How to play

How to play the Dmaj7#5 chord on guitar

Unlock the secrets of this jazzy chord, featured in hits like "Wonderwall."

The Dmaj7#5 chord

The Dmaj7#5 chord, pronounced "D major seven sharp five", is a unique and expressive voicing. It combines the bright, optimistic sound of a major seventh chord with the tension of a raised fifth. This chord is notably used in jazz and fusion genres to add a sense of sophistication and intrigue. Songs like Steely Dan's "Aja" showcase the Dmaj7#5's captivating harmonic character.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Dmaj7#5 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Dmaj7#5 chord

The Dmaj7#5 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 10th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Dmaj7#5 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 10th fret, making a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 11th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

Strum all six strings together to play the Dmaj7#5 chord. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to cleanly fret all the strings.

How to play an easy Dmaj7#5 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Dmaj7#5 chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st (high E) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Leave the remaining strings open.
  4. Strum only the top four strings.

How to play a Dmaj7#5 bar chord

Sometimes you may want to play a Dmaj7#5 chord using a barre shape instead of the standard open position. This can make it easier to switch to other barre chords or play the chord in a different position on the neck.

Here's how to play a Dmaj7#5 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 10th fret, covering all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 11th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from the low E string.

Common Dmaj7#5 chord progressions

The Dmaj7#5 chord, with its bright and uplifting sound, is often used in chord progressions to create a sense of excitement, triumph, or resolution. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the Dmaj7#5 chord:

  • I - IV - Imaj7#5 - IV (D - G - Dmaj7#5 - G)
  • I - vi - Imaj7#5 - IV (D - Bm - Dmaj7#5 - G)
  • I - V - vi - Imaj7#5 (D - A - Bm - Dmaj7#5)
  • ii - V - Imaj7#5 - vi (Em - A - Dmaj7#5 - Bm)
  • iii - vi - Imaj7#5 - IV (F#m - Bm - Dmaj7#5 - G)

Drills to master the Dmaj7#5 chord

To master the Dmaj7#5 chord, start by playing each note individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Once comfortable, practice transitioning smoothly between the notes in a steady rhythm.

Next, try incorporating the chord into simple progressions, such as Dmaj7#5 to Bm7 to Em7 to A7. This will help you develop muscle memory and understand how the chord functions in different contexts. As you progress, experiment with various strumming patterns and fingerpicking techniques to add depth and texture to your playing.

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Songs that feature the Dmaj7#5 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Dmaj7#5 chord.

  1. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, C, D, Fmaj7, G, Dmaj7#5)
  2. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm, Dmaj7#5)
  3. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (Em, G, Am, Dmaj7#5)
  4. Purple Rain by Prince (Bb, C, Dm, Dmaj7#5, F, G)
  5. Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers (D, Dmaj7#5, F#m, G)
  6. The Scientist by Coldplay (Am, Dmaj7#5, Em, G)
  7. November Rain by Guns N' Roses (C, D, Dm, Dmaj7#5, G)
  8. Wonderwall by Oasis (Am, C, Dmaj7#5, Em, G)
  9. Hotel California by Eagles (Am, B, Dmaj7#5, E, F#, G)
  10. Blackbird by The Beatles (G, A, Am, Dmaj7#5)

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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