How to Master the E7 Guitar Chord in 3 Easy Steps

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Struggling with the E7 guitar chord? You’re not alone. Many guitarists find dominant seventh chords tricky, especially when starting out.

It’s frustrating. You keep trying, but it just doesn’t sound right. It can feel like you’re hitting a wall in your guitar journey.

And sure, you might be tempted to skip over this chord, but that would be a mistake. The E7 chord is crucial for playing a wide range of songs and styles.

But don’t worry! With my step-by-step guide, you’ll be playing the E7 guitar chord with ease.

I’ll break it down into simple steps, show you alternative ways to play it, and even highlight some songs that use this versatile chord.

Ready to master the E7 guitar chord? Let’s dive in!


  • Get to know the E7 chord structure.
  • Follow three easy steps to play the E7 chord.
  • Explore different ways to play the E7 chord.
  • Practice with songs that use the E7 chord.

Learning to Play the E7 Guitar Chord: Step-by-Step

e7 guitar chord

This dominant seventh chord adds a cool, bluesy vibe to your music. And with a chord named “E7,” it sounds like it comes from the E major scale, right?

Don’t let it trip you up. Even though you may think it comes from the E major scale, it’s actually based on the A major scale and is a must-know for many songs.

Mastering the E7 chord will help you understand and play other guitar chords more easily. Let’s start by getting an idea of its structure.

Familiarize Yourself with E7’s Structure

Before we dive into playing the E7 guitar chord, let’s get a handle on its structure.

The E7 chord starts with the root note E. From there, it includes a major triad, which is just a fancy way of saying three notes: the root note (E), the major third (G#), and the perfect fifth (B).

But what makes it special as a dominant seventh chord is the addition of a minor seventh, which is D.

So, when you strum the E7 chord, you’re playing these four notes: E, G#, B, and D. This mix gives the E7 its rich, slightly edgy sound. Knowing this structure helps you understand the E7 chord better and makes learning other chords easier.

It’s like building a toolkit for your guitar journey.

Let’s get familiar with these notes and see how they come together to form the E7 chord in the open position. This little bit of theory will make playing the chord much more intuitive and fun!

The Steps

  1. Place Your Fingers:
    • Start by placing your index finger on the first fret of the third (G) string. That’s your G#.
    • Next, put your middle finger on the second fret of the fifth (A) string. That’s your B note.
  2. Strum the Strings:
    • Leave the other strings open (E, B, and high E).
    • Make sure your fingers are pressing down firmly for a clear sound.
    • Strum all the strings from the low E string to the high E string.
  3. Adjust and Play:
    • Listen to ensure that each note rings clearly. Adjust your finger placement and pressure if you hear buzzing or muted sounds.
    • Practice transitioning to and from the E7 chord to other chords to get comfortable with its shape.

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll play the E7 chord smoothly in no time.

Alternative Ways to Play the E7 Chord

There are several variations to keep your playing fresh.

One popular method is using barre chords. By barring the fifth fret and forming the A7 chord shape, you get an E7 chord higher up the neck at the twelfth fret.

Experimenting with these different chord shapes adds versatility to your playing and keeps practice sessions interesting. Give these a try and see which version you enjoy the most!

E Dominant Seventh Chord Fifth Position

e7 guitar chord fifth position

Let’s give the E dominant seventh chord in the fifth position a try.

Like the open position, each variation, including this one, is built off the E major triad and adds a unique flavor to your playing. They’re a great way to add variety and richness to your sound.

In this case, shifting to the fifth position can make your chord transitions smoother and more enjoyable. Grab the chord diagram to see how it looks, and try it! It’s a fun way to expand your guitar skills.

How to Play It

  1. Place Your Fingers:
    • Place your index finger on the fifth fret of the B string. This note is E.
    • Place your middle finger on the sixth fret of the D string (G#).
    • Place your ring finger on the seventh fret of the G string (D).
    • Place your pinky finger on the seventh fret of the high E string (B).
  2. Strum the Strings:
    • Strum from the D string down to the high E string, leaving the low E and A strings out of the strum.
    • Ensure all notes ring clearly by adjusting your finger placement as needed.
  3. Adjust and Play:
    • Check that each note rings out clearly without any buzzing or muted sounds.
    • Practice transitioning to and from this position with other chords to get comfortable with its shape.

