5 Open Dominant 7th Guitar Chords You Must Know

In this lesson I am going to show you 5 important dominant 7th chords that you must know as a guitarist. Unlike the major and minor chords, the dominant 7th chords are made up of 4 notes i.e, root, major third, perfect fifth and minor seventh.

Dominant 7th chords are mostly used in rock, Pop, jazz and blues music. You can hear the sound of dominant 7th chords in songs like ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ by Beatles, ‘Back in the USA’ by Chuck Berry and ‘You don’t mess around with Jim’ by Jim Croce.

The 5 dominant 7th chords that you are going to see are open in shape just like the open major and minor chords. So, lets take a look.

To understand 7th chords in details check out – Understanding 7th Chords

Tips to Practice Dominant 7th Chords

  • Memorize each chord finger position by going through its diagrams
  • Practice chord switching between each chords
  • Make sure to use your finger tips to hold the notes of the chord
  • Use a metronome to practice chord changing
  • Strum each chord 4 times then switch to next chord to practice chord changing

Note: The circles in the chord diagrams represents the strings to be played open and cross represents strings to skip while strumming.

1. A Dominant 7 – A7

Place your first finger on the second fret of D string and second finger on the second fret of B string to form A7 chord. Here 1st, 3rd and 5th string will remain open and skip the 6th string while strumming.

2. B Dominant 7 – B7

Place your first finger on the first fret of D string, second finger on second fret of A string, third finger on second fret of G string and finally fourth finger on second fret of high string to form B7 chord.. Here the B string will remain open and skip the 6th string while strumming.

3. C Dominant 7 – C7

Place your first finger on first fret of B string, second finger on second fret of D string, third finger on third fret of A string and finally fourth finger on third fret of G string to form C7 chord. Here the high E string will remain open and skip the 6th string while strumming.

4. D Dominant 7 – D7

Place your first finger on first fret of B string, second finger on second fret of G string and third finger on second fret of high E string. to form D7 chord. Here D string will remain open and skip the A and low E string while strumming.

5. E Dominant 7 – E7

Place your first finger on first fret of G string and second finger on second fret of A string. Here high E, B, D and low E string will remain open.

Summing Up

Practice and memorize the finger position of each chord before moving to the next chord. You can down strum each chord four times then switch to the next chord. This will improve your chord switching ability. After you thoroughly memorize the chord shapes, start playing songs that have these chords in them.

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