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This lesson is in standard tuning (EADGBE) and has not been pitch altered!

This lesson is from the Technical Certificate: Level 3 course at Simply Guitar

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The Open D7 Chord

The Formula of the Chord

The D7 chord, also known as the D dominant 7th chord, is a staple in many genres of music including blues, jazz, and rock. This chord introduces a richer and more complex sound compared to the regular D major chord. The formula for a dominant 7th chord includes four intervals: the root (R), the major third (3), the perfect fifth (5), and the minor seventh (b7). For the D7 chord, the specific notes involved are:

  • Root (R): D
  • Major Third (3): F#
  • Perfect Fifth (5): A
  • Minor Seventh (b7): C

In the open D7 chord, the voicing we play includes these notes distributed across the strings as follows:

  • 4th string (D): Open D (R)
  • 3rd string (G): A (5)
  • 2nd string (B): C (b7)
  • 1st string (E): F# (3)

How to Play the Chord

To play the open D7 chord using the D, G, B, and E strings, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open D String: Start by playing the 4th string (D string) open. This string produces the root note, D (R).
  2. Middle Finger: Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string (G string). This will produce the note A (5).
  3. Index Finger: Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string (B string). This will produce the note C (b7).
  4. Ring Finger: Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st string (high E string). This will produce the note F# (3).

Ensure your fingers are pressing down firmly just behind the frets to get a clear sound. The 5th string (A string) and the 6th string (E string) are typically not played in this chord voicing.

Chord Visualisation

Below is the tablature to help you visualise the D7 chord:


e|---2---| (Ring Finger)
B|---1---| (Index Finger)
G|---2---| (Middle Finger)
D|---0---| (Open String)
A|---x---| (Do not play)
E|---x---| (Do not play)

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