Learn 7th Chords on Guitar

The blues just doesn’t sound right if we don’t have 7th chords, or Dominant Seven Chords, as they are often referred to.

Let’s take a look at learning how to play 7th chords over a 12 bar blues.

The C major scale has these notes:

C – D – E – F – G – A – B

In order to find the chords for a 12 bar blues, simply take the one chord, the four chord and the five chord. In this example, that means C, F and G.

Next, we are going to make these into 7th chords.

7th Chords

7th chords are a must in blues. They provide that “bluesy” sound – just play a 12 bar blues with regular major chords, and you’ll notice how lame it sounds!

Let’s start with the C7 chord. The tab below provides a C7 chord. Keep in mind to not play the low E string here.


e-------------
B-----1-------
G-----3-------
D-----2-------
A-----3-------
E-----X-------

You can now take that same shape, and slide it up and down the neck playing, but avoid playing either of the E strings. The tab would look like this for the four chord, the F7. The root note is starting on the 8th fret this time.


e-----X--------
B-----6--------
G-----8--------
D-----7--------
A-----8--------
E-----X--------

Here is the five chord – G7. It is simply 1 whole-step (or 2 frets) further towards your guitar’s pickups, compared to the F7 chord we just learned:


e-----X--------
B-----8--------
G-----10-------
D-----9--------
A-----10-------
E-----X--------

So you can see, that with this one chord shape, you can find any 7th chord you want. Simply start with the correct root note (the note on the A string in this case) and there you have it.


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