The C7 guitar chord, also called the C7 dom, has an upbeat and cheery feel. It can bring hope to a song, no matter the genre. The C7 chord is the perfect way to add a twist to the C chord, as it adds a seventh interval.
The easiest way to learn the C7 chord is to use the option position. You will only strum five strings in this method, however. If you want to challenge yourself, there are several other chord positions too. These include the A7 shape, the E7 barre, and more.
What is a C7 Guitar Chord?
The C7 guitar chord is a variation of the standard C chord. It adds an extra note, which is the seventh interval in the scale. The fourth note, in this instance, is a B flat.
The C7 chord has a root note, a third interval, a fifth interval, and a seventh interval. It is part of a Major scale too.
The root note is a C, the third interval is an E, the fifth is a G, and the last is a B flat. Do note that the Bb is a minor interval, which varies from the major triad.
The C7 chord is a dominant seventh option. Many blues guitarists give this commonly used chord the credit it needs due to the upbeat energy you can expect from it.
How Do You Play C7 Chord on Guitar?
There are many methods available to help you learn how to play the C7 Guitar Chord. The most common and easiest is the open C7 chord.
Open C7 Chord
The open C7 chord, as the name implies, uses open strings. You will have to mute the sixth string, which you can do with your ring finger. Strum only the first through fifth strings.
First, your index finger will go on the first fret at the B string, the second string. Put your middle finger on the second fret at the fourth string, which is the D.
Your ring and pinky fingers both go on the third fret. The third finger is closest to the sixth string you need to mute, meaning you can press on that too.
Finally, your ring finger will be on the third fret at the A string, the fifth on the fretboard. The pinky finger goes on the third fret at the G string, which is the third.
E7 Barrre Shape
The E7 barre shape is similar to the open position. All of the methods that use a barre from here out, however, follow this process. The E7 barre shape, however, is the most common.
You will start by laying your index finger across all six strings on the eighth fret. You will strum every string when playing a song using this method too.
Your middle finger will go to the ninth fret. It presses on the G string, which is the third one.
Your ring finger sits on the tenth fret of the fretboard. It presses on the A string, which is the fifth.
The C7 chord that uses the A7 shape comes from the open A7 position. Again, you will use a barre when learning this method.
Your index finger will create a barre on the third fret. It will press on strings one through five.
Your third and fourth fingers will go on the fifth fret. The ring finger presses on the fourth string, or the D. The pinky presses on the second string, the B.
When strumming, you will mute the sixth string of the guitar. Only touch the first through fifth strings when strumming.
Substitute A7 Shape
There is a substitute for the C7 guitar chord that uses the A7 shape. This method is perfect if you do not feel comfortable creating a barre. You will still only strum strings one through five.
Your index finger will be on the second fret. It will press on the fourth string or the D string.
Your middle and ring fingers go on the third fret of the fretboard. The middle finger presses on the A string, which is the fifth. Your ring finger will go on the G string, which is the third.
C7 Easy Barre Chord
This barre version of the C7 chord only requires you to cover three strings with your index finger. You will press the first through third strings on the fifth fret.
You will only need one other finger for using the C7 easy barre chord. Put your middle finger on the sixth fret, pressing down on the first string.
Three Finger Version of the C7 Chord
The three finger version of the C7 chord requires you to pluck rather than strum strings. You have to skip specific notes when playing your guitar.
Your index and middle fingers will go on the eighth fret of your guitar. The index finger presses on the sixth string, the low E. The middle finger goes to the fourth string, the D.
Your ring finger will sit on the ninth fret of your fretboard. It will press on the G string, which is the third.
You can also create the C7 guitar chord using the shape of the D7 chord. You will use a caged system when playing your instrument in this manner.
Your third and fourth fingers will each be on the twelfth fret of your guitar. Push your ring finger down on the third string and your pinky on the first.
Your index finger will press down on the fourth string on the tenth fret. Finally, you’ll press your middle finger to the second string on the eleventh fret.
The C7 chord in the G7 shape is in jazz and R&B music especially. It has an upbeat and exciting feel.
You will have to barre your index finger across the fifth fret of the guitar. You will press down strings two to four.
Press your middle finger on the high E string, which is the first on the fretboard. You will push down this string specifically at the sixth fret.
C7 Jazzy Form
The C7 chord, when played in the jazzy form, requires that you strum all six strings. You need to leave the open strings alone to create the sound.
