The seventh chords of any note make some of the most beautiful sounds that you can hear in music. They range from elegant and jazzy to upbeat and full of fun. The D7 chord, which this article is about, has a regal feel you would expect in a classical song.
The D7 is difficult for beginners as it does primarily use barres. There are substitutes available, however, if you are comfortable only strumming four strings. Learn more about this essential guitar chord in the information below, including the wide variety of methods you can use to play it.
What Chord is D7 on Guitar?
The D7 guitar chord is a variation of the standard D option. You will use root, major third, perfect fifth, and minor seventh notes. You may find that this chord also has the title of D dom or D dominant seventh too.
The D7 option also adds a note. All four tones that you will hear in the chord include the D, F#, A, and C.
The D7 chord is essential in jazz and classical music. There are songs from many genres that use it, however, meaning it is necessary to learn.
Why is It Called a D7 Chord?
As mentioned, the D7 chord uses a root, major third, perfect fifth, and minor seventh note. The addition of the last of these tons is what gives every seventh chord its name.
The minor seventh is most often a flat in a chord like this one. It naturally occurs, building upon the dominant fifth that is in the sequence right before this note. Remember, all four tones are in ascending order, meaning the last has the highest pitch.
Ultimately, the first three notes still form a triad, as seen in a standard chord. In D7, however, there is an interval added on top of the typical three. Ultimately, this addition gives the chord the name of D7, the same as any seventh chord you can play.
How Do You Play D7 on Acoustic Guitar?
There are many methods used when playing the D7 guitar chord, but two are the most common. These include the open D7 chord and the E7 barre shape option. Read more about all of the methods, however, below.
Open D7 Chord
The open D7 chord is the easiest of all methods. It is likely the one used most among guitar players as well. The D7 guitar chord is one of the many basic open seventh chords you can learn on guitar.
To play the open D7 chord, you will put your index finger on the B string on the first fret. Your middle finger will go on the G string at the second fret. Finally, your ring finger sits on the high E string on the second fret.
When using the open D7 method, you will need to only strum strings one through four. If you play string five or six, for instance, you will distort the chord’s sound.
E7 Barre Shape
As mentioned, the method that uses the E7 barre shape is popular when learning to play the D7 guitar chord. This option is difficult, however.
You will start by barring your finger across all six strings at the tenth fret. Your middle finger will press on the third string, which is the G string, at the eleventh fret. Finally, you will put your pinky on the A string or the fifth, at the twelfth fret.
You do not have to mute any strings when utilizing this method. Strum all six to create the melody you want to play.
E Barre Shape Shortcut
If you do not feel confident in using the barre yet, there is a substitute option. You will still have to use three fingers, however.
Your index and middle fingers will both have to go on the tenth fret. The first goes on the sixth string, known as the low E, and the second on the D, or fourth.
Your third finger will go on the eleventh fret. It will press on the third string, which is the G string.
You will have to mute the fifth and sixth strings if you choose this method. You will only strum strings one through four.
You can use the shape of a C7 chord when learning the D7 chord also. You only have to move your fingers up two frets.
Your index finger will go on the second string at the third fret. Your second finger, however, will go on the fourth string at the fourth fret.
Both your ring and pinky fingers will go on the fifth fret. The ring finger goes on the fifth string and the pinky on the third.
C7 Shape Substitute
Again, there is a substitute option if the aforementioned C7 shape is too complicated. You only have to use three of your fingers in this method.
Your index finger will go on the fourth string at the fourth fret. Your second and third fingers, however, are both on the fifth fret.
The middle finger will go on the fifth string, which is the A string. Press your ring finger on the G string, which is the third on the fretboard.
For this substitute method of the C7 shape, you still have to mute the fifth and sixth strings. Only strum up to string four.
The D7 guitar chord is also similar to the A7 chord. The D7 adds a barre on the fifth fret.
As mentioned, your index finger will create the barre across the fifth fret. You only have to press both the fifth and fourth strings.
Put both your ring and pinky fingers on the seventh fret. Put the first finger on the fourth string, which is the D string. Your pinky can go on the third string on the fretboard.
One Finger Barre Chord
The one finger barre chord is a strong choice if you need to practice playing a barre on a smaller scale. In total, for this method, you will only need to use two fingers.
