Now we will examine the more practical fingerings of the various Seventh Chords described in the previous page, based in the common E, A, C, and D bar chord forms. The diagrams show chords in the key of C, but you can move these chords to the appropriate location on the fretboard for the key you wish to play in. Just line up the first interval note with the location on the fretboard corresponding to the key you prefer.
Bar/moveable Major Seventh Chords for Guitar
The Major Seventh Chord has an upbeat but mellow mood and this works well as the I, IV, and V chords in a James Taylor-ish ballad kind of song. It also works well as the VI chord in a minor progression. You will see this chord type labeled in various ways: CM7, Cmaj7, C?7.
Bar/moveable Dominant Seventh Chords for Guitar
The Seventh Chord is similar to the Major Seventh Chord, but with a flatted seventh interval. Due to the tension between the major third and flatted seventh intervals of this chord, it projects a mild degree of inherent tension. It works well as a V chord, as well as the I, IV, and IV chords in a classic Blues progression. You will see this chord labeled as Dom 7 or usually just 7.
Bar/moveable Dominant Seventh Augmented Fifth (7#5) Chords for Guitar
The Seventh Augmented Fifth Chord is similar to a Dominant Seventh Chord, but with a sharp fifth interval in addition to the major third and flat 7. It is also commonly referred to as a Seven Sharp 5 Chord. This chord is similar in mood to a Dominant Seventh chord, but with the additional tension of the sharp fifth interval. So it works well as a substitute in place of the typical Dominant Seventh chord in the V position. The particualr shade of mood of this chord will sound best when used with prgoressions with Major Seventh chords in the I and IV positions, or paired with Minor Seven Flat Five (half diminshed) II chord in a II-V-I turnaround. You will see this chord labeled as 7Aug5 or 7+5 or 7#5.
Minor Seventh Chords for Guitar
With the Minor Seventh Chord we are leaving the family of major sounding Seventh chords that use the Major Third interval. For the Minor Seventh we will use flatted third and flatted seventh intervals. It is similar in mood to a standard Minor (Minor Triad) chord, but even more melancholy, yet somehow a little more smooth than the Minor Triad. Use it as a substitute for the Minor Triad. You will see this chord labeled as m7 or -7.
Minor-Major Seventh Chords for Guitar
The Minor-Major Seventh chord uses a flatted third and major seventh intervals. This is an odd sounding chord and does not have much use as a stand-alone chord, but works well as a brief transitional chord following a Major Seventh or Minor chord. You will see this chord labeled as m(M7) or m/M7
Minor Seven Flat Five (7b5) Chords for Guitar
The Minor Seven Flat Five (Half Diminished) Chord is similar to a Minor Seventh Chord, but with a flat fifth interval in addition to a flat third and flat 7. It is also commonly referred to as a Half-Diminished 7th Chord. It is sort of a "beyond minor" chord, very tense sounding chord in the same way that the Dominant 7 chord sounds tense, but the Minor Seven Flat Five sounds even more tense than the Dominant Seventh. As such, it is useful as a substitute for the Dominant Seventh as a V chord, or as the ii chord in a minor chord progression. You will see this chord labeled as m7b5, half dim7, or Ř7
Diminished Seventh Chords for Guitar
The Diminished 7th Chord is again the next degree of dissonance beyond the Minor 7b5, having increased the “minor-ness” by additionally flatting the 7th interval note by another half step. So the intervals for the Diminished 7th chord are flat third, flat five, and double-flat seventh. It is a sort of "super minor" chord, but functions in the same way as a Dominant Seventh chord due to the inherent tension in the chord. Like the Minor Seventh Flat Five, you can use it as a substitute for the Dominant Seventh in the V position or as a ii chord in a minor progression. You will see this chord labeled as Dim7 or °7.