05 February, 2010

HOW TO play dominant seventh chords (A7,B7, C7 etc...)

In this post, I will attempt to explain how you can play seventh chords such as A7 (A dominant 7), Am7 (A minor 7) and so on.

As you should know by now, playing guitar chords is all about chord patterns. If you recall my earlier posts on how to play barre chords part 1 and part 2, you will realise that once you have the barre chord shape, all you need to do is to move the same shape up and down the fretboard to get the different chords.

Well, this post will talk about the chord shape you can use to play dominant seventh chords, ie. chords like A7 and Am7 etc. So, what is a dominant seventh chord? To technically explain it, it just means to minor the 7th note and add it into the chord. At this point, you must be wondering what the 7th note of a chord is. If you're a beginner, I'm sure this will make no sense to you at all. So, hopefully, I'll be able to explain some theory in my future posts (I'm really terrible at theory because I learned the guitar on my own)

For now, the more important thing is to learn how to play these dominant seventh chords. Below is a pictorial view on playing dominant seventh chords:

Barre chord on the 6th string

Barre chord on the 5th string

Simply put, in order to play dominant 7th chord on the 6th string, you just have to take off your last finger. Yes, it’s that simple. So, take the F chord for example. To play a F7, you just have to play the F barre chord, minus the last finger. The same applies for all the other chords using the barre chord pattern.

If you're using the barre chord on the 5th string, you play the standard barre chord and minus your ring finger. So the example above shows a Bb chord. To play the Bb7, just take off your ring finger. The same applies for all the other chords using the barre chord pattern.

Practically, you can use 7th chords to give the song a more jazzy feel (in my opinion). Go ahead, try to use some 7th chords in the songs you play. It will definitely add more flavour to your playing.


Andrew diaz said...

Thanks for your guidance you have really tried hard to make it easier but I am unable to get it, it is hard to follow without video I tried another site for this an I got it. That site really help me a lot.

Amanda said...

You have no idea how helpful your tips on me.!!You are truly great, I have been playing guitar for almost 1 year.!!And I learned new things today.thanks to you.