How to play

How to play the Bbmaj7 chord on guitar

Learn to play the dreamy chord heard in "Wonderwall" and "Let It Be".

The Bbmaj7 chord

The Bbmaj7 chord, pronounced B-flat major seventh, is a rich and complex chord that adds a dreamy, jazzy flavor to progressions. Commonly used in jazz, R&B, and neo-soul, the Bbmaj7 can be heard in songs like "Hey Love" by Stevie Wonder and "Isn't She Lovely." This chord is notable for its smooth and sophisticated sound, making it a favorite among advanced guitarists.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Bbmaj7 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Bbmaj7 chord

The most common way to play a Bbmaj7 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 6th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Bbmaj7 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 6th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to strum down across all six strings in one fluid motion. Make sure to apply even pressure with your fretting hand to ensure all notes ring out clearly.

How to play an easy Bbmaj7 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bbmaj7 chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 4th (D) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  4. Strum only these three strings.

How to play a Bbmaj7 bar chord

Learning to play the Bbmaj7 chord as a barre chord is a great way to expand your chord vocabulary and add versatility to your playing. This version of the chord allows you to easily transition between other barre chords and play the chord in different positions on the neck.

Here's how to play a Bbmaj7 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 6th fret, covering all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Bbmaj7 chord progressions

The Bbmaj7 chord is often used in jazz and pop music to add a dreamy, sophisticated feel to chord progressions. Here are some common progressions featuring the Bbmaj7 chord:

  • I - IV - Bbmaj7 - IV (Bb - Eb - Bbmaj7 - Eb)
  • ii - V7 - Bbmaj7 (Cm7 - F7 - Bbmaj7). Used in "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Misty".
  • vi - ii - V7 - Bbmaj7 (Gm7 - Cm7 - F7 - Bbmaj7)
  • iii - vi - ii - V7 - Bbmaj7 (Dm7 - Gm7 - Cm7 - F7 - Bbmaj7)
  • Bbmaj7 - Eb7 - Dm7 - Cm7 - F7 (Bbmaj7 - Eb7 - Dm7 - Cm7 - F7)

Drills to master the Bbmaj7 chord

Mastering the Bbmaj7 chord on guitar can be achieved through focused drills. One effective exercise is to play each note of the chord (Bb, D, F, A) individually, listening carefully to their sound and how they blend together. Strum the notes in various sequences, such as Bb-D-F-A, A-F-D-Bb, or F-A-Bb-D, to internalize the chord's structure.

Another drill involves transitioning smoothly between Bbmaj7 and related chords like Eb, Gm, or Cm. Practice switching between these chords in different progressions, maintaining a steady rhythm. With consistent practice, you'll develop muscle memory and fluidity in playing Bbmaj7.

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Songs that feature the Bbmaj7 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Bbmaj7 chord.

  1. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (Bbmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cm7, F7)
  2. The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra (Bbmaj7, Gm7, C7, Cm7, F7)
  3. Just the Two of Us by Grover Washington Jr. (Bbmaj7, Cm7, Dm7, Ebmaj7, F7)
  4. Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra (Am7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, F7, Bbmaj7)
  5. How Deep Is Your Love by Bee Gees (Bbmaj7, Gm7, Cm7, F7)
  6. My Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder (Bbmaj7, Cm7, Dm7, Eb7, F7)
  7. This Masquerade by George Benson (Bbmaj7, Ebm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7, Cm7, F7)
  8. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole (Bbmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cm7, F7)
  9. Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do) by Aretha Franklin (Bbmaj7, Cm7, Dm7, Ebmaj7, F7)
  10. What the World Needs Now by Jackie DeShannon (Bbmaj7, Eb6, Cm7, F7)

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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