The F dominant seventh chord (more commonly known as F7 chord) is capable of infusing a more bluesy sound into your guitar playing. The robust tone of the F7 chord and the 7th scale accompaniment brings with it a sound that’s equally at home in blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, and even funk. The chord is full of rich and hearty pitches with vulnerable undertones. Let’s learn how to play it!
Playing the F7 Chord
F7 is a four-note chord that includes the F, A, C and Eb notes. It’s also one of the tougher chords to play. However, with time and practice, you’ll be able to add it to your chord vocabulary.
To play the F7, barre your index finger across the first fret, stretching across all six strings.
Next, place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the A string. Finally, place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the third G string. See how below.
Index finger: 1st fret of the low E (6th) string
Index finger: 1st fret of the D (4th) string
Index finger: 1st fret of the B (2nd) string
Index finger: 1st fret of the E (1st) string
Middle finger: 2nd fret of the G (3rd) string
Ring finger: 3rd fret of the A (5th) string
Strum all six strings down from E string.
Note: The most challenging part of trying to play the F7 chord is barring the entire first fret. You’ll want to apply a good deal of pressure within the middle part of the index finger’s knuckle to make sure that the strings reverberate nice and clean when strummed.
What Notes Make Up the F7 Chord?
The F7 chord is made up of four notes:
F, A, C and Eb
The above notes create a chord that is constructed with a root, a major third, a perfect fifth and a minor seventh.
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Songs That Use the F7 Chord
The versatility of the F7 chord is evident by the number of songs and genres where it can be heard. From up-tempo funk to the catchier end of country, right down to the low-down blues - the F7 chord is a “dominant” player in a variety of songs and sounds. Listen for it and learn to play it in some of the following songs:
Blending country that hints back to a gospel lineage, The Oak Ridge Boys’ most popular track, “Elvira” uses the F7 and C7 chord progression to drive a catchy four-part harmony tune with a classic country bass emphasis. The song employs a walk up technique that works for chord patterns and bassline, giving it a rhythm-heavy feel.
The F7 soul train just rolled into station and The Isley Brothers’ hit, “It’s Your Thing” is charging down the tracks, bringing a deep, danceable groove. This funk/soul classic is timeless thanks to its rattling guitar riff and complimentary horn section.
In the same, soulful vein, BT Express’ “You Got It, I Want It” reels listeners in right off the bat with a slick bass line and distorted wah-pedal guitar. The F7 chord figures prominently into the song, showcasing its versatility with a sexy swagger.
What aspiring blues player doesn’t want to master the guitar like the legendary B.B. King? The man was so passionate about the art of guitar that he named his instrument “Lucille” - and even wrote a song that bears his guitar’s name. The song starts with a mesmerizing blues intro that peels back the varying layers of emotion that can be wrapped up in the F7 chord. Master the chord and the song to really unleash the power of the F7.
Rock anthem “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive hits you with the F7 chord right from the start. That raw and muffled distortion is the perfect complement to the F7 chord’s sound. Mix in an upbeat blues riff and catchy chorus, and you have a pulse-pounding anthem guaranteed to get you through the 9-to-5 grind. Start taking care of business by mastering the F7 chord with this classic rock tune.
Widen your chord repertoire with the F7 and start using it in your playing to broaden your chops.
If you'd like to learn how to play even more chords, browse Fender Play's chord library, learn about chord types, and find tips on how to master them.
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