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How to play the B7 chord on guitar

Unlock the secrets of iconic songs like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Twist and Shout"!

The B7 chord

The B7 chord, pronounced B dominant seventh, is a vibrant and bluesy guitar chord. It's formed by adding a minor seventh to a B major triad, giving it a distinct, slightly dissonant sound. The B7 is a staple in blues, rock, and jazz music, often used to add tension and resolution. Notable songs featuring B7 include "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common B7 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for B7 chord

The B7 chord is most commonly played as a barre chord on the 7th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a B7 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings on the 7th fret, forming a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 2nd (B) string.

To strum this chord, place your fingers in the correct positions and use a pick or your thumb to strum down across all six strings in one smooth motion.

How to play an easy B7 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the B7 chord, try playing it as a three-string chord. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 4th (D) string, your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string, and your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st (high E) string.

How to play a B7 bar chord

Playing the B7 chord as a barre chord can be a great way to add variety and richness to your guitar playing, especially when transitioning between other barre chords.

Here's how to play a B7 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 7th fret, covering all six strings (barre).
  2. Place your middle finger on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common B7 chord progressions

The B7 chord is often used in blues, rock, and country music to add a sense of tension and resolution, creating a feeling of movement and anticipation. Some common chord progressions featuring the B7 chord include:

  • I7-IV7-V7 (B7-E7-F#7): Used in "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over Beethoven"
  • I7-IV7-I7-V7 (B7-E7-B7-F#7): Used in "Hound Dog" and "Folsom Prison Blues"
  • I7-IV7-I7-IV7-I7-V7-I7 (B7-E7-B7-E7-B7-F#7-B7): Used in "Lucille" and "Pride and Joy"
  • I7-ii7-V7 (B7-C#m7-F#7): Used in "The Thrill Is Gone" and "Every Day I Have the Blues"
  • I7-iii7-vi7-V7 (B7-D#m7-G#m7-F#7): Used in "All Blues" and "Equinox"

Drills to master the B7 chord

Mastering the B7 Guitar Chord

To master the B7 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clarity and precision. Start with the root note (B), then move to the third (D#), fifth (F#), and finally the seventh (A). Once you can play each note cleanly, practice transitioning between them in various patterns.

Another effective drill is to practice strumming the B7 chord in different rhythms. Start with simple, steady patterns and gradually increase the complexity. This will help you develop muscle memory and improve your timing when playing the chord in songs.

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Songs that feature the B7 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the B7 chord:

  1. Let It Be by The Beatles (C, G, Am, F, C/G, F/C, Dm7, C7, B7, Em, D)
  2. All of Me by John Legend (Ab, Fm7, Db, B7, Eb, Cm, Bbm7, Eb7)
  3. Rocket Man by Elton John (G, B7, C, G/D, A, D7, Em)
  4. Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel (D, G, E, E/G#, A, B7, Em, A7)
  5. Your Song by Elton John (Eb, Fm, B7, Bb, Am7, Abm7, Db7)
  6. Moondance by Van Morrison (Am7, Bm7, Am7, Bm7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Fmaj7, B7, E7, Am7)
  7. The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra (Eb, Cm7, B7, Bb7, Eb, Ab, Fm7, B7)
  8. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (E, B7, E7, A, F#m, B7, F#m7, B7)
  9. Georgia on My Mind by Ray Charles (F, Dm7, G7, C7, F, D7, G7, C7, F, A7, Dm, Db7, C7, B7, Bb7, F)
  10. Harvest Moon by Neil Young (D, D6, Dmaj7, D7, G, Bm, A7, D, B7, Em, A7)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

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