How to Form a C7 on the Guitar

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The c7 on the guitar is comprised of four distinct notes. Form a C7 on the guitar with help from a Los Angeles-based guitar player in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Be a Versatile Guitarist
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Video Transcript

I'm Marcus Gerakos. I'm a guitarist based here in LA. I do a lot of studio work for TV commercials and for films, things like that. Today we're going to talk about ways you can form a C7 on the guitar. We're going to start by just talking about what the four notes that comprise the C7 are. There's C, there's E, There's G, And there's B flat. You can think of this as part of the mixed Lydian scale. If it were a major scale, you would have what's called a C major 7. But since this is based on the mixed Lydian scale, we have a B flat there. That's a seventh scale degree. So, let's look at some different ways that we can arrange these four notes. Root position C7 would look like this. So, you notice tat we're repeating the C note at the octave. We can also play a C7 at fret three, with the root on the A5 string. And the fifth of the chord up on E1. We can play a six string version of C7 at fret eight. Our next voicing is going to be at the third fret and you're barring or extending the finger, first finger across five strings. And then let's say adding finger three at fret five of a D4 string and finger four, the pinkie, at fret five also at the, on the B2 string. So, this voicing sounds like this. OK. Now, moving ahead we can voice this chord at a six string voicing. It has sort of a bigger tessitura. In other words this is from the low note to the top note. So, you notice how this C and this C are two octaves apart. In between we have G on the A5 string, fret ten, B flat on the D4 string, fret eight. We have the E fret nine on the G3 string, and we're barring fret eight, fret eight, fret G and the top C. So, again this chord looks like this. If we want to make it a little more dissonant sounding we can accentuate the seventh degree. That gives it a major second interval at the top. It gives a little more edge, a little more pull towards let's say resolving it to a 1 chord and think of it as a 5. OK. Another voicing, a way you can voice this chord is up her at fret ten, where the last four strings, fret ten, fret twelve, fret eleven, fret twelve again. And there's always, when you voice your chords you want to make sure that you're in good position right behind the fret and that you are pressing down on the string as little as possible. Especially, the further you go up the neck, the more risk you run of playing chords out of tune. It's important to relax, get a good position. Also, you can shift the inversion so that a different note is on the, is acting as the base note. For example here is an C7 with an E in the base. The difference here is is sounds like you want to go, let's say the F or even F minor. So, you can voice that in four notes like this. You can voice that here at fret five, and you can voice that here at fret seven, or at fret eleven. I'm Marcus Gerakos. This has been different ways to form a C7 on the guitar,


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