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C Dominant 7

C Dominant 7 also written: C7


This chord shape has it's root note on the 5th (A) string.

So far all the chords we've looked at are Dominant 7 chords with their root on the 6th ( low E) string. After this one we'll look at some cool extended 6th and 9th chords that Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan used a lot.

For now, play this C7 chord with your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th (A) string. Middle finger on the 4th (D) string. Your little finger sits directly under your ring finger on the 3rd (G) string. And your index finger is on the 1st fret of the 2nd (B) string.

A tip on muting: ultimately you only want to play (with your fingers or pick) the 5th to 2nd strings that you are fretting for this chord. However, this is not always practical. Like if you are about to do a back flip off your amp or dive into a sea of 80,000 people while they are chanting your name. To cater for these types (and many more) rock n roll shenanigans, its a good idea to mute the strings you aren't playing, just in case you do play them. Also, you might want to play these strings muted to add the percussive pick sound you get from a muted string.

You can mute the 6th (low E) and 1st (high E) strings as follows:

Low E string: the way you are fretting the C Dominant 7th chord above it is easy to hang your thumb over the fret board so it's touching (and muting) the 6th string. If you want you can also let the tip of your ring finger (that is fretting the C on the 5th string) touch the base of the 6th string, so that it also mutes the low E. If you mute the low E string using both those options then you'll be able to really attack the chord hard without having the 6th string sound.

High E string: mute the 1st string by letting the underside of your index finger (that is fretting the high C on the B string) lightly touch the 1st string. If you touch too hard, you might accidentally fret the 1st fret of the high E string, so you want to pay attention and make sure that you are only touching the high E very slightly, so that the high E string is properly muted.

Have a good look at the above, especially if you haven't paid much thought to muting with your left hand before. Muting strings with the fingers (and thumb) on your left hand while they are fretting other notes can take your playing to a new level as you will become more in control of your guitar. This will help you sound better as the notes you play will become cleaner and it will also allow you to attack a lot harder with your right hand if you want to. Play around with it, develop it and think about it when you are playing other chords.

As with the other chord shapes we've looked at, this is a movable chord shape. You can move the shape above up to any position on the neck. To play a D7 chord, simply move the whole shape up 2 frets and use the same muting technique as described above for the C7 chord.

D Dominant 7 also written: D7


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