here is a way you can play it, without omitting any note:

enter image description here

And I've also found some other ways to play the chord:

enter image description here

  • I read somewhere that the root should be held on the 'heaviest' string possible.. that defnes the 'sound' of the chord... but in your (BIG) image.. i dont see that happening. Does that hurt ? By the way, about the repeated 5th.. yeah, i felt the same.. yet most internet stuff out there says this (what i posted) is the shape for G Maj 7.. (doubts doubts) – Somjit Jun 14 '15 at 19:45
  • In the first image I posted, the G is played on the heaviest string possible. The heaviest of the 4 string I use is the D string. But, a Gmaj7 chord would be the same, wherever you play the G (root). Also, if you put any other note of the chord as the lowest, it would still be the same chord, but it would be in some kind of inversion – Shevliaskovic Jun 14 '15 at 19:48
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A normal Gmaj7 chord would not omit the third; indeed, it would commonly be played on six strings with the root doubled, the third doubled, and the fifth and major seventh appearing once each, albeit in different octaves.

There is more to arranging guitar tabs (at least good ones) than simply looking up chords and copying the diagrams. A chord fingered as shown would be usable as a Gmag7 (even if it's technically a G5addM7) but would have a different sound which might be better than the normal one in some cases.

A GMaj7 chord is effectively a combination of a G chord, a Bm, and a D (no 5). Depending upon the context, some of those components may be more important than the others. If the "D" function is the most important, the indicated fingering may help bring that out (G-x-D-G-D-F#). Without seeing the context, it's hard to tell whether the fingering is better or worse than a conventional fingering, but it's not hard to imagine contexts where it would be good.

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When there is NO MAJOR THIRD, a chord cannot be a major 7th. It may have the maj 7th note (In this case F#) but without the maj 3 it won't be a maj7 chord. The maj 3 part makes it a maj. chord.

  • I disagree somewhat. If it has a G and D, the I and V of the scale of G, the root note is definitely G, so it must be a G something. It has a major 7th, so it's more Gmaj7 than anything else. The only better name I can come up with is G5 add maj7, which is a bit of a mouthful. – Level River St Jun 14 '15 at 20:53
  • @Level River St - Having given it some thought, a chord it resolves to is Fmaj. It could easily be construed as Bb6, but the root is missing. G5addmaj7 does sound a little far fetched. – Tim Jun 18 '18 at 18:52
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In a song of mine I chose to use a version of a A7 without the third. For simplicity I called it an A7 in the chord progression, but felt it important to write a note on the sheet saying that it technically might be called an A5add7.

In the same song there’s also a G5 chord where I eventually started using an F♯ note in passing. I had to hear what the progression sounded like using just the G5 or using a "G5add_maj7" in order to decide what I wanted to consider the chord to be. I settled on continuing to call it a G5.

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Guitar chords very often omit parts of a chord for convenience sake, often even important parts. Omitting the 3rd in G chords is probably the most common. For instance, 3X0033 is a common way to play G (I would argue it is a major chord even without the 3rd, when in the context of the song as a whole) since it lends itself to easy transitions to its dominant and subdominant: X32033 and XX0233. Note these are not "perfect" ways of playing these chords (C9 and Dsus), but are easy for people to play in a chord progression. With this influence, I can see how someone would think of a quick way to play Gmaj7 would be the fingering you've provided.

3X0033 is often played rather than 320033 because the 3rd is so low there that it doesn't benefit much.

Shevliaskovic and Tim are correct that it is really better to have a third, but I believe this is why people do it.

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    '3X0033 is often played rather than 320033 because the 3rd is so low there that it doesn't benefit much.' But then again, X20033 (G/B) can sound like a golden sunrise – Areel Xocha Jun 18 '18 at 9:20
  • @AreelXocha yes that's because it's in 1st inversion that time, when the B is supposed to be in the bass, rather than the G. – Nacht Jun 18 '18 at 12:04
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    Omitting the 3rd is most common? Not in the real world. Try 5 instead. – Tim Jun 18 '18 at 18:55

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