Jazz 7th Guitar Chord

This week's Guitar Chord Of The Week is a dominant seventh chord shape. It is often used by jazz guitarists, but it is not so well known among rock and acoustic guitarists. Practice using this chord with the example chord progression provided.

Jazz 7th Guitar Chord Shape

Jazz 7th Guitar Chord

This seventh chord shape is a movable version of the well known open position C7 chord, shown below.

C7 Open Position Guitar Chord
C7 Open Position Guitar Chord

In order to play the movable version of the chord, imagine moving the open position chord up the fretboard. In the movable version, neither the bottom E (6th) string nor the top E (1st) string are played.

How To Play This Chord

Prevent the bottom E string from sounding either by avoiding it when you strum, or by using the thumb of the fretting hand to dampen the string.

Stop the top E string from sounding by using the technique described in last week's chord of the week. This entails using the other fingers of the fretting hand to prevent the string from ringing. In this case the index (1st) finger can be used to dampen the string.

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Why Use This Version Of The Dominant Seventh Chord?

This voicing of a dominant 7th chord is a useful shape to know. It can easily be moved around the neck. Once you are used to damping strings with the other fretting fingers and/or the thumb you will find that this chord is very easy to play. It is also good for using in funky rhythmic strumming patterns. You could experiment with semitone slides into the chord from the fret below.

This dominant seventh chord shape is also good for creating arpeggio riffs. However, it's not a good chord for highly distorted metal rhythm playing.

Jazz Guitar Chord Voicings

Like many jazz voicings of standard chords, this shape is quite minimal: the fifth degree of the scale is omitted, and only the root note appears twice. In fact, you could even omit either the top or bottom note of this chord and it would still retain its dominant seventh sound.

Jazz voicings often contain only the bare minimum of notes needed to give the chords their defining sound. This makes it easier to play the fast-moving chord progressions that are typical of some forms of jazz. You can learn some more very useful jazz chords here: Basic Jazz Guitar Chords.

These chords are not reserved solely for jazz music; knowing alternate versions of chords is extremely beneficial in all styles of music.

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Sample Chord Progression

Try playing this jazz dominant seventh chord in the chord progression shown below:

Jazz 7th Guitar Chord Progression
Jazz 7th Guitar Chord Progression

Over To You

Over to you: would you like us to feature complicated altered jazz chords, or chords like this one which are reasonably well known but that some guitarists may not be aware of? Let us know in the comments below.

Last Week's Guitar Chord Of The Week.

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