Your index finger will barre the first through fourth strings on the seventh fret. Your middle finger will be on the eighth fret at the first string.
D7 Barre Shape
The D7 barre shape is the same as the standard D7 chord aforementioned. You have to move your fingers up 12 frets to create this funky sound.
Your index finger will go on the fourth string on the twelfth fret. The middle finger pushed on the second string at the thirteenth fret.
Your ring finger and pinky are both on the fourteenth fret. Your ring finger will push on the third string, and your pinky will sit on the first string.
What Does the Chord D7 Look Like?
As mentioned above, there are a few ways that you can play the D7 guitar chord. Most of the full versions use a barre, however. A barre occurs when you lay your index finger flat against one of the frets. You will press on at least a few strings.
The D7 chord is also similar to the E7 barre, the C7, and the A7. You only have to shift your fingers up a few frets, especially on the A7 option.
Each of the D7 methods that use a barre does have substitutes. You will only have to put three fingers down in these. Know, however, that you will only play four strings when strumming using these methods.
What’s the Difference between D and D7?
The D and D7 chords produce two completely different sounds, though they each have similar builds. The D7, remember, adds on a seventh interval, which contains the C note.
The D7 does use the same triad seen in the standard D chord. Both use D, F#, and A when implemented into pieces of music.
It is relatively easy to switch between the two chords. If you start with one of the substitutes of the D7, for instance, you can put your index finger on the first fret at the second string. You can place your middle and ring fingers on the second fret at the third and first strings.
When switching to the standard D chord, you only have to release your index finger, which is on the first fret. After, place your pinky finger on the third fret at the second string. For both chords, make sure you only strum the first four strings when using a substitute method.
Is D7 Major or Minor?
D7 is a dominant seventh chord. This title is slightly confusing to new guitar players, however. You will have to play major and minor notes when playing this chord.
The triad, which includes the first three notes in the chord, has major notes. This fact means that the D chord, the standard option, is the same.
The seventh interval you add to create the D7 chord, however, is a minor note. When considering this fact, you can more easily understand how D7 would be a dominant chord.
The D7 chord gives off sounds that are representative of both major and minor notes. This result comes from the major triad and the minor seventh interval aforementioned.
Ultimately, the D7 chord gives off an elegant and rich sound. This reason is likely why the chord is in so many jazz and classical songs.
Songs that Use the D7 Chord
As mentioned, D7 is mostly in jazz and classical music. Many, however, combine this chord with the G, E minor, and A minor options. This method creates a unique sound for folk and pop songs too. Read more about the many genres that use the elegant D7 chord below.
Folk songs that use the D7 chord typically use the chord progression aforementioned. Remember, you will also hear the G, A minor, and E minor chords in the below songs.
- John Denver: “Today”
- Kevin MacLeod: “Angels We Have Heard on High”
- John Lennon: “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”
- Burl Ives: “Down in the Valley”
Country songs that use the D7 chord are some of the most well-known of all time. Some use a chord progression of G, C, and D7.
- Johnny Cash: “Ring of Fire”
- June Carter Cash: “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”
- Patsy Cline: “Walkin’ After Midnight”
- Willie Nelson: “Whiskey River”
The D7 chord is relatively uncommon in pop songs. It can give certain pieces a sense of excitement, however.
- The Monkees: “Daydream Believer”
- Martha Reeves and the Vandellas: “Dancing in the Street”
- Paolo Nutini: “Candy”
- John Ceiriog Hughes: “Deck the Halls”
The presence of the D7 chord in rock songs is rarer than in pop music. When it does show up, it is primarily in a transition.
- The Beatles: “From Me to You”
- ZZ Top: “Tush”
- Van Morrison: “Brown Eyed Girl”
- Simon and Garfunkel: “Cecilia”
Start Practicing the D7 Guitar Chord
If you want to become more comfortable playing barre chords, you can start with the D7 option. This chord has a beautiful sound and is flexible enough for any genre. Some of the most popular songs of recent years, for instance, use D7, including “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.
Make sure that you know the four notes found in the D7 guitar chord. You will need to play the D, F#, A, and C notes to achieve the elegant sound that exists in this chord. Start practicing any of the methods above today so that you can become a guitar player with a comprehensive knowledge of some of the most complicated skills.