D7 Chord – How To Use Dominant Chords

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The D7 chord is a 4 note chord called a dominant chord. Dominant chords are one of the 5 main types of 7th chords. They are characterized by their unstable sound and their function as a pre-tonic chord.

You can build dominant chords by stacking a major triad and a minor 7th. Because of this, dominant 7 chords are also sometimes called major-minor chords.

D7 in particular, is make of the notes D F# A C. It is found in the key of G major, and sometimes G minor, as the V chord.

This article will explain more clearly the music theory you need to know to understand why dominant chords are special, plus in depth chord charts with finger positions and a frequently asked question section to clear up any misconceptions. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Cover photo, string ring finger, string middle finger, b string

D Dominant Seventh Chord Music Theory

I think that while music theory isn’t everything, it certainly helps all guitar learners. Here are some basic things you should know about the D7 chord.

  • D7 has the notes D F# A C.

  • D7 is the V chord in the key of G.

  • The D7 chord is built by stacking a major triad and a minor 7th.

  • D7 usually precedes G major.

  • The D7 chord may also be referred to as a D major minor 7, or a D dominant 7.

How To Play The D7 Chord

These detailed chord charts explain how to play the D7 guitar chord all over the fretboard with ease! Play all of these voicings to see which fits your song the best!

D7 Guitar Chord Open Position

D7 guitar chord open position, g string, index finger,high e string,

D7 Guitar Chord Barre Shape

D7 guitar chord barre shape, all the strings, d string, second string

Other Ways To Play The D7 Guitar Chords

d7 guitar chord method 3, guitar, minor seventh, own pace,
d7 guitar chord method 4, guitar, second finger, muscle memory
d7 guitar chord method 5, guitar, guitar chord, first finger
d7 guitar chord method 6, fretting hand, practice moving, string, strings

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a D7 chord?

A D7 chord is a dominant 7th chord built on the root note D. It is not the same as a major 7 or a minor 7. It has a special use as preceding the tonic chord in a cadence or at the end of a song.

By learning your dominant 7 chord shape and applying it to D, you can play this chord in any context.

What 3 notes make up a D7 chord?

Well, D7 technically has 4 notes. D F# A C. However, many times players will drop the 5th, just because it isn’t that important. If you just played D F# and C, it would still sound like and be considered a D7 chord.

This is really only done with chords with 4 notes, so you couldn’t apply this rule to triads.

What is the difference between D chord and D7?

Anytime you see just a letter name by itself, such as “D” it is referring to the major triad. The base and default version of the chord. So the D chord has the notes D F# A. Plain and simple.

The D7 chord adds a minor 7th to the D chord. SO D7 has the notes D F# A C.

Why is it called a D7 chord?

It gets its name from the shorthand used in lead sheets. Learning chord symbols is very important for learning others’ songs and quickly writing down your musical ideas. 

Other names for the D7 chord include D major minor 7 and D dominant seventh chord.

Many chord symbols look similar, but are actually different, so knowing the difference is very important. For example, D, Dmaj7, Dm7, D7 are all different guitar chords! Do you know the difference between them?

What is the difference between Dmaj7 and D7 chords?

D maj 7 and D7 are both 7th chords built on the root note D, but they have different harmonic roles, different notes, and different sounds.

Dmaj7 can be the I chord or the IV chord in a major harmonic progression.

D7 can only be the V chord in a harmonic progression, unless you are using secondary dominants, which I am assuming you are not.

Dmaj7 has the notes D F# A C#. A major 7th is added to the D major triad.

D7 has the notes D F# A C. A minor 7th is added to the D major triad.

Dmaj7 sounds more stable, whereas D7 leads you somewhere else, the chord needs to be resolved.

Conclusion

The D7 chord is a special type of chord with four notes: D, F#, A, and C. It belongs to a group called dominant chords and is known for its unique, somewhat restless sound. This chord is often used as the fifth chord (V chord) in the key of G major or G minor.

To play the D7 guitar chord on the guitar, the article provides easy-to-follow guitar chord charts with finger positioning for different voicings including open and barre chord. Additionally, there’s a helpful FAQ section that answers common questions about the D7 chord, such as why it’s called D7 and what makes it different from other chords like Dmaj7.

Understanding these basics will not only help you play the D7 guitar chord but also give you a good start in understanding other chords and how they work together in music.

Let’s get guitar playing!

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