How to play

How to play the Dmaj7 chord on guitar

Learn the Dmaj7 chord, heard in hits like "Hey Jude" and "Wonderwall."

The Dmaj7 chord

The Dmaj7 chord, pronounced "D major seventh," is a rich and harmonically complex chord that adds a dreamy, sophisticated flavor to any composition. Commonly used in jazz, R&B, and neo-soul, the Dmaj7 can be heard in songs like "Still Feel Like Your Man" by John Mayer and "Redbone" by Childish Gambino. Its unique voicing sets it apart from the standard major chord.

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

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Finger placement for Dmaj7 chord

The most common way to play the Dmaj7 chord on guitar is as an open chord, played on the first three frets.

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

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st (G) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 2nd (D) string.

To strum this Dmaj7 chord, play all six strings together in a downward motion, starting from the lowest (thickest) string.

How to play an easy Dmaj7 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Dmaj7 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 2nd fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Leave the 3rd (G) string open.
  4. Strum from the 4th (D) string down.

How to play a Dmaj7 bar chord

The Dmaj7 barre chord is a great alternative to the standard open chord version, as it allows you to easily play the chord in different positions up and down the neck.

Here's how to play a Dmaj7 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 10th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  4. Place your middle finger on the 11th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Dmaj7 chord progressions

The Dmaj7 chord is often used in progressions that evoke feelings of happiness, nostalgia, and dreaminess. Some common chord progressions featuring Dmaj7 include:

  • I - V7 - vi - IV (Dmaj7 - A7 - Bm7 - Gmaj7) Used in "Girl from Ipanema" and "Fly Me to the Moon"
  • ii - V7 - I - vi (Em7 - A7 - Dmaj7 - Bm7) Used in "Autumn Leaves"
  • I - vi - ii - V7 (Dmaj7 - Bm7 - Em7 - A7) Used in "I've Got You Under My Skin"
  • iii - vi - ii - V7 (F#m7 - Bm7 - Em7 - A7)
  • I - iii - IV - V7 (Dmaj7 - F#m7 - Gmaj7 - A7)

Drills to master the Dmaj7 chord

To master the Dmaj7 chord, start by playing each note individually: D, F#, A, and C#. Focus on cleanly fretting and picking each string, ensuring every note rings out clearly. Practice this drill slowly and methodically until you can comfortably play each note in sequence.

Next, practice transitioning smoothly between Dmaj7 and other common chords like G, A, and Bm. Create simple progressions using these chords and concentrate on seamless transitions without pausing. As you become more comfortable, gradually increase your speed while maintaining accuracy and clarity. With consistent practice, you'll soon master the Dmaj7 chord.

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Songs that feature the Dmaj7 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Dmaj7 chord:

  1. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston (D, Dmaj7, G, A)
  2. The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra (Dmaj7, G6, Emin7, Amin7, D7)
  3. Hey Jude by The Beatles (D, G, A7, Dmaj7)
  4. Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (G, Emin, D, Dmaj7, Bmin, Amin)
  5. Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel (D, Dmaj7, Bmin7, G, Gmin7, D7)
  6. The Girl from Ipanema by Antonio Carlos Jobim (Fmaj7, G7, Gmin7, A7, Dmaj7)
  7. Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra (Amaj7, Dmaj7, G7, Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Bmin7b5, E7)
  8. All of Me by John Legend (Ab, Bbmin, Eb, Fm7, Db, Dmaj7)
  9. My Funny Valentine by Richard Rodgers (Emin7, A7, Dmaj7, D6, Emin7, A7, D6, Dmaj7)
  10. Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma (Amin7, D7, Gmaj7, Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Bmin7b5, Emin7, A7, Dmaj7, G7)

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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