C7 Chord

3 Easy Ways To Play The C7 Chord On Guitar

The C7 chord is a dominant seventh chord. It’s important to understand how to play and use this chord, as it crops up in a lot of music.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the C7 chord in detail, including how to play it and some of the ways you can use it in your music.

What is a C7 chord?

Think of the C7 (aka C dominant seventh) chord as a more subtle and wavering version of its simpler counterpart – the plain old ‘C.’

The only difference between these two chords is their notes; but aside from those alterations in tone coloration alone, they might feel very similar at first glance!

The difference between the C chord and the C7 chord

So the nuts and bolts of it all are that the C Chord is comprised of the following notes:

  • C (The root note)
  • E (3rd)
  • G (5th)

The C7 chord adds a note and that note is a Bb (B Flat).

So this is what it looks like:

  • C (The root note)
  • E (3rd)
  • G (5th)
  • Bb (7th is flat)

What is the difference between a C7 and Cmaj7 chord?

A C7 guitar chord and Cmaj7 guitar chord are both built on the C major scale, but they have different effects due to their different intervals.

C7 is built with a root, third, fifth, and minor seventh interval, while Cmaj7 uses a root, third, fifth, and major seventh interval.

The C7 chord gives a feeling of tension that wants to resolve, while the Cmaj7 chord has a more open and relaxed sound.

C7 has often been used in blues progressions because of its tension-and-release tone, while Cmaj7 is commonly used in jazz progressions due to its smooth and open sound.

When choosing between a C7 and Cmaj7 chord, it’s important to consider the overall tone you’re trying to achieve in your music.

3 Easy Ways to Play a C7 Guitar Chord

Now that we know a little bit more about the C dominant seventh chord (c7 chord), let’s take a look at some of the ways you can play it on guitar.

C7 Chord Open Position

This is probably the easiest way to play a C7 chord on the guitar.

To do this, simply place your third finger on the third fret of the A string, your second finger on the second fret of the D string, and your first finger on the first fret of the B string.

That gives us a regular C Chord and then we will add the 7th note by using your fourth finger of the third fret of the G string.

See the visual below:

So to recap its the following fingering:

  • 3rd fret – 5th string – ring finger
  • 2nd fret – 4th string – middle finger
  • 1st fret – 2nd string – index finger
  • 3rd fret – 3rd string – pinky finger

To get that nice open chord sound, strum all of the six strings.

C7 Barre Chord

Another way to play the C7 guitar chord is the barre chord version.

Located on the 8th fret, you will need to “barre” your index finger over all of the strings.

Then your middle finger will be the 9th fret of the G string (3rd string). Your ring finger will then go on the 10th fret of the A string (5th string).

See the visual below:

So to recap its the following fingering:

  • 8th fret – all strings – index finger
  • 9th fret – 3rd string – middle finger
  • 10th fret – 5th string – ring finger

If you’d like to find out more about barre chords, check out our guide here: Barre Chords: A Comprehension Guide.

C7 Guitar Chord (5th Fret )

This is an interesting way to play the C7 guitar chord.

It’s basically playing an open A chord with your index finger.

Then you would slide it to the 5th fret and addi your middle finger on the 1st string on the 6th fret.

See the visual below:

So to recap its the following fingering:

  • 5th fret – 2nd – 4th strings – index finger
  • 6th fret – 1st string – middle finger

Is there a difference in tone between an open chord and a barre chord?

So, what exactly is the difference in tone between these two types of guitar chords?

Open Chords

The open chord will tend to have a brighter, more ringing sound than the barre chord.

This is because open chords only require that one fret be pressed down with the finger, whereas barre chords require that multiple frets be barred.

As a result, the open guitar chord will tend to have fewer overtones than the barre chord.

This gives them a brighter, more focused sound.

Open chords are typically easier to learn and play, and they usually involve using only the first three fingers of the left hand.

Open chords are often used in folk and pop music.

Barre Chords

Barre chords, on the other hand, often have a richer, fuller sound due to the increased number of overtones produced.

Remember, barre chords require the use of all four fingers and can be more difficult to master.

Barre chords are also more commonly found in rock and blues.

Ultimately, the choice of which type of chord to use comes down to personal preference and the specific requirements of the song being played.

Things to Remember when playing guitar chords

Let’s look at some things to remember when playing a guitar chord.

Always warm up your fingers before playing

Warming up your each finger before playing guitar is important for a number of reasons.

First, it helps to loosen the muscles and joints in your hands, wrists, and forearms, making it easier to move your fingers around the fretboard.

Second, it helps to increase blood flow to the area, which can reduce stiffness and improve dexterity.

Third, it gives you a chance to slowly adjust to the temperature of the guitar strings, which can prevent them from slipping or sounding out of tune.

By taking a few minutes to warm up your fingers before playing guitar, you can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

I recently purchased a gripmaster hand exerciser to warm up and strengthen my fingers before I play a guitar chord.

Don’t play too hard as it will hurt your fingers

Use a light touch and make sure you’re not pressing down on the strings too hard.

This will help prevent pain in your fingers and make it easier to switch between chords.

Listen to the sound of the chord and make sure each note is ringing clearly

When learning how to play a guitar chord, it’s important to listen to the sound of the chord and make sure each note is ringing clearly.

To do this, place your finger on the string behind the first fret and pluck the string with your thumb.

Then, hold down the string at the second fret with your index finger and pluck the string again. Repeat this process until you’ve plucked all of the strings in the chord.

Once you’ve done that, release all of the strings and listen to the sound of the chord. If any of the notes are not ringing clearly, try adjusting your fingers accordingly.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to play guitar chords perfectly!

Should I be practicing playing guitar chords daily?

There are many benefits to practicing guitar chords regularly.

Muscle Memory

First, it helps you to develop muscle memory so that you can play the chords without having to think about them.

This will free up your mind to focus on other aspects of your guitar playing, such as rhythm and timing.

Additionally, practicing guitar chords strengthens the muscles in your fingers and hands, which can help to prevent injuries.

Improves Skills

Finally, regular practice will help you to learn new chords more quickly and improve your overall guitar playing skills.

So if you want to get better at guitar, be sure to practice your guitar chords every day.

C7 Guitar Chord Conclusion

The C7 guitar chord is a great sounding chord that can be used in a variety of musical genres.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to add this essential chord to your guitar-playing arsenal.

Now that you know some easy ways to play the C7 chord on guitar, you can put that into practice!

Experiment with different fingerings and find the one that’s most comfortable for you.

With time and practice, you’ll be playing this guitar chord like a pro!

Thank you for checking out this post.

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Don’t Forget to Check Out These Resources

The 7 Guitar Chords That A Beginner Should Know. If you recently started playing the guitar and want to know which guitar chords you should learn first, then this article will help you!

Best Tuner App For Your Phone. Want to know what’s the best tuner app for your smartphone? Check out our guide here.

How Many Guitar Chords Are There?  Our post on all the different guitar chords will help clear the air for guitar players as to how many chords exist.


Frank DeMaria
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