The Major 7 #5 chord is a very useful shape for a number of colorful chord sounds. It also is very valuable as a linear structure for improvisation over these same chords when used as an arpeggio.
The Major 7 #5 is created by adding a major 7th to an augmented triad. It is built from bottom to top with two major 3rds and a minor 3rd. It also can be found by starting on the 3rd of a melodic minor scale. As with other interval shapes, the various chord colors and tones are created by basing the shape on some interval above the bass note.
- On b7: tones b7, 9, #11 and 13. Implies 7#11.
- On 3: tones 3, #5, root and #9. Implies 7#5#9, also called “7alt.”
- On b9: tones b9, 11, 13 and root. Implies a sus7b9.
- On b3: tones b3, 5, 7 and 9. Implies a minor-major 7. often called “-∆”
- On b5: tones b5, b7, 9 and 11. Implies half-dimished 9, or “ø9.”
- On b6: tones b6, root, 3rd and 5th. Implies 7b13, or major b13. Based on 5th melodic minor mode.
- On 5: tones 5, 7, #9 and #11. Implies Maj7#9#11. Based on the 6th harmonic minor mode.
In another lesson, we will talk about how to practice these shapes to make them part of your vocabulary.