E7 Guitar Chord

How To Play The E7 Guitar Chord

Below is a diagram of an open E7 guitar chord. The E7 chord is one of the most popular chords on guitar and every beginner should learn how to play this chord. However, it is not as popular as E major or Em.

To practice the E7 chord, first strum all the strings together at once. Next, you will want to play the chord one string at a time to make sure that every string rings out clearly. If you notice that some notes do not ring out clearly, then you will need to adjust your hand, fingers, wrist, elbow, or possibly your sitting position until you can hear every note clearly. This is the proper way to practice this guitar chord.

How To Read The E7 Guitar Chord Diagram

The thick, black, horizontal line at the top of the diagram represents the nut on the guitar. The vertical lines are the guitar strings (from left to right, EADGBe). The horizontal spaces are the fret spaces on a guitar. Guitar chord diagrams then are really just a picture of the first five frets on a guitar. Moving on, any “x’s” on the chord diagram represent strings that you are not supposed to play, and “o’s” represent open strings (strings that are played but not fretted). Finally, the numbers below the E7 chord diagram are the finger numbers you use to fret the chord with.

The chord diagrams for guitar are really aimed at right handed guitarists, so if you are a left handed guitarist, you will have to practice “flipping” the diagram in your mind.

All About the E7 Guitar Chord

The E7 guitar chord is a basic chord for beginners. The E dominant seventh guitar chord can be written as “E7”, or “E dominant 7”. The most common way to write E dominant seventh however is just “E7”. It is NOT written as “Em7” or “EM7”. In music notation, “M” means major, while “m” means minor. Lastly, the dominant nature of the chord is implied in the chord title, since the words “major” or “minor” don’t appear in it’s nomenclature. For example, you don’t have to say “E dominant seventh”, you can just say “E seventh, or E7”.

E7 Guitar Chord Theory

The E7 chord is built from the 1st, 3rd, 5th and flatted 7th scale degrees of the E major scale. 1, 3, 5 and b7 from the E major scale end up being the E, G#, B and D notes. When you play the E7 chord on guitar, you strum 6 strings, so some of those notes repeat. This is not a problem however, because when we play guitar chords, we don’t worry about the order of notes, or even if some of the notes repeat. We care mostly that we have the correct notes on guitar.

The E7 guitar chord can be used as a V7 in the key of A major. The E7 chord is also commonly found in 8, 12, or 16 bar blues as a Ib7 or a IVb7. Chords such as Ib7 and IVb7 contain accidentals, and functionally are used to induce a temporary transposition, which gives many organized blues systems a very unique sound.

E7 Guitar Chord Substitution

E major is often used as a chord substitute for E7, since E major can be a much easier chord to play, and is the truncated, triadic form of the tetrad, E7. in other words, the notes of the E major chord appear inside of E7. As with all chord substitutes, you will lose some of the authenticity of the original chord, but the new substitute may be easier to play.

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