BC-151 • A7, D7, E7 Chords
Time for more 7th chords, with these you'll be able to play a whole lotta blues!
Next up we are looking at another three dominant 7th chords. With a total now of six 7th chords, you will be able to play a 12-bar blues in the keys of G, E, A and D!
Note that these dominant 7th chords are written with the chord pitch and then a "7", but I will often call them dominant chords, or dominant 7ths. The reason they are "dominant" is that they are usually found as the fifth chord in a key, which in classical terminology is called The Dominant Chord and it really draws back to the Tonic Chord (the first chord in a key). In classical music a V -> I Perfect Cadence is used to end a section of music but in modern pop and blues it is used a lot more freely...
For now, just get to grips with this cool new sound, don't worry about the theory or the why and how, that will come later...
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This is a pretty straightforward chord: it only needs two fingers! Use whatever fingers you want—it doesn't really matter—it depends upon which chords you are coming from and going to. Use the fingering shown here to learn it, then change it later if you need to.
There are some other common alternative ways of playing this chord, this is just the one I think that you should check out first!
It is often confusing to people that a chord can be played different ways, but still have the same name. This first chord, A7, must have the notes A C# E and G. As long as a chord has those notes (in any order) it will be called an A7. The one shown below has the notes A E G C# E but other ways of playing A7 will have the notes in a different order and it makes no difference, the one using the 1st finger barre has the notes A E A C# G. They do sound different but because they have the same notes could be interchanged in a song easily. Which to choose? Well it just depends on what you think will sound best at the time!
I think of this as looking a bit like a backwards D—see what I mean? This is an easy chord to play. The only common problem you might have is that your 2nd finger might fall too flat, which will make it mute the second string. Just make sure you are using the tip of your finger to fret the note and it'll be fine.
Remember not to hit the fifth and sixth strings. Adding the fifth string won't matter too much but the sixth string will make this chord sound awful!
This chord is the same as a regular E chord, but without using your 3rd finger. Easy! It can be a little tricky to get the fourth string ringing out clearly, and as that's the only note that is different from regular E, it's very important that it sounds. You will probably get this by making sure you use the very tips of your 1st and 3rd fingers.
This chord can also be played by playing a regular E chord, and then adding your little finger at the 3rd fret, second string: (same notes, different order!).
Next up we are going to look at the notes that we use in music in BC-152 • The Note Circle.
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