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I have recently been getting into the 12 bar blues and theory behind it with my sax teacher. He gave me the universal chord progressions for basic blues and told me to write out the chords in a couple different keys. I am working on F, and am having trouble with the C7 chord. I don't know if the 7th should be an A (B double flat) or a Bb. I know that a regular C7 (dom) chord would be C E G Bb, but I don't know if the fact that it is in the key of F would change that. So I guess my question is, are chords effected by the key? Or are chords always the same, regardless of any sharps or flats in the key?

I have been trying to figure this out online but I just don't really know what to search for.

Also, I'm planning on getting a music theory book soon since I feel like I am at the point where my playing is inhibited by my lack of understanding of the music - any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!:)
 

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No, chords are not affected by the key. A C7 is C E G Bb (1-3-5-b7) in every key. In fact, you can ignore the key signature when reading a chord progression.

Learn how to represent the blues progression in roman numerals, then transposing to any other key is simple. Also learn chords in terms of scale degrees (1-3-5-6-7-9-11-13) and look up "key center".

In roman numeral terms, the second chord in a simple blues is the IV7 or the four chord. In the key of C, the four chord is F7. But in F, the four is Bb7 because Bb is the 4th degree of the F scale. The five is C7.

Hopefully that gives you something to go on.
 

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No, chords are not affected by the key. A C7 is C E G Bb (1-3-5-b7) in every key. In fact, you can ignore the key signature when reading a chord progression.

Learn how to represent the blues progression in roman numerals, then transposing to any other key is simple. Also learn chords in terms of scale degrees (1-3-5-6-7-9-11-13) and look up "key center".

In roman numeral terms, the second chord in a simple blues is the IV7 or the four chord. In the key of C, the four chord is F7. But in F, the four is Bb7 because Bb is the 4th degree of the F scale. The five is C7.

Hopefully that gives you something to go on.

Good answer.


Just to reiterate Sam, a C7 is always a C7 no matter what key the song is in. If the song is in D flat but you find a C7 chord it is still C E G Bb. What changes depending on the context you find a C7 in would be what non harmonic tones might sound better. But that is whole different discussion and your teacher can help you with that when the time comes.
 

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Seeing the half steps and whole steps on a piano keyboard is a wonderful thing.
 

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Just to reiterate Sam, a C7 is always a C7 no matter what key the song is in. If the song is in D flat but you find a C7 chord it is still C E G Bb. What changes depending on the context you find a C7 in would be what non harmonic tones might sound better.
+1. Also what changes with the key center, is what non-chord tone notes you might choose to 'fill in' with between chord tones. But as mascio says, that's another topic. However, in the case of the (unaltered) V7 chord, (C7 in the key of F), the chord is diatonic; the chord tones fit the notes of the key.

Here's a resource that Neil Sharpe and a bunch of us on here put together some time ago. It might help:

http://www.saxontheweb.net/Rock_n_Roll/

p.s. One thing to keep in mind. It sounds like you are a bit confused about what the b7 means on a dominant chord. That b7 refers to the chord root, not the diatonic (key center) scale. So for C7, the b7 is Bb, which is the b7 in relation to C. It also happens to be a note in F major (the 4th scale degree). You kind of have to keep these things straight in your mind. If this is confusing, don't worry, it will make sense in time.
 
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