BY KATE KOENIG

Welcome to the latest installment of Chord by Chord, a series designed to build your understanding of harmony and the fretboard. In the last lesson we went over the B7 chord, and this time we’ll work on F7.

The Work

F7 is a type of dominant seventh chord—again, a major triad with a flatted seventh on top. Example 1 shows the notes in an F major triad (F A C) and Example 2 shows F7 (F A C Eb).


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f7 chord diagrams and tab, notation

Example 3 demonstrates how to get to an F7 chord from an F barre chord at the first fret. These are some of the hardest barre chords to play on guitar. A couple of tips for mastering them: lean into the barre, and play the notes individually to make sure each one sounds clear.

For some compact voicings on the top and inner four strings, respectively, see Examples 4 and 5. Next try getting to F7 from an eighth-position F chord (Example 6). Feel free to play just the bottom four notes, which should be easier on the fretting fingers. End with Example 7, demonstrating some four-note voicings higher up the neck with the fifth (C) as the bottom note.

The Result

You should now know a variety of ways to play F7 on the fretboard. To hear this chord in context, check out “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis. In the next lesson, we’ll return to the major seventh chord.

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