Guitar Lessons | How to Play the E7 Chord
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HOW TO PLAY THE E7:
For guitar lessons, The E7 chord is a very common chord used in thousands and thousands of pop songs it is most commonly associated with blues music such as the 12 bar blues structure however you will find it in everything from Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughn or Zeppelin. Unexpectedly, you can also find it in minor progressions as well as classical pieces where the dominant seventh chord is a borrowed chord from the parallel harmonic minor key (more on this in advanced theory and composition!). Scales that work with it include the mixolydian, minor pentatonic, and Phrygian dominant, common scales used by guitar teachers. Popular songs that include it are lots of 12 bar blues progressions of lots of songs by Stevie Ray Vaughan such as Pride and Joy and also Metallica’s unforgiven as well as “born on the Bayou” by Creedence Clearwater revival. Know this chord ! It is very common and one of the first taught in guitar lessons with Jimmy Cypher
It is composed of the root note E the major third G# the perfect fifth B and the minor seven or flat seven which is D. (E-G#-B-D). It’s chord formula is 1-3-5-b7 . Is useful to think of it as a hybrid of both a major chord and a minor seven chord as it has qualities of both and thus an unusual amount of tension allowing for a lot of scale options including the chromatic scale used in jazz. Dominant seven Harmony gives you the greatest number of soloing options for wild crazy stuff when you hear bucket head, dime bag Darrell Vernon Reed from living color or Hendrix on voodoo chile these are all examples of stretching out over dominant seven harmony, something we explore in advanced lead guitar lessons.
As with most of the chords in the beginner section there are many different “voicings” of the chord whereby the order of the notes played will change, the notes that are doubled, the notes that are omitted or where they are played on the guitar fretboard and what register. However the open form showed here is E7 chord to know first which is what guitar teachers focus on. Songwriters, rhythm guitar players, lead guitar players will all need to know this chord as as such, it is taught in guitar lessons the very first week.
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Artists who use the E7 chord: Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Fogerty, Jack Johnson, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Dixie Chicks, Jimi Hendrix, metallica, Santana, Joe Satriani, Van Halen, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin, Supertramp, One Direction, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Neil Young, James Taylor, Stone Temple Pilots, AC/DC, Lynard Skynard, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Bob dylan, Kasy Musgraves, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pantera, Foo Fighters, Queen, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Rush, Dream Theater, Fleetwood Mac, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Oasis, Ozzy Osbourne, Tool, Lucinda Williams, Ben Harper, Tracy Chapman, emerson, Lake and Palmer, Lenny Kravitz, Aerosmith, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Susan Tedeschi, Allman Brothers.
This chord list is by no means complete but gives students the most bang for the buck for a very small amount of information. Jimmy cypher is often asked by students in guitar lessons if ALL of these chords are necessary since some are not easy to play on the first day. The answer is YES 🙂 Most chord encyclopedias list over 1000 chords in mostly random order, irrespective of importance. Jimmy has pared it down to less than 50, and every one of them will eventually appear in student’s favorite songs that they bring into guitar lessons.