Degree Names of Natural Minor Diatonic Chords (7th Chords) / Music Theory Lesson

Author: sleepfreaks

Degree Names for 7th Chords (Natural Minor Diatonic Chords)

This time, in continuation of the previous triads, we will be looking at the degree names of 7th chords (4 note chords).
When analyzing a song, you will often find triads and 7th chords used in conjunction, so be sure to master this theory.


Information from our 21~26th articles will be required, as well as our previous article, so be sure to brush up on your knowledge.

You can download a chart to refer for analysis from below:

The Rules of Diatonic 7th Chords are the Same as with Triads

Lets take a look at the natural minor diatonic 7th chords.


Like with the triad chords, memorizing all of these is alot of work.
However, the same rules apply to 7th chords that were found with the triads.

The key point is that “the chord types starting from the left are the same” regardless of key.

  • Diatonic 7th Chords in A (Natural) Minor
  • am_diatonic_tetrad

  • Diatonic 7th Chords in C (Natural) Minor
  • cm_diatonic_tetrad

As we can see, the order of
minor 7th, minor 7th b5, major 7th, minor 7th, minor 7th, major 7th, dominant 7th
remains the same.

We can easily transpose a key on the piano roll, just like we did with triads.


Like with triads, keep this rule in mind and switch each scale degree with their roman numeral equivalents.

Applying Roman Numerals to a Scale

Lets apply roman numerals in order starting from the first note of the scale.
We’ll use C natural minor for this example.


The degree names are as follows.

  • Though you may seen it written like so (without b (flats)), in this article, we will put “b” to help understand the difference between other scale and diatonic chords, as well as to help tie in this knowledge to techniques that we will look at in future articles.

Now lets put together the diatonic chords. We will do so as mentioned in our 46th article.
In addition, we will write the chord type next to each roman numeral.

By simply playing the notes of the minor scale into each roman numeral equivalent, you can figure out the diatonic 7th chords of any natural minor scale.

  • There are various ways to write degree names, such as using a “△” for major, or using lower-case letters for minor (i.e. “ⅲ”). In this article we will follow the writing style used above.

In addition, each chord is named as follows:

  • Im7 = one minor seventh
  • IIm7b5 = two minor seventh flat five
  • bIIImaj7= flat three major seventh
  • IVm7 = four minor seventh
  • Vm7 = five minor seventh
  • bVImaj7 = flat sixth major seventh
  • bVII7 = flat seven seventh (dominant seventh)

Using Degree Names

Like with major chords, understanding degree names comes in handy when trying out different keys for your own music, analysis, etc.

Lets try it with Fm.
If the F natural minor scale is hard to figure out, think about an F major scale with a flat 3, 6, and 7.

Simply put the scale notes into their respective roman numerals to easily change to different keys.


Lastly, we have attacked a chart of natural minor diatonic 7th chords with their respective roman numerals.
Please use it as reference for your studies/analysis (follow the link below).


In our next article, we will begin preparation for making music in a minor key.
Please stay tuned!

Article Writer: Kazuma Itoh

講師 伊藤
After moving to the USA at 18 years of age with a scholarship from Berklee, he completed a 4 year study focused on song writing and arranging there.
Using this knowledge, he works across a variety of fields from pop music, film music, and more.