36 Ways of Playing a Dominant 7 Chord on Guitar - Beginner to Advanced
- By Stef Ramin
- On 07/30/2019
- 0 comments
Dominant 7 chords are one of the most important chords to know, they can be found in many styles of music as blues, funk, pop and of course in jazz music. In this lesson we will see how dominant 7 chords are built and how to play them on guitar using 36 different voicings and shapes.
How is Built a Dominant 7th Chord?
Dominant 7 chords are built from the fifth note of any scale. Exemple with the C major scale, the dominant chord is formed by stacking thirds from the fifth note of C major which is G.
You can see a dominant 7 chord as a major triad (1 3 5) with an added flattened seventh (b7) giving the following interval pattern :
- R (root note)
- 3 (major third)
- 5 (perfect fifth)
- b7 (minor seventh)
Dominant 7 chords are generally written with a "7" beside the name of the root of the chord, example with C7. They are represented with "V" when using roman numerals, exemple V7.
Open Dominant 7 Chord Shapes
The following open chord shapes represent the starting point for a beginner. They are mostly used to play songs. Open chords are generally easy to play, they don't require much dexterity to execute. The particularity of these types of chords is that they have open strings that are played. In the diagrams below the open strings are represented by a little circle near the nut.
Barre Chord Shapes
Barre chords require more finger strenght indeed, you need to bar with you index to play them. This is a real difficulty for a beginner. The interest of barre chords is that they are are movable, in other words it means that the two guitar shapes below can be moved all across the guitar neck. For example, to play a G7 chord using the first diagram on the left you must bar the third fret with your index finger. Move the position up to fret and you get an A7.
Dominant 7 Jazz Chord Positions - Drop Voicings
Now you have mastered all the basic dominant 7 chord positions it's time to move on more complex shapes. The following provides 28 supplementary dominant 7 chord positions based on drop 2, drop 3 and drop 2-4 voicings.
You are probably wondering what are drop voicings, here is a small reminder :
- Drop 2 chords are built by dropping the second highest note of a four-note chord in close position down an octave.
- Drop 3 chords are formed by dropping the third highest note of a four-note chord down an octave.
- Drop 2 and 4 chords are created by dropping down an octave the second and fourth note of a seventh chord in close position.
Drop 2 Dominant 7 Chord Shapes
The three guitar neck diagrams below show how to play drop 2 dominant 7 chords on guitar. Each diagram contains four different dom7 chord shapes. The first diagram have the bass notes on the fourth string, the second have bass notes on the fifth string and the third have root notes on the sixth string. Remember that there are only four notes (1 - 3 - 5 - b7), they are simply played in a different order.
Drop 3 Dominant 7 Chord Shapes
The next two diagrams contain eight other dominant 7 chord voicing shapes. You can see that there is a string skip between the lowest note of each shape. This is the particularity of the drop 3 chords.
Drop 2-4 Dominant 7 Chord Shapes
Drop 2-4 voicings are not the most used in jazz guitar but it is interesting to know them. The next two diagrams give you eight new possibilities to play dominant 7 chords on guitar.
This pdf method for guitar contains 40 II V I jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode for building effective improvised solos.
This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation, audio files and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook contains 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation on how to play over II-V-I chord progressions using different kind of voicings.
This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
The tritone substitution is explained through 6 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links. Printable PDF eBook.