Welcome to the most recent installment of Chord by Chord, a series created to develop your understanding of harmony and the fretboard. In previous lessons you have actually explored major seventh chords, discovering how to develop Cmaj7 from C and Gmaj7 from G. This time I’ll introduce a new major seventh chord one, Dmaj7.

Learn 6 Ways to Play D Major 7 | Chord by Chord

The Work
As a tip, a significant seventh chord is constructed of a major triad with a significant seventh on top. So to develop a Dmaj7 chord, take a D chord (D F# A) and include the significant seventh (C#), as displayed in Examples 1 and 2.

Example 3 demonstrates how to make a Dmaj7 from an open D chord– simply move the D on the 2nd string down a half step, to C#. Example 4 reveals Dmaj7 originated from a D chord in 5th position. You might have noticed that this Dmaj7’s shape is similar to that of the Cmaj7 you found out in a previous lesson, however 2 stresses higher. That’s because it’s a portable chord– again, you can utilize the same shape to play 12 different chords by moving it along the fretboard.

Example 5 reveals how to make Dmaj7 from a D chord in seventh position, with the fifth (A) as the most affordable note. Further up the neck, the shapes in Example 6 usage simply the bottom 4 strings for a clean-sounding Dmaj7 voicing in tenth position. The Dmaj7 in Example 7 is also originated from that tenth-position D chord. Example 8 demonstrates how to make a Dmaj7 chord method up at the 12th fret. This shape is most quickly played on a 14-fret guitar, particularly one with a cutaway.

The Result
You should now understand how to make Dmaj7 from numerous D major shapes. Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” is one tune that makes great usage of the Dmaj7 chord. (In the video, I tune my 6th string to D and use the Dmaj7 voicing in Ex. 7.) Next time we’ll deal with some chord progressions involving a few of the shapes you have actually already learned.