How to Play a C7 Guitar Chord Seven Ways

C7 Guitar Chord

Want to learn the C7 guitar chord? I will show you seven different ways to play this chord. There are about 5 of the best ways to play the C7 guitar chord.

This lesson you will learn:

  1. In this free lesson we will go over 5 easy ways to play the C7 guitar chord. Also Two additional C7 fingerings as a bonus.
  2. You will learn how to master guitar chords with some great tips.
  3. Learn how to master barre chords.
  4. Learn how to play an open C7 guitar chord with the help of Video tutorial.
  5. Bonus chord diagram Chart.

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Two of the most popular and most used C7 guitar chord forms.

  1. The open position C7 guitar chord.
  2. The E7 barre chord form of the C7 guitar chord.

Since these are the two most popular lets learn them first.

Open C7 Chord

The first position or open position C7 guitar chord is the easiest C7 to learn how to play. It’s called the open chord because it’s played up at the first position of the guitar neck. By the guitar nut, and uses the open strings when played.

C7 guitar chord chart
C7 Gutiar Chord
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 5th string. The A string, at the 3rd fret.
  • Put your 2nd finger on the 4th string. The D string, at the 2nd fret.
  • Next Put your 1st finger on the 2nd string. The B string, at the 1st fret. (like a C guitar chord)
  • Finally Put your 4th finger on the third string, G string, at the 3rd fret.
  • Strum from the 5th string.

Notice the X over the 6th string on the C7 chord Diagram, this indicates not to play the string. So don’t strike it.

A little tip after you learn how to play the C7 chord. You can use your 3rd finger to slightly touch the 6th string so it mutes it. This way if you accidentally hit the 6th string it won’t ring out.

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C7 Guitar Chord With the E7 Barre
Shape

Barre chords can be moved up and down the guitar fingerboard. All barre chords are based off of the shapes of the open position chords.  The next form of the C7 guitar chord is based off of the E7 open chord. First an example of the E7 chord.

E7 Open chord
E7 Open Chord

Now here is the C7 guitar chord with the E7 Shape.

C7 guitar chord E7 Barre Shape
C7 Barre Chord
  • Barre all the strings on the 8th fret with your 1st finger.
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 5th string, the A string. At the 10th fret.
  • Next put your 2nd finger on the third string. The G string, at the 9th fret. (notice; 1st & 2nd finger are in E7 position).

A couple of tips

  • Tip number 1. When making a barre chord put your thumb in the middle of the back of the guitar neck. This will give you the leverage you will need to push all the strings down. When you are first starting out playing the guitar your hands are not strong. It takes a lot to make a barre chord. If you want to strengthen them try this exercise.
  • Tip number 2. When making the barre chord with your first finger don’t just stretch your finger out flat across the strings. Bend your finger, and turn it to the side. In this position playing with the outer part of your finger.

What is a C7 Guitar Chord 

The C7 guitar chord is just like a C chord, but with an extra note. The Bb which makes the chord a Dominant 7th chord. Which is found in a lot of the blues. So if you want to jazz up your playing instead of playing the C chord, you could play the C7 guitar chord.

To learn more about the C chord click this link.

To make a Dominant 7 chord you need to have a Root note(1 chord), 3rd, 5th, and a 7th of the Major scale. Here are the notes that make up a C7 chord.

  • The Root is of course is C.
  • Then we have an E which is the 3rd.
  • Next we have the G which is the 5th.
  • Finally the Bb or minor 7th.

When can I play a C7 guitar chord?

Every time! 

Every time you see a C chord to be played, play the C7 chord instead, to get that blues sound that you hear. To learn more about the blues guitar take a look at this free blues guitar tutorial.

Now that we have covered two of the most popular forms of the C7 guitar chord lets take a look at some more chord voicings.


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C7 Guitar Chord A7 Shape

You will notice that this chord is formed from the basic A7 open chord. Lets see where to put your fingers.

