Some important chords you should know, and how they work
The following chart shows five common positions for the 7th chord, the root is noted with a diamond (note: the numbers 1-5 across the top are there to identify these forms for our purposes, they aren’t the proper names). Depending on the chord and position you may be able to utilize open strings as well, for example C7 using the 4th position will sound fine if you let the high and low E strings ring out, but a D#7 with the same form will sound very dissonant. Directly below are some examples of how to alter these forms to get the 9th and 13th.
The following is a chart for the 7th chord in the above positions, take notices of how the forms are used in each key and the fret board will suddenly seem a little smaller.
Once again, remember that you aren’t stuck with these five forms; there are as many ways to play a 7th chord, or any other chord for that matter, as you can come up with. Take those four notes and come up with as many inversions as you can, figure out which are possible, and add them to your arsenal.
*To view larger images either click or open in a new window
In case you missed it, here’s Part One.