D7 Guitar Chord: Common in Folk, Jazz Music

Seventh chords are common in jazz. Here's how to play D7

D7 and other seventh chords are most popular in jazz and classical music compositions, and the simple guitar chord progression G-Em-Am-D7 has been used in numerous folk and pop music songs over the years. It likely sounds quite familiar.

For example, the folk song "Today," recorded by John Denver (among others) uses that exact chord progression. You'll also hear it in the Christmas carol "Angels We Have Heard on High" and in the classic John Lennon song "Happy Christmas (War is Over)."

The D7 guitar chord includes the notes D, A, C and F#. There are several ways to play the chord D7 on the guitar.

Basic D7 Guitar Chord

The most common way to play the chord D7 on a standard tuned guitar is to place your index finger on the B string first fret, your middle finger on the G string second fret, and your ring finger on the high E string second fret. You may find it easier to play this chord if you start your finger placement with your middle finger, then place your index finger and ring finger.

This finger combination gives you the notes D, A, C and F# on the top four strings of the guitar. You don't play the first and second strings (low E and A).

Alternate D7 Guitar Chords

There are several alternative ways you can play the D7 chord on a standard tuned guitar.

For example, you can play the chord as a barre chord, with your first finger across the fifth fret, your middle finger on the D string in the seventh fret and your ring finger on the B string in the seventh fret.

This produces the chord D, A, C, F#, A on the top five strings of the guitar. You don't play the first string (low E).

In another D7 chord option, try your index finger on the G string in the second fret, your middle finger on the high E string in the second fret, your ring finger on the B string in the third fret, and your pinky on the A string in the third fret.

This produces the chord C, D, A, D, F#. Again, you don't play the first string (low E).

Finally, you can play D7 this way: place your index finger on the B string in the third fret, your middle finger on the D string in the fourth fret, your ring finger on the A string in the fifth fret, and your pinky on the G string in the fifth fret. This produces the chord D, F#, C, D. You don't play either of the E strings (low or high).