Blues Guitar Lesson: b7 Guitar Chord

Do you want to learn more about playing blues guitar? Are you looking for an essential chord that will diversify your style, fill out your arsenal of chords, and make your blues music more dynamic? We always aim to provide you with awesome information and thorough lessons that will help you achieve your blues guitar goals. In this article, we discuss the B7 guitar chord in some depth, including a bit of theory that will help you learn to incorporate it into your own unique blues sound.

Revolutionary music that accelerated in development beginning in the 1930s, the blues is full of soul and deep sounds. Blues music is a popular and fun genre to learn on the guitar, too. Even if you are a beginner, you can make blues chords sound wonderful and clean with a little coaching and practice. The B7 guitar chord is an essential chord for tunes in several popular blues keys, and knowing how to play it will add a special twist to your blues music.  

Blues music is a composite genre that relies on many instruments to create its unique sound. As a guitar player, there are two aspects of blues music you can focus on: rhythm guitar and lead guitar. As we move through this article, we discuss blues music and the '7 chords' (sevenths) used in blues, while specifically focusing on the B7 guitar chord. Let's get grooving by taking a closer look at the B7 guitar chord right now.

What Is the B7 Guitar Chord?

guy playing a guitar

Starting with the rhythm guitar perspective, we can explain more about the B7 chord and how it interacts with the other '7' chords of blues music. Rhythm guitar is focused on playing chords rather than single-note melody lines. The rhythm guitar player holds a steady beat and pattern that the lead guitarist plays off of. The '7' chords are extremely important and fundamental for every blues rhythm guitarist, and the B7 guitar chord is one of these essential elements. Alongside the A7 and E7 chords, the B7 chord is one of the easier chords for beginning blues guitar players to learn.

'7 Chords' in the Blues

B7 Guitar Chord

Basic B7 Chord Theory

girl holding a guitar

The 7th chord is often called the dominant 7th, but its position is that of the dominant 5th of the major scale. To visualize this, consider how the dominant 7th chord B7 would resolve to E major if you are playing in E major. For example, a root B plus a 3rd, plus a 7th, will result in a full B7 chord that is positioned at the second fret and omits the 5th.

Triad Plus Seventh

To play this B7 chord version, place your middle finger on the fifth string at the second fret and your index finger on the fourth at the first fret, with your ring finger on the third string at the second fret. You are now set up for the most common B7 guitar chord shape---where its root position is at the second fret and on the fifth string. To simplify for beginners, when you have a root B and the seventh of that root (always A), you end up with the basic form of a B7 chord. This is the first version of the B7 guitar chord you will want to learn

B7 Barre Chord

Moving on to the second most common version of the B7 guitar chord, we will 'barre' the chord by adding an interval on the high E. This version is great for players who like to practice their barre chord skills and are fairly familiar with them. The barre B7 chord is a B major barre chord with high A on the end. The high A is crucial to the progression as it smooths out the sound and gives the chords a nice blues quality, making a seventh chord shape.

The 7th interval makes this B7 barre chord interesting; otherwise, it is just a B major triad. Practice this with the help of an audio recording and a chord chart to have the clearest possible idea of what you are striving to achieve.

Blues Guitar Lesson: Playing the B7 Guitar Chord

Let's move on to a quick blues guitar lesson in playing the B7 chord. Following the theory we have outlined above, we have now discussed the second fret position and the barred fourth fret position. These are great voicings to practice because they are fairly easy on your hands, and it's quick to move between frets to get to their shapes. You can learn these versions quickly with practice, which will motivate you to learn more difficult chords and shapes in time. It is important to practice these two versions of the B7 chord until your transitions are smooth and the sound is clear.

  • Playing the B7 Chord

So, now it is time to play the B7 based on the basic theory we have discussed above. Remember that you can move the two B7 shapes between fret positions to voice and play different 7the chords that may fit your blues tunes, too. We suggest practicing the shifting between these chords to feel the difference between the voicings. Playing one note at a time will get you feeling more comfortable with the B7 shape, and it is useful to try arpeggios or a bit of flatpicking while holding the chord shape as well.

A crisp sound will come as you master the shape. Referencing chord tabs will be helpful if you are a fresh, beginner blues guitar player, but here are the basic steps to playing a B7 guitar chord. First, barre all strings from the 5th through the 2nd at the second fret. Using your index finger, barre the second fret while skipping the thick E string. Strum each string except your sixth (topmost and lowest-pitched) string, and you are playing the B7 guitar chord.

If you already know how to play an "open" E7, it is easy to move your form down the neck of the guitar to the B and find the B7 guitar chord. Barre this form and you will be easily playing the B7 chord.

  • Remember These Tips

As you play, strum each chord by picking every string and adjusting your form properly, then strumming the string again with a refined form. Make sure you are pressing down on the strings with just your fingertips and striving for a clean tone. For ease, use a pick; they are wonderful tools that will save your fingers as you learn. Be careful not to mute the guitar with your palm until you master that technique, and take care not to use sloppy hand movements, as this will affect your sound as you progress. Learning proper form and ergonomics is essential to finding the right blues guitar sound.



We hope that you have found this article inspiring and useful as you learn to play the B7 guitar chord. There are many ways to incorporate the B7 chord into your blues guitar playing and other styles that you like to play. There are many online resources to help guide you and inspire you to keep pushing through the learning phase. 

As a beginner or a knowledgeable guitarist who is new to blues music, remember that it is very important to maintain correct posture and form as you learn new chords. Sloppy players make sloppy sounds, so it is best to focus on practicing your transitions between strings and chords as you work to master the B7 and all the other beautiful chords in blues music.

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