D7 Guitar Chord Lesson: How to Play D7

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What is D7 on Guitar?

The D7 chord on guitar is a commonly used 7th chord in a wide variety of genres.

It is a common substitute for a regular D chord, as it adds tension by incorporating the flat 7th.

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to play the D7 guitar chord and learn the theory behind it.

What notes are in a D7 chord?

There are 4 notes in a D7 chord. The notes are:

  • D (root)
  • F# (Major 3rd)
  • A (5th)
  • C (Flat 7th)

How to play the D7 guitar chord

Open D7 Chord

The open D7 chord is the most common D7 chord on guitar, and is a common guitar chord for beginners.

This is a commonly seen substitute for the common open D guitar chord.

Open D7 Guitar Chord

D7 Guitar Chord (E7 Shape)

This is arguably the most difficult D7 guitar chord shape, because it’s a barre chord.

Don’t let that hold you back from learning this chord, though. Due to it’s barre nature, and the bass note being the root, this chord is easy to move around from one 7th chord shape to another.

D7 Bar Chord based on open E7.

D7 Guitar Chord (C7 Shape)

This is a commonly used guitar chord with the Travis picking style.

It’s also common in country and bluegrass guitar.

If you already know your open position C7 guitar chord, just move it up a whole step to get this shape.

D7 Guitar chord using the C7 shape

D7 Guitar Chord (A7 Shape)

This is another barre chord, not quite as common as it’s earlier barred shape brother.

Despite that fact, this chord shape is a no-brainer if you’re sticking around the fifth fret of the guitar.

This shape is derived from an open A7 chord.

D7 guitar chord based on the Open A7 shape.

D7 Guitar Chord (Jazz Shape)

I call this the jazz shape because it’s so easy to move the intervals, such as the root or fifth, to new intervals in order to create unique harmonies.

Learn some more jazz guitar chords here.

D7 Guitar Chord Jazz Shape

D7 Guitar Chord Further Explained

What is the difference between D and D7 on guitar?

The D7 chord differentiates itself from a D chord by incorporating an extra note, the C note, which is the flattened 7th interval.

The addition of a flat 7th can cause tension in music, which is usually resolved by moving to a tonic.

Is D7 and D Major 7 the same?

D7 and D Maj7 are not the same chord.

D7 is a major triad plus a flat 7th, and D Maj7 is a major triad plus a major 7th.

This gives D7 the notes D-F#-A-C and D Maj7 the notes D-F#-A-C#.

Learn more about 7th chords here.

What scale goes with D7?

As a general rule the D major pentatonic scale and D Mixolydian both go with D7.

Can I play D7 instead of D?

You can play a D7 chord instead of D, but they both have different functions in music.

Choose which chord to play based on the function the chord has in the song.

Summary: D7 Guitar Chord

The D7 guitar chord is a common alternative to D Major and is generally used to complement the music by building tension.

The D7 shape you use is determined by the song you’re playing.

What’s next?

Want to further explore chords or theory? Then check out these posts.

What Is Guitar Theory?

Playing the E7 Chord on Guitar (Charts and Theory)

How to Play Dominant 7th Chords on Guitar (Definition)

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions!