Invite to the most current installation of Chord by Chord, a series designed to build your fretboard familiarity and understanding of consistency. In previous lessons, I showed you the four basic triad types– significant, minor, diminished, and enhanced– and this time you’ll discover the first chord beyond a triad, a seventh chord.

The Work
There are different kinds of seventh chords, and the dominant seventh is possibly the most frequently used in music. Often referred to merely as the seventh chord, it takes a major triad and includes the flatted seventh. So a D significant triad is spelled D F# A (Example 1), and a D7 chord is spelled D F# A C (Example 2).

Now let’s develop D7 chords from different D voicings, initially with the open D chord. As shown in Example 3, to alter it to D7, all you need to do is replace the D on string 2 with the C (the flatted seventh) on the same string.

Example 4 reveals some barred voicings. These chords are often played on simply strings 2– 5. You might likewise try them with fingerpicking, using your thumb on string 5 and index, middle, and ring fingers on strings 3, 2, and 1, respectively.

In Example 5 we have a less typical D voicing, which can be customized to make a more typical D7 shape. Example 6a takes you up to a barre chord in tenth position. All you need to do to get to a D7 chord from the D is eliminate your fourth finger. A variation on Ex. 6a is displayed in Example 6b. This D7 shape is the exact same, but by including your 4th finger to string 2, worry 13, you are doubling the flatted seventh that is also played an octave lower, on string 4, fret 10.

Example 7 is identical to Ex. 3, however with each worried note went up an octave (12 worries), for a more remarkable sound– a voicing that will be more tough to play if you’re on a guitar with a 12th-fret neck junction.

The Result
If you’ve done the work, now you understand how a D7 chord is constructed and how to alter different D shapes to D7. Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Lady” is a well-known song that uses a D7 chord, along with a handful of others that you should currently understand.

Stay tuned for next time, when you’ll find out a bunch of G7 shapes.

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