Welcome to the current installment of Chord by Chord, a series designed to develop your understanding of harmony and the fretboard. In a previous lesson, we worked on the I– IV– V7– I progression in G. This time we’ll utilize the very same progression, but with the Imaj7 chord rather of the I.

Imaj7–IV–V7–Imaj7 Progression in G Major | Chord by Chord

The Work
As you found out formerly, a major seventh chord is constructed by taking a significant triad and including the significant seventh. Example 1 reveals the G significant scale, the first, 3rd, fifth, and seventh notes of which make a Gmaj7 chord (Example 2a). As another pointer of how the other chords in the Imaj7– IV– V7– Imaj7 development are built, see Examples 2b and c.

Example 3 reveals the Imaj7– IV– V7– Imaj7 development utilizing open chords. Attempt playing the progression with a basic open G chord rather, so that you can hear what a difference the Gmaj7 chord makes– it supplies a peaceful, reflective, and rather jazzy noise.

Example 4 reveals the progression using barre chords. Keep in mind that this figure uses a somewhat different maj7 shape than in previous lessons, with the greatest note on string 2. For the smoothest movement between chords, avoid playing the notes on string 1. Example 5 also utilizes barre chords, however in this case the root note is always on string 6, rather than on either string 6 or 5, as in Ex. 4.

In Example 6, you’ll discover compact three-note voicings on the top 3 strings. You might have observed that the roots are missing out on from the Gmaj7 and D7. They still sound like the chords they’re suggested to be, however, since they include the defining notes of the 3rd and seventh (B and F# on the Gmaj7 and F# and C on the D7).

The Result
You ought to now understand how to play the Imaj7– IV– V7– Imaj7 utilizing different voicings in the key of G major. Practice playing the development in rhythm until next time, when I’ll introduce a brand-new chord type– suspended.