Let’s now learn how to form an Am7 chord. Firstly, let us learn the notes of the A major scale. They are A – B – C# – D – E – F# – G#. To form an A minor seventh chord use the minor 7 chord formula 1 – 3b – 5 – 7b. Using this formula the notes of the A minor 7 chord are A – C – E – G. Notice that the notes C and G are not in the major scale; they have been lowered by one semitone each. Instead of playing C# and G#, you play C and G. A minor seventh chord is formed by combining the root, flat third, perfect fifth and flat seventh of the major scale.
In terms of intervals, the Am7 chord is made up of a minor third, a major third and a minor third interval. A to C is a minor third interval consisting of three half steps (1 1/2 steps or tones). Start on A, skip two notes A# and B, and land on the third note, C. C to E is a major third consisting of four half steps (2 whole steps or tones). Start on C, skip three notes C#, D and D# and land on the fourth note, E. E to G is a minor interval consisting of three half steps (1 1/2 steps or tones). Start on E, skip two notes F and F# and land on the third note G.
How is this chord written? Common names are Am7, A min7 and A minor 7.
To learn more about chords, check out my course, Piano Chords: How To Form Basic Chords On Piano And Keyboard.
Until now we’ve only looked at the Am7 chord in root position. As we’ve seen, in root position the notes of the chord are in the sequence A – C – E – G. In terms of their right hand fingering, finger 1 (thumb) plays A, finger 2 plays C, finger 3 plays E and finger 5 plays G. The A minor seventh chord can be played in other voicings or fingerings. To form the 1st inversion, you move the root note, A up one octave and the sequence of notes now becomes C – E – G – A. To form the 2nd inversion of the chord, you move the note, C up one octave and the sequence of notes now becomes E – G – A – C. Lastly to form the 3rd inversion, move the note E up one octave and the sequence of pitches is now G – A – C – E. You will notice that in every inversion the notes remain the same. The only thing that changes is where they are located in the chord.
Do you want to learn how to build other minor seventh chords? You can learn how to do this on our main piano chords page. Go to main Piano Chords page. Learn how to construct min7 piano chords in all keys. Also you will find information on how to form other kinds of piano chords including major, minor, diminished, augmented, major 7th, and even various kinds of 9th, 11th and 13th chords.
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