Open 7th Chords

On the G7 do you mute the 5th string if not putting the second finger down?

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If you mean the note B on the A string, then it’s completely optional since we already play that note on the open B string. It’s a personal preference. I like to mute it so the chord sounds less muddy in the bass.


Creep by STP has a C to B7 transition in the verses. It may not be a C7, but since the C and C7 shape are so similar, it’s still good practice. Also, it’s really cool coming across these “blues” grips in 90s alternative songs!

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Had a question regarding couple of chord changes that are suggested for practice, B7 to A7 and C7 to D7. In the B major scale we don’t have an A major chord, and in the A major scale we have a Bm chord not a B major chord. So would we ever have a B7 to A7 transiton in songs? Similarly in the D major scale we don’t have a C major chord and in C major scale we have an Dm chord not a D major chord. So would we ever have a C7 to D7 change. The changes do sound good when i play them however it seems to be different from what the theory says. Just getting started with justin’s music theory course, so apologies if this is a stupid question.

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C# minor scale features a Major A(VI) and B(VII) and E minor features a Major C and D again VI and VII so yes its possible, as these can be played as dominant 7ths. All shown on the Circle of Fifths. :sunglasses:


In the key of E the A and B are the IV and V and in the key of G the C and D are the IV and V two of the most common keys in music. So any time you’re using 7th chords in these 2 keys you’ll be making these changes


Thank you so much @TheMadman_tobyjenner and @stitch for the quick response and explanation. I realize the mistake i was making.

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It is crucial to understand that no key has more than one dominant 7 chord in it occuring naturally, diatonically.
First an important distinction. Keys contain chords. Scales contain notes. We can label the notes within scales as scale degrees using numbers.
When a scale degree is used as the root note of a triad chord and the chord is built from the notes of the scale by stacking thirds (count one & miss one etc.), it is a diatonic chord. When the process of stacking thirds goes one more step beyond a 3-note triad, the chords become 7ths.
There are seven in every key.
Their order is as follows (scale degree then chord as a Roman numeral then chord type)

1 = I = Major 7
2 = ii = minor 7
3 = iii = minor 7
4 = IV = Major 7
5 = V = Dominant 7
6 = vi = minor 7
7 = vii = diminished 7

There is only ever one Dominant 7 chord that belongs in a key.

However … very important …

Blues music breaks rules and leans heavily on using all Dominant 7 chords. Strictly speaking, it uses chords that are not in the same key. But that is the blues. Ignore what the theory says for a while.
A simple blues 12-bar often uses the I7 the IV7 and the V7.
For example, we would say that a blues in A uses A7 and D7 and E7. They are the I7, the IV7 and the V7 respectively.

But that is wrong theoretically. In the key of A only the V chord should be Dominant 7 (E7). The I and IV should be A Major 7 and D Major 7. But in a blues context that just does not sound like the blues at all.
In blues you use Dominant 7ths.
That means you will often be playing two Dominant 7 chords one whole tone apart.

E7 and D7

C7 and D7

G7 and A7

A7 and B7


These would be the IV and V chords.


Thanks you very much @Richard_close2u for that very detailed explanation. This is something i hadn’t realized. Your explanation was so so helpful.

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Us & Them - d7 to g7 thank you for this lesson!