C7 guitar chord

  • First Barre all the strings from the 5th string down. Using your first finger at the 3rd fret.
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 4th string, the D string. At the 5th fret.
  • Then put your 4th finger on the 2nd string, the B string. At the 5th fret.

Strum from the 5th string. Remember the X at the top of the chord diagram. X means do not strum the 6th string. Tip- Use your first finger to nudge against the 6th string so that if when strumming you accidentally hit the string it will not ring out. Because you have muted it with your first finger.

That Chord voicing is a little hard to play, but here is a much easier one. Basically it is the same as the first C7 chord we talked about, but leave the C on the B string out of it. So you are playing these notes: The C, E, and  Bb on strings 5, 4, and 3.

C7 guitar chord chart
C7 gutiar chord
  • Put your 2nd finger at the 5th string, A string. At the 3rd fret.
  • Put your 1st finger on the 4th string, the D string, 2nd fret.
  • Now put your 3rd  finger on the 3rd string, G string, at the 3rd fret.

C7 Guitar Chord Easy Barre Version

The C7 guitar chord is great when you want to play an Arpeggio, 50 style of Rhythm playing. Like you would here in Love on the Brain by Rihanna. To see this style of playing click this link for a Video Tutorial Love on the Brain.

This is the easy C7 Barre chord it starts at the 5th fret.

C7 guitar chord easy barre chord
C7 guitar chord
  • Barre the 2nd and 3rd string at the 5th fret with your first finger. (note that your 1st finger covers the first string too).
  • Then put your 2nd finger on the 1st string at the 6th fret.

C7 Guitar Chord D7 Shape  

This C7 is based off of the D7 open chord form. This is what the D7 looks like.

D7 Guitar Chord

Here is the C7 guitar chord, notice the D7 chord form inside of the C7 chord.

C7 guitar chord
C7 guitar chord

To play this C7 chord heres how your fingers are positioned.

  • Your 1st finger is on the 4th string, the D string, at the 10th fret.
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 3rd string, the G string. At the 12th fret.
  • next put your 2nd finger on the 2nd string, the B string. At the 11th fret.
  • Then place your 4th finger on the 1st string , the E string. At the 12th fret.

On this chord its easiest to make the D7 Shape first then place your first finger in position on the fourth string.

C7 Guitar Chord Jazzy Form

Notice on this C7 guitar chord you strum all the strings. Make sure that your fingers aren’t touching the open strings.

C7 gutiar chord

Here is how to play this C7 chord.

  • Place your first finger on the 5th string, the A string, at the 7th fret.
  • Next put your 2nd finger on the 6th string, the E string, at the 8th fret.
  • Your 3rd finger goes on the fourth string, the D string, at the 8th fret.
  • Lastly your 4th finger is on the 2nd string, B string, at the 8th fret.

How do I Know if a Chord is right or Not?

When you are learning new chords its exciting and fun, but take your time and learn to play them correctly. Here is a great way to practice these new chords, or any chords for that matter.

  1. Place your fingers on the strings one at a time. Remember to use your finger tips. If you had a dot on the end of your finger when you place your finger on the string you should not be able to see the dot.
  2. Next Pluck or pick the strings one at a time make sure that particular string is ringing out clearly. There should be no buzzing noises, or dead notes.
  3. Keep your hand relaxed.

In guitar you will find that it is more important to go slow and learn it right the first time. When playing the guitar it is all about muscle memory. So if you are doing things the wrong way. Then it becomes harder to do it the right way.

So go slow until you can play a chord where all the notes ring out nice, and then move on to the next chord. After you get that one play the first one again. Until you can play all the C7 chords.

Practice Moving Between Each C7 Chord

Now that you can make the chords and they all sound good practice strumming the chords. If you need help with strumming technique go here.

Practice going from one C7 guitar chord to the next up the guitar neck. Then once you get that under your belt try it in reverse. Start at the 12th fret. Here is a chord chart with all the C7 in this lesson, to help with your practice.

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Sources

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