Following these steps will give you a nice, clear E7 chord in the fifth position.

E7 Barre Chord

e7 barre chord

This version uses barre chords to create a fuller, more resonant sound.

By shifting up the neck and forming the chord shape with a barre, you get a rich, dynamic tone that’s perfect for various musical styles. It may seem challenging at first, but with some practice, you’ll find it opens up new possibilities in your playing.

Barre chords are a fantastic way to add versatility and depth to your guitar skills, so give the E7 barre chord a try!

Playing the Barre

  1. Barre the 12th Fret:
    • Place your index finger across all the strings on the 12th fret.
    • Press down firmly to ensure each string rings out clearly.
  2. Place Your Fingers:
    • Place your middle finger on the 13th fret of the G string.
    • Place your ring finger on the 14th fret of the A string.
  3. Strum the Strings:
    • Strum all six strings, making sure each note rings out clearly.
    • Adjust your finger placement and pressure as needed to avoid any buzzing or muted sounds.

By following these steps, you can play the E7 barre chord at the 12th fret with a full and resonant sound.

Other E Dominant Seventh Chord Variations

Exploring other variations of the E7 guitar chord can add exciting flavors to your playing.

One interesting variation is in the seventh position. Adjusting your finger positions allows you to create a slightly different sound that adds a unique twist to your music.

These variations make your playing more versatile and help you understand the fretboard better.

Experimenting with different finger positions and locations can lead to the discovery of new sounds and styles. Give these variations a try and see how they enhance your playing!

e7 guitar chord alternative 1
e7 guitar chord alternative 2
e7 guitar chord alternative 3

Songs That Use the E7 Guitar Chord

Curious about where you can use the E7 guitar chord? You’re in for a treat!

This dominant chord is a staple in blues, rock, and jazz. For example, Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” features the E7 as a pivotal chord.

In many blues songs, the E7 resolves to a tonic chord, driving the progression. Adding this chord to your repertoire opens up a world of classic tunes to play. So grab your guitar and start exploring songs that showcase the versatile E7 chord!

Other songs include:

  1. “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan
  2. “Good Golly Miss Molly” by Little Richard

Final Thoughts

vibrant electric guitar thought bubbles in space

Mastering the E7 guitar chord is a fantastic step forward in your guitar journey.

Like other dominant seventh chords, this chord adds a distinctive, bluesy feel to your music, making it a favorite in many genres. As you’ve seen, there are various ways to play the E7 chord, from simple open positions to more advanced barre chords and even alternative finger positions.

Each variation brings a new texture to your playing.

Remember that understanding the E7 chord also helps you get a better grasp of other chords, including minor chords and major chords. The more you explore and practice these chords, the more versatile you become as a guitarist.

Whether you’re jamming to classic blues, experimenting with jazz, or adding a twist to rock songs, the E7 chord is a valuable tool in your musical toolkit.

So, keep practicing, experiment, and, most importantly, have fun. The journey of learning guitar is as rewarding as it is challenging, and every new chord you master brings you closer to becoming a more skilled and expressive musician.

Happy strumming!


acoustic guitarist playing guitar with question marks in the background

Is E7 a major chord?

The answer is a bit nuanced. The E7 chord is technically a dominant seventh chord, which means it’s built on a major triad (E major) but includes a minor seventh interval (D).

So, while it starts with the major chord structure, adding the seventh gives it a unique, slightly bluesy feel.

It’s not purely major, but it’s not minor, either. It’s this blend that makes the E7 chord so versatile and widely used in different genres.

What is the difference between E Major and E7 chord?

Curious about the difference between the E major and E7 chord? It’s all about that extra note!

The E major chord consists of three notes: E, G#, and B. It’s a straightforward, bright-sounding chord.

When you play an E7 chord, you add a D note to this mix. This additional note gives the E7 chord its distinctive, slightly bluesy sound.

While the E major chord is pure and simple, the E7 chord adds a bit of tension and complexity, making it perfect for blues, jazz, and rock styles.

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