The V7 Chord



Of all the 7th chords, the most widely used is the dominant 7th chord.  There are two ways of thinking about its structure:


1.     It is a major triad with a minor 7th (above the root) added.  This is why it is also called a major-minor seventh chord.


2.     It has the interval structure:


m3 (minor 3rd)

m3 (minor 3rd)

M3 (major 3rd)



It is called the dominant seventh because it is usually built off the dominant (5th) of the key.  Therefore, it is labeled V7.  Like other V chords, it retains its major quality in the minor mode.  This means that the third of the V7 chord must be raised a half step.  In the example below, the V7 in both versions is a major-minor seventh chord.  In the A minor mode (on the right), the chord reflects the adjustment of the 3rd being raised a half step (G natural raised to G sharp).









Use this link to download an exercise sheet to practice writing V7 chords in different major and minor keys:


V7 Exercises