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In this example, many chords are marked as major with a triangle or minor with a minus sign - for the ones that simply say, e.g "C#7" - what would they be?

Example

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Chord symbols are very explicit in telling you what chord you are playing. A C♯7 is a C♯ dominant 7th spelled C#, E#, G#, B. Any chord with a note and a 7 is a dominant 7th.

Here's a simple breakdown of chords based on chord symbols. To keep this general, we'll use C as an example, but this is for any root note:

Triads

  • C = C major = root, major 3rd, perfect 5th
  • C- = C minor = root, minor 3rd, perfect 5th
  • Co = C diminished = root, minor 3rd, diminished 5th
  • C+= C augmented= root, major 3rd, augmented 5th
  • Csus4 = C minor = root, perfect 4th, perfect 5th
  • Csus2 = C minor = root, major 2nd, perfect 5th

Seventh chords

  • CΔ7 = C major 7th = root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, major 7th
  • C7 = C dominant 7th = root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th
  • C-7 = C minor 7th = root, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th
  • C-Δ7 = C minor major 7th = root, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, major 7th
  • Cø = C half diminished = root, minor 3rd, diminished 5th, minor 7th
  • Co7 = C diminished 7th = root, minor 3rd, diminished 5th, diminished 7th
  • C+Δ7 = C augmented major 7th = root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, major 7th
  • C+7 = C augmented 7th = root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th

There are way more chord symbols then this and there are variations on pretty much every chord symbol. This should get you started though.

  • Thanks guys, so for Roman Numeral Analysis - how does the chord being dominant affect your numeral? – Dylan Jul 19 '15 at 7:37
  • @Dylan not every dominant chord is treated the same and there are different schools of thought on analysis. If it's a dominant 7th most of the time there will be a V7 in some way shape or form, but could also be a passing chord or serve a different function. – Dom Jul 23 '15 at 1:44

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