How to Improvise Over Major 7th Chords

This guitar lesson will go over the most common and advanced ways to improvise and solo over major 7th chords.

  1. Over a C major 7th chord, use a C major scale (also know as the Ionian mode). C D E F G A B C
  2. Over a Cmaj7 chord, use the C major Bebop scale. This scale is the same as C major except the bebop scale includes a b6 which is Ab in this case. The notes for this scale are C D E F G Ab A B C. Here are two C bebop scale diagrams. *The diamonds are the bebop passing notes.

  3. You can play an Emin7 (E G B D) arpeggio over a Cmaj Chord.

  4. Use the B minor blues scale over a Cmaj7 chord. Experiment this one because there are a lot of tension notes, so use it sparingly.

  5. You can use the C major pentatonic scale(A minor pentatonic) over a Cmaj7 chord. The notes are C D E G A. This scale will give your playing a simple and basic sound, similar to traditional jazz. 

  6. Use the Lydian mode. The notes in this scale are C D E F# G A B

  7. You can use the C major pentatonic scale(A minor pentatonic) over a Cmaj7 chord. The notes are C D E G A. This scale will give your playing a simple and basic sound, similar to traditional jazz.