Playing the E7 Chord on Guitar (Charts and Theory)

In this lesson you’re going to learn how to play the E7 chord on guitar.

If you’d like to know more about how to play dominant 7th chords on guitar, then check out this article.

Here’s the easiest E7 chord guitar lesson you’ll find on the web.

What is an E7 Chord? (Theory)

The E7 Chord is an E Major triad (E-G#-B) with a minor 7th (D).

E7 guitar chord notes/ build

The notes in E7 are E-G#-B-D.

Function of a dominant 7th chord

Dominant 7th chords have multiple functions, the most common of these being a neutral chord used to create tension, and then resolving to a parent chord.

An example of this would be E7 resolving to an A Major chord. This works well because E7 is the V chord (fifth) in the key of A.

Check out this article by Masterclass if you’d like to learn more about the functions of dominant 7th chords in music.

What is E7 short for?

E7 is short for E Dominant 7th.

This applies to every dominant chord.

What scales use the E7 chord?

The E7 chord is the V chord in the A Major Scale.

It is a common substitute for E Major and E Minor chords in other scales.

What scale can I play over the E7 chord?

The most common scale to play over the E7 chord is the E Mixolydian scale, which derives from the parent scale A Major.

How to play the E7 chord

There are dozens of ways to play the E7 chord, but the most common way to play it for beginners is in the open position.

You’ll look at this common position and other position for the chord below.

Open Position E7 Chord

This is the most commonly seen E7 shape on the guitar.

Open E7 Chord (Guitar)

Advanced Open Position E7

This is an advanced E7 Open shape.

I call it the jazz shape because by omitting the open strings you can move the chord to any fret, and it will make for a tasty, bass-centric jazz chord.

The root note for this shape is on the D string.

E7 Open Position Advanced shape, commonly used in jazz guitar

E7 Fifth Position (C Shape)

By taking your C shape and moving it up to the fifth position you can create an E7 chord.

Adding your pinky on the G string is the only addition you’ll need to make to your standard open C shape.

This shape is especially common in blues and Travis-picking styles, especially when there’s an alternating bass note.

E7 Guitar Chord using the C Shape at the 5th position.

E7 Bar Chord (7th Position)

Here’s a common barre chord shape for E7.

This shape’s root note is on the A string.

This is another chord that’s easy to move around.

E7 Barre Chord Guitar Shape at the 7th position.

E7 Chord Guitar Summary

There you have it, 4 of the most common ways to play the E7 chord on guitar.

Start by learning the common open position.

From there, work to incorporate the chord into an A Major chord progression such as a I-IV-V.

Comment below if you have any questions!