The MYSTERY Chord - MinMaj7 (Minor Major 7th)

The minMaj7 chord is a hilariously unique and distinct chord that is almost universally perceived as mysterious, creepy, or uncertain. I ask all my students how chords "feel" to them and none of them have EVER named this chord with a positive or bright emotion. It's good for a gag, but is also very lovely when combined in melodic ways. This video demonstrates the basics of the minor major 7th chord, the music theory on how to build it, where you may have heard it before, and some advice on how you might use it yourself.


Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!

So there I was again up late at night looking for a cold but not any sort of cord.

I was looking for something special the kotik order to make a man's hair stand up on his neck the sort of core. That'll make you feel like you just found a suspicious clue the type of chord your mother warned you about and then I met her she introduced herself said her name was minor major seven, and I thought what sort of Silly ridiculous name is that modern major, but before I could even open my mouth. She said and suddenly I had the feeling that we had a bona fide mystery on our hands.

Hey, I'm Jake lizzio. And in this video. I want to talk about one of my favorite chords the minor major seven chord. It is a very very distinctive characteristic.

It's easy to identify when you hear it. There's really nothing else like it and it doesn't crop up that often, but when it does crop up, it's usually for an obvious reason and I just think it's a fun musical concept and it's a cool Court to try to incorporate into your own compositions.

So in this video, I want to explain to you the theory behind this cord. How do you build it? You know, what how can we actually make one of these chords, but I also want to show you where does this occur? Real music some examples of where you might have heard it before and I also want to talk about how we can use it as composer some new ideas that you might be able to use as a songwriter how this fits into some of our scales. There's some really cool stuff you can do with just this chord. So to start off let's talk about the theory on how we actually build a minor major seven chord. This is really simple.

All we have to do is build a minor chord and then add the Major Seventh. So my example will be in see if I want to build a C minor chord. That's just see E flat and G.

The seventh note of my C scale is the note b c d e f g a b. So if I add a b note to my C minor chord c e flat g b while now, I've got my minor major seven chord and you can hear that's pretty mysterious.

That's pretty spooky and this voicing of it where we just go through the notes right in the same order is my favorite voicing of it. I think this is the most mysterious sounding voicing playing in versions of this still has that effect but not as strong. I think the inversions of Major 7 just don't have that same really strong, you know, spooky mysterious flavor to it. Now just as a quick note, it's always easy to find the 7th note of your scale just by going back a half step going back one fret will tell you the 7th note of your scale. You just have to raise it up an octave. So I want to do this all over again just to make sure you've got the concept. Let's build an F minor major seven an F minor Triad would be the note F and the note a flat and the note C. So right there there's an F minor chord, but the 7th note of F. I can find the 7th note just by going back a half step. Um, f that takes me to the note E, so let's add a high e to my f Minor triad and there it is that signature minor major seven sound really cool sound now to me the strength of this court is that mysterious flavor to it and you're going to see this being used in its strongest form in a few different examples first. If you think of the end of the James Bond theme, there's a few different versions of the theme but many of the versions of that theme do and with just a strong minor major seven chord Also, there's a very popular video game called Team Fortress 2 and the main theme song for that video game has strong strong minor major 7th chords being played on the horns behind the entire minor group.

Also the award-winning theme song for the pain. Entire show bolt ends with a minor major seven to give us a little bit of Mystery.

And you can guess and film score something like this can easily be abused as a stinger effect to leave people on a cliffhanger. Now this doesn't have to be used in an isolated quarantine sensed just to Spook people out. You can also use it melodically and the example I want to give you is from the song Something by The Beatles the chorus section of that song would be an A Minor to an A Minor major seven to an A Minor 7 to a D9 and then we go into the little turnaround therefore the Watch the lyrics there.

I don't want to leave her now.

You know, I believe really nice chord change all the way through now, we can actually hear a natural minor major seven chord in the harmonic minor key. So if I was in a harmonic minor just by skipping notes, I can get the notes a C and G sharp. So it would be diatonic in harmonic minor.

However, the real joy for me of mine are made. Your seventh chords, that doesn't do the spooky creepy mysterious thing if I am in the key of mixolydian Flat 6, which is like the fifth mode of melodic minor then what I can do is I can play a major tonic chord. Let's think of D major. For example, I'm allowed to play a D major if I'm in the key of D mixolydian flat 6, and I'm also allowed to play a G minor major seven and I think that change of going from a D minor or do D major to the G major 7 I think is a really lovely change.

And I do a lot of the creepiness of that chord normally. So just by kind of going back and forth between these two chords you get this really dreamy ethereal kind of sound and you would might not guess that that that cord right? There is a minor major seven because it doesn't sound that spooky. It doesn't sound that creepy.

So once again, let's listen to this in the key of like G. Okay. Let's say I'm in the fifth mode of melodic minor starting on G so g mixolydian flat 6. That means I would be allowed to play a major one chord g major, but I'm also allowed to play A Minor four chord, which would be C minor and I could spice that up and stay in this scale just by doing a minor major seven chord instead. So here's the G major.

Here's a C minor major seven.

That's a really nice progression really kind of strange and if I start adding and some other notes of that scale.

I just think that's really really lovely stuff. And I think it's cool that you can kind of, you know water down the creepiness of that minor major seven chord when it's in the context of this mixolydian Flat 6 scale.

So I hope you like to see the way I kind of think about chords. I really try to assimilate and understand what they do and how they can be disguised and how I might be able to mistake them for something else, but they really do have unique characteristics major chords do certain things and minor chords do certain things and minor major seven chord do certain things. So when I'm you know composing or if I'm hearing something in my head that I want to write and I hear something that I recognize.

Is one of those chords it makes it so much easier for me to write my own music because it's not just in my head. I have a word associated with it. I might hear a chord and think. Oh, wow, that's really spooky. It's probably a minor major seven chord. So then when I sit down on my on my guitar, I already know or have a really good idea of what I'm shooting for on my instrument. It's just a way to get the stuff from in here out of your instrument and into the real world. So if you like this video and you want to see more videos like this, please consider supporting my patreon page. If you can't do that then just sharing these videos liking and subscribing. Scribing and commenting that's good enough for me. So thanks for watching and I'll see you next time.


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