Open 7th Chords

Dominant chords, also known as seventh chords, are awesome to play Blues guitar and many other styles!

View the full lesson at Open 7th Chords | JustinGuitar

What about F7? Is it not playable?

Hi Andy welcome to the forum, in this lesson Justin is covering just the Open 7th chords for beginners. For F7 there are a couple of open shapes but I would suggest way beyond the scope of Beginner Grade 2. Hope that answer the question, others may add to what I have said,

From what I recall it makes its first appearance in the first intermediate lessons for the E Shaped barre chords.

Why not pop over here and tell us about yourself ?



Hi there! There’s a little error on the E7 (alt) chord diagram. On the second string it appears the ‘o’ on top as if we had to play the open string, which is impossible as we have to add the 4th finger in the 3rd fret. :sweat_smile:

Not a big deal but just in case Justin wants to fix it.


Just the E7 shape with a barre on 1st Fret, no?

Error reported to @Fanny_JustinGuitar_Team for a fix. Thanks :slight_smile:


Just found a fun song for practicing the E to B7 chord changes. IVE BEEN EVERYWHERE CHORDS (ver 2) by Johnny Cash @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com


Funny thing is, when i was learning that ‘exploring chords’ lesson couple weeks ago i discovered C7 accidenttaly and it sounded so good and i was like ‘did i just invented a new chord’.

I have found the C7 chord to be the hardest for me to play quickly. My 3rd and 4th fingers tend to move together and sometimes I will hear popping in my fingers when I try to move the 4th finger down.

On the other hand, If you can play a D7 chord, then in my opinion it is not much harder to play the B7 chord. The B7 chord used to be difficult until I realized that I could just move the D7 chord fingers or shape over 2 strings (the 1 finger from the 2nd string to the 4th string in the first fret). Than all I have to do is place the 4th finger down.

When I started playing the 12 bar blues progression in E, I realized that my comment above about playing the B7 chord had to be modified. I found that the change from E7 to B7 had to done differently. I wondered whether Justin had mentioned this and looked back at the Open 7th Chords video and at about the 9:40 point he talks about the changes from the E7 to B7 and the A7 to B7 chords. I had missed that entirely as well as the suggestion to do one minute changes for these two chord changes. For the benefit of others who may have overlooked this I am putting in a couple of pictures of the chord changes:

The chord change is different than what I described above. You just move the first finger over 1 string and place down fingers 3 and 4 to form the B7 chord.

This chord change is similar to what I had described in my first discussion above in that after you slide the 2 and 3 fingers, you form the D7 shape with the first finger and put down the 4th finger. Justin also mentions the A7 to B7 chord change at 4:12 in the Open 7th Chords video and shows why the 2 and 3 finger form of the A7 chord is better, since it makes it easier to change to the B7 chord.

Practicing these chord changes in a one minute change, especially the Perfect Chord Change makes the B7 chord seem easier.


I’m glad to know you have found a way through it @SteveL_G99
B7 can be a beast of a chord for many.

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Re E7 Justin notes " Start with a regular E, lift-off Finger 3, and you’re there!" which sound easy and should unless you have fat fingers like me, and end up muting the top E string. Going to have to work out the best way for this.

Check the inside, fleshy part of your palm against the neck. It might be there where you are touching.

@Stuartw do you mean the low E string?

I do. Still gets me this sometimes when this is the top string as you look at them when playing.

@Stuartw You’re likely adjusting the position of the 2nd finger when you’re lifting off the third finger resulting in the 2nd finger muting the low E string.

Been looking at this again and to be honest it does my head in. In the text Justin says:

“An easier way to think of it is that the 7 adds a note that is one tone lower than the root note for an octave higher. For example, if you’re trying to play a G7 chord, you would add whichever note is one tone below the root note, G. So, for a G7 chord, you’d add in an F.”

Why an F which just appears to be used at random. Why not a A#, D#, G# or C which are all one tone below G as far as I can see?

There is only one note that is a tone below G; and it’s F. Where are you seeing that A#, D#, G# and C are all one tone below G?

G#, to take just one of those, is a semitone higher than G.

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Of course. Should have known that. Too much going round my old brain ar the moment.

Notes in the Key of G
G A B C D E F#
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

But a 7th chord gets is character by the added note which is a flattened 7, so the F# is flattened to F (b7). F# is a semi tone lower than G, F is a tone or two semitones lower than G.
So the F is not at all random.

I am curious to how you arrive at this, can you explain what you mean ? As :

A# to G 9 semi tones
D# to G 4 semi tones
G# to G 11 semi tone
C to G 7 semi tones

Understanding that may help folk give you better guidance.