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Learn Bass Guitar – Major 7th Pattern

Learn Bass Guitar – Major 7th Pattern –> In our two previous lessons we covered the major scale, and the major triad as essential scales and patterns to know when learning bass guitar. In this lesson we cover another important bass pattern – the Major 7th.

The major 7th is the same pattern as the major triad with one additional note – the 7th note of the major scale. So in total the major 7th includes 4 notes – the root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th.

Below is a diagram that shows all of the notes in an A major scale with the root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th highlighted.

A major scale root 3rd 5th 7th highlighted

Below is a diagram showing the Major 7th pattern root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes:

Learn Bass Guitar - Major 7th Pattern

Where is the 7th?

The 7th note in a major scale is always one fret (note) below the root note.

Here is a diagram showing the 7th below both the lower and higher octave root notes of A. As you can see, the 7th below the roots are the same – G#

7th below root

When to Use the Major 7th Pattern

As with other major scales, patterns, and chords the major 7th produces a happier, cheerful, pretty sound. While you will hear the pattern in a lot of music genres, the pattern is played most often in jazz and pop songs. The major triad is often used in conjunction with the major triad. It is used effectively as a filler or passing note when playing the major triad.

As with any pattern, scale or chord it’s best to let your ear be the judge to decide if it fits. This is particularly true with the major 7th. If it doesn’t work it can muddy a song and make things sound off or out of key. So while the Major 7th can be applied to many situations, make sure it fits when deciding whether or not to use it.

Major 7th Notation/Symbol

The Major 7th is notated by using the root note of the chord followed by the abbreviation maj7 or M7. For example, the abbreviation for a C Major 7th chord is Cmaj7 or CM7

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Learn Bass Guitar – Major 7th Pattern