Lesson Preview
Acoustic Guitar
Lesson Preview
Enjoy a short preview of this lesson
To continue watching, please sign in or subscribe

11: Intermediate: Making 7th Chords

John-Paul Gentile

17:14 · Acoustic Guitar

Learn from JP how to play 7th chords and when to use them.

11: Intermediate: Making 7th Chords

John-Paul Gentile

The 7th chord is considered a bar chord, which means you can move it anywhere. You can use the same formation and just slide it up the neck.

Whatever your index finger is playing, it the name of the chord. E.g. 1st finger (index) on the 5th fret is A, therefore the A major 7.

A major 7:
  • 1st finger 5th fret A string
  • skip A string
  • 3rd finger 6th fret D string
  • 4th finger 6th fret G string
  • 2nd finger 5th fret B string
  • mute the E string

The chord is called a 7 because you play the 1, 3, 5, and 7.

The difference between a minor and major 7 chord is that in a minor the 3 and the 7 are flat. You can also take the minor 7 up and down the neck in the same formation.

A dom 7 or A7 = dominant 7 chord, it’s a major dominant chord with a flat 7. This is where the blues feel comes from.

A dom 7 or A7:
  • 1st finger 5th fret A string
  • 2nd finger 5th fret D string
  • 4th finger 6th fret G string
  • 3rd finger 5th fret B string
There are 2 different major 7 chords that can be played open:
A minor chord:
  • Open A
  • 2nd finger 2nd fret D string
  • 3rd finger 2nd fret G string
  • 1st finger 1st fret B string
  • Open E (optional)
  • To make this a minor 7 chord, all you do is lift up your 3rd finger

    E minor 7:
  • 1st finger 2nd fret A string
  • 4th finger 3rd fret B string
How to construct a major/minor/dominant 7 chord starting on the 5th string:
D major 7:
  • 1st finger 5th fret A string
  • 3rd finger 7th fret D string
  • 2nd finger 6th fret G string
  • 4th finger 7th fret B string
  • To make it dominant 7, flat the 7, for this chord take your 2nd finger off and bar using the 1st finger
  • To make it minor, you flat the 3rd as well (keeping the flat 7)
  • Move 2nd finger to 6th fret B string
  • Let go of pinkie
  • You can move these up and down the fret board

You will start to find that some chord sound really good open - B minor 7 sounds really cool instead of barring it, but c sharp minor chord sounds weird, so bar it.

Once you learn these bar chords you can start playing some really nice picking patterns.