Your index finger will go on the seventh fret on the fifth string, the A. Your middle finger goes on the sixth string, which is the E, on the eighth fret.
Press your ring finger on the eighth fret at the fourth string, which is the D string. Finally, you will need to put your pinky finger on the eighth fret too. Press your finger down on the second string or the B string.
Which Fingers are Used for Both the C and G7 Chords?
Most of the methods used for playing the C7 chord use your index, middle, ring, and pinky fingers. Only a couple of options only use two fingers. These include the G7 shape and the easy barre version.
The most popular way to play the C7 chord, the open position, utilizes all four fingers. The other commonly used option, the E7 barre shape, utilizes three fingers. You do not have to press down a string with your pinky finger when using this method.
What are the Differences in the C and C7 Chord?
The C7 chord adds a blues-like sound to the C chord. It has the same triad as the latter, using the C, E, and G notes. C7 adds on a fourth note, which is a minor B flat.
What Does C7 Chord Resolve To?
You can use the C7 chord to resolve to secondary dominant options. They add, especially to classical and jazz songs, a harmonic element. Ultimately, you want the C7 chord to go back to a triad. Start by recalling the four notes in the C7 chord, including the C, E, G, and Bb.
The E, which is the third interval, will resolve to F. The Bb will go down to A. F becomes the root note of the F chord, while A becomes the third interval.
You can also create a new minor option from the C7 chord. Take the Bb note up instead to C. In the end, you will get the F minor chord.
What Does the 7 Mean in a C7 Chord?
The seven used in the name of the C7 chord comes from the seventh interval used. It is a dominant seventh chord, as mentioned. This title comes from the fact that it adds a note to the standard triad. This triad is the same as in the C chord.
Without the seventh interval, the C7 chord would be the C chord. It uses the same three notes found in the original triad.
Are C7 and Cmaj7 the Same?
By this point, you should know that C7 is a chord found in most genres of music. It has a major triad and a minor seventh interval.
There is also a Cmaj7 chord, however, and the two are not the same. Rather than adding a minor seventh interval, you will play a major seventh. Rather than a diminished fifth, the Cmaj7 will also use a perfect fifth.
The four notes used in the C7 chord, as mentioned throughout, are C, E, G, and Bb. Those notes in the Cmaj7 chord, however, are C, E, G, and B.
Songs that Use the C7 Guitar Chord
The C7 chord spans decades of music from any genre that you can imagine. Some of the most popular songs, including “All By Myself,” come from this guitar chord.
When you hear the C7 chord in a rock song, you will expect something upbeat and joyous. The Beatles were notorious for incorporating this chord into some of their most popular pieces.
- The Beatles: “From Me to You”
- The Beatles: “If You Believe”
- The Beatles: “Something”
- The Beatles: “Taxman”
In the pop genre, the C7 chord can make a plea in a sense. It can showcase the emotions that songwriters want to bring into a song. Both classical and modern pop titles use this chord.
- Eric Carmen: “All By Myself”
- The Supremes: “Baby Love”
- Disney: “Bare Necessities”
- Elvis Presley: “If I Can Dream”
The energy that presents itself in the C7 chord is perfect for the genre of the blues. Even the covers continue to use this chord.
- Rev. Gary Davis: “Hesitation Blues”
- Buddy Guy: “Let Me Love You Baby”
- Jeff Beck: “Let Me Love You Baby”
- Stevie Ray Vaughan: “Let Me Love You Baby”
Since country music is such an emotional genre, you should expect that the C7 chord would be popular. Legends like Hank Williams and Dolly Parton are notorious for using C7 in their songwriting.
- Hank Williams: “Hey Good Lookin'”
- Conway Twitty: “Hello Darlin'”
- Hank Williams: “Your Cheatin’ Heart”
- Dolly Parton: “From Here to the Moon and Back”
Learn the C7 Guitar Chord Today
The C7 chord has an upbeat and joyous feeling that is full of heart. This chord adds a Bb to the traditional C. It is different from the Cmaj7 chord, as the latter has a simple B as the seventh interval.
Start practicing the C7 chord today so that you can feel comfortable covering some of your favorite songs from any genre. You can start with the E7 barre or the open position method when playing the C7 chord. Remember, these are the most common. Do realize, however, that barres sometimes pose a challenge to beginner guitar players.