Dominant 7th Chord Shapes

dominant 7th chord shapes

Dominant 7th Chords are a unique choice as there is only one dominant 7 chord per Major Scale when it is harmonised. It is to be found on the fifth degree of said scale and in the key of C(C,D,E,F,G,A & B) would be G Dom7, abbreviated to G7. Dominant chords (as they are also known) require allot more detail and description (concerning their use in chord progressions and improvisation) which I will go into in a later post and, also, in creative improvisation & song writing posts. So, for now, I will keep this post to cold analysis of the intervals and notes found within this chord and it’s shapes/positions on the fretboard.

A look at the chord’s build up shows that it is a Major Triad (a Root Note with a Major 3rd stacked on top of it and a Minor 3rd stacked on top of that) with a further Minor 3rd stacked on that. Applying that to a G Root Note gives –

Root Note = G + Major 3rd = B + Minor 3rd = D + Minor 3rd = F. In total = G,B,D & F

The intervals that hit the ear when this chord is played are – Root Note, Major 3rd, Perfect 5th & Minor 7th so a helpful way to remember this, (which is the way I like to think of it) is that a Dominant Chord is a Major Triad plus a Minor 7th interval (different to a Major 7 Chord which is a Major Triad plus a Major 7th interval). For the purposes of improvisation, another useful way to visualise a dominant chord, whether visualising the chord on the fretboard or piecing it together mentally for a chord progression, is that there are two triads within one chord, something I’ve mentioned in previous 7th chord posts. The notes of G7 are G,B,D & F which contain two triads – G Major(G,B & D) & B Diminished(B,D & F). Both triads contain the Chord Tones (the individual notes in a chord for the soloist to target when playing over it) of G7.

Dominant 7th Chord Shapes

I’ve transcribed the subject of this post’s description – G7 here. As usual there are static chord shapes as well as creative arpeggios for lead guitar and improvisation –

Download (PDF, 38KB)

And the dominant chord from the key of F Major – C7

Download (PDF, 38KB)

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