Intermediate Chords tutorials
4. Dominant 7th chords
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So what you're saying is chords have some sort of battles and the 7th round is all about who dominates the most?

  1. Topics of discussion
  2. Dominant 7th chords

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we will be taking a look at dominant seventh chords and how to play them. So, let's have some fun.

2. Dominant 7th chords

Dominant 7th chords are formed by using the major triad, on top of which we add the flatted seventh note of the major scale formed on the root note. For example, if we want to play the C7 chord, we would add the B♭ note on top of the C-E-G triad. As a result, the chord formula for dominant seventh chords is the following:

1 3 5 ♭7

Let us play the C7 chord in 5 different shapes, using the CAGED system, as you might expect. First off, the C form:

EADGBEX1423X
C7 chord

Here it is played back:

Let's move on to the A form:

EADGBE14121X
C7 chord

Here it is played back:

Let's move on to the G form:

5EADGBE211134
C7 chord

Here it is played back:

The barre for the form above is done with the index finger. Let's move on to the E form:

8EADGBE112131
C7 chord

Here it is played back:

The barre for the form above is done with the index finger. Let's move on to the D form:

10EADGBE4231XX
C7 chord

Here it is played back:

Last time I said that it seemed a bit counter-intuitive to move on to dominant 7th chords instead of minor seventh. Why I chose this direction is simple. Major seventh and dominant 7th both rely on adding a note on top of the major triad and the main difference between them is in that flatted 7th note.

Anyhow, that about covers it for this tutorial. Next time around we are going to discuss minor 7th chords. See you then.

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