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Introduction to Dominant 7th Chords

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In this lesson we are going to play an A7.

Place your index finger first on the second fret of the D string. Then your ring finger on the second fret of the B string. Let the G string ring open, don't let your index or ring finger interfere with it. Make sure to keep your fingers clear of that string so you don't mute it. You want to have your hand "hovering" or "arched" slightly over any string that has an "open" string note.

All the other basics of finger mechanics also apply here. From the last knuckle of your finger to the fingertip, arch your finger so it is pointing straight down into the string & fretboard. This will give you the most leverage & power. In addition, your fingertip should be right behind the fret you are playing. Not on top of the fret! You will get a muted sound right on top of the fret. Also, not too far behind the fret. In that case you won't get enough leverage & you will be making it too hard on yourself. Right behind the fret is the best location for any fretting any note!

Your thumb should be placed directly opposite your fingers on the back of the neck. Your thumb should provide just enough pressure to keep your hand firmly in place on the neck and opposing pressure to help your fingers hold down any fretted notes. Sometimes beginners squeeze too hard with their thumb and, or their fingers. Actually this is a problem for some skilled guitarists, too! Remember that you want just enough pressure to get the job done. Not enough will, of course, result in a poor sounding chord. But too much will is wasted effort and can over time actually hinder your ability to move quickly and effectively to the next chord or hand position.

We want to practice playing each chord using two different approaches. We want to individually pluck each string slowly right after one another. This will give us a way to hear whether or not every note in the chord is sounding as clearly as possible. After you've made sure that each note is sounding as clearly as possible, then we want to strum the chord, lightly grazing the pick over each string quickly right after one another. This is typically
how chords are strummed on the guitar. Once you get used to this technique, try to strum back and forth.

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Introduction to Dominant 7th Chords