C7 Chord On Guitar – Unlock Your Fretboard

The C7 chord is a type of 7th chord called a dominant 7th chord. Like all 7th chords, C7 has 4 notes: C E G Bb. The C7 guitar chord is built by stacking a flat seven over a major triad. C7 is also the V, or dominant chord, in the key of F major, hence the name. You might also see C7 being used in the key of F minor.

This article will cover all you need to know about the C7 guitar chord, including theory, chord charts, and a frequently asked questions section. Let’s get started!!!

C7 Chord

C7 Chord Music Theory

Before we play the chord, there is a bit of theory you must understand about C7 and dominant chords in general.

  • C7 uses the notes: C E G Bb.
  • C7 is built by stacking the intervals of a major 3rd, perfect 5th, and minor 7th.
  • C7 might also be called C dominant or C major-minor 7.
  • C7 is found in the keys of F major and sometimes F minor.

How To Play The C7 Chord

Finally! Time to learn to play C7 on guitar!

C7 Guitar Chord Open Position

C7 Chord open position

C7 Guitar Chord Barre Shape

C7 Barre Chord Shape

Other Ways To Play The C7 Guitar Chord

C7 Guitar Chord
C7 Guitar Chord Easy
C7 Root Position
How To Play C7 On Guitar

Learn To Play Other Dominant Guitar Chords

Dominant chords, as a type of 7th chord, bring a distinct tension and resolution to music. Their unique blend of major and minor intervals creates a compelling sound that often leads to satisfying harmonic progressions in your guitar playing journey. Here’s how to play the basic ones:

LetterDominant Chord
AHow To Play The A7 Chord
BHow To Play The B7 Chord
CHow To Play The C7 Chord
DHow To Play The D7 Chord
EHow To Play The E7 Chord
FHow To Play The F7 Chord
GHow To Play The G7 Chord

Frequently Asked Questions

Is C7 the same as Cmaj7?

Unfortunately, C7 and C major 7 are two very different chords. C7 has the notes C E G Bb, and C major 7 has the notes C E G B. C7 is the key of F major, and C maj7 is in the key of C major.

In a chord progression, C7 has a dominant role, whereas CMaj7 has a tonic or subtonic role.

How do you play C7 on guitar easy?

The easiest way to play C7 is in the open position or method 5 that only requires 2 fingers. Give them a try!

Why is it called a c7 chord?

It is called a C7 chord because that is how it is written with chord symbols. I guess they just wanted to shorten it and keep it as simple as possible.

Is C7 in the key of C?

Nope! C7 is in the key of F major. Remember your key signatures? F major has one flat, Bb, and C has no sharps or flats. So if C7 has the notes C E G Bb, then it couldn’t be in the key of C.Confusing, isn’t it?

Why does C7 chord have a B flat?

A flat 7 is necessary for building dominant chords. It creates a dissonance that resolves perfectly down a half step when you move to the tonic chord. 


To wrap up on the C7 chord – it’s like the rockstar of 7th chords, also known as the dominant 7th. And uses the chord tones C, E, G, and Bb. C7 is the dominant chord in the key of F major. Sometimes it sneaks into the key of F minor for some extra flair.

You can make a C7 chord by adding a major 3rd, perfect 5th, and a minor 7th on top of C. You might hear folks call it C dominant or even C major-minor 7.

Now – playing C7 on the guitar. We’ve got open position and barre shape options to suit your style. The FAQs section clears up mysteries about C7 versus Cmaj7, why it’s got a Bb, and where it belongs on the key map (it’s not in the key of C, but F major).

So, whether you’re diving into the nitty-gritty of music theory or just want to strum some chill vibes on your guitar, this article’s got your back on all things C7.

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