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The C Chord and G7 Chord (Guitar Lesson)


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David Isaacs

The C Chord and G7 Chord

Here you'll get to spend some time applying some fundamental chord shapes. Dave shows how to switch between these two chords seamlessly and, as usual, has a creative example ready to go so you can put your new knowledge to good use right away!

Taught by David Isaacs in Beginner Guitar With David Isaacs seriesLength: 18:39Difficulty: 1.5 of 5


In this lesson, you'll be introduced to two very common chords, the C and G7, and take a look at a powerful way to practice connecting chord forms. While we're at it, we'll also add a dash of music theory with a short discussion of the difference between major, minor, and 7th chords.??First of all, it's important to know that the chord we call C is actually a “C major”, with “C” being the note the chord is built on and “major” being its sonic “quality”. Chords can have different qualities, each with a distinctive sound and emotional or musical association. Simply put, major chords are bright and happy, while minor chords are dark and sad. Seventh chords can sound bluesy or jazzy. As we progress you'll learn more about this, but for now it's enough to know that C is a major chord while G7 gets the “7” in its name from the addition of another note to a G major chord. That note would be the seventh tone in a sequence that starts with G as note 1 and progresses through the music alphabet.

Both of these chords do require a little more facility and reach than we've needed up to this point. Both use three fingers, spread out across three frets AND across the strings. The finger independence exercise you learned in the last lesson was intended to develop some of the reach you'll need to play these two chords.

I'm using the word “reach” instead of “stretch” to illustrate a point of mechanics. Take a look at the fingering for the C chord at 1:51. You might notice that the fingers don't really stretch apart – rather, the middle and ring fingers extend by uncurling the knuckles. You might also notice that the fretting hand is rotated slightly inward. In other words, the hand isn't parallel to this strings but at a slight angle. This allows us to reach the second and third frets without having to separate the fingers: the extension is a natural movement of the hand and lets the ring finger reach the 5th string more comfortably. Note that the index finger, by contrast, is bent at both knuckles to almost bend back on itself. This hand position gives us maximum grip and extension with minimal effort. It may still be something of a challenge to some of you, especially to allow the open third string to ring out freely. Experiment with dropping the wrist a little towards the floor to open the hand. Note also that the C chord is generally played with just five strings, so you'll want to either avoid striking the 6th string completely or muffle it with the tip of the thumb (reaching over the top of the neck, if your hands are big enough). It's also possible to mute the 6th string with the very tip of the extended ring finger.

The G7 chord, introduced at 4:07, is similar in “shape” to the C. Note the use of three fingers across three frets, the curled index finger, and the extension of the middle and ring fingers to reach the bass strings. Again, try to position your hand so no strings are being muffled or muted, dropping the wrist a little if necessary. In the case of the G7 chord, we can actually get by just fine without the middle finger note – so if things really aren't ringing out you can allow the ring finger to touch and mute the 5th string. Both fingerings are legitimate and both form a G7 chord.

Our exercise in this lesson will help you develop the dexterity to play and switch between both of these chords. Essentially we're building the chords by playing them as arpeggios, one note at a time. You can think of it as a melody to start with, and just treat it as a set of single notes. As you get more comfortable, try holding down the entire chord form as you move from string to string. It may take some time, but it'll definitely come with consistent and diligent practice – just like everything else you'll do on the guitar.





Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


quinrajquinraj replied on May 2nd, 2017

What happened to the downloadable play along tracks ?

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on May 2nd, 2017

Hi there, the play along tracks are only available on the lessons for which instructors are actually playing over a backing track. For this lesson and the next because David is not utilizing a backing track, no tracks are available. However, if you want to take this material and add it to a track, you can pull one from one of the the lessons where he is utilizing a track, or visit the JamTracks section of the site and choose an appropriate track there.

petcullpetcull replied on February 14th, 2017

fix video

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on May 2nd, 2017

Hi petcull. I've reviewed this lesson and was unable to produce any issues with playback on either of the lesson scenes or with any of the quality settings. You may want to try simply clearing your browser's cache which can a lot of times cure the issue. If you continue having any trouble, please contact us at [email protected] and be specific about what is occurring.

marmarahamarmaraha replied on December 24th, 2016

I like your lessons and the way you teach, but I also like to follow along with the lesson printed out. I know this is JamPlay. Why does the lesson have to include such large LOGO so that one set of tabs runs over into another page? Every lesson printout is less than optimized.

bigempirebigempire replied on November 30th, 2016

Excellent exercise to work on as I'm learning the guitar. Thanks for helping me build my guitar skills.

Torr_bihTorr_bih replied on October 6th, 2016

Just want to congratulate on your leassons. So far the best teacher I've had.

SegulSegul replied on August 31st, 2016

wish i could print out the chord fingerings. anyone know where i can find them

SegulSegul replied on August 31st, 2016

this one is going to take some focus lol

QTU1965QTU1965 replied on May 7th, 2016

Not getting the visual. Just green screen. audio ok. Any ideas?

Rose.HPRose.HP replied on April 25th, 2016

Thanks David, the importance of the arpeggio.

Charlie640Charlie640 replied on March 8th, 2016

Absolutely love your teaching style. Wish I had found you earlier. Thanks.

LollielaLolliela replied on November 24th, 2015

Love your lessons. This one is a good one, but why won't the notes always ring true? What is WRONG with my finger placement? So frustrating.

Southern CashSouthern Cash replied on September 28th, 2015

Loving these lessons, thanks Dave!

Don.SDon.S replied on September 25th, 2015

The exercise is a toughy. Great one though, Dave.

bokim0907bokim0907 replied on August 9th, 2015

Thanks Dave , you've gotten me further along then my last two teachers and hundreds of dollars spent on lessons .

trollfiddlertrollfiddler replied on May 1st, 2015

Love the sweet little arpeggio tune from just two chords. Great teacher, keep it up :)

Beginner Guitar With David Isaacs

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Whether you've never played before, or your coming back to guitar after brief startup attempt, you'll find everything you need to get going in this series. David uses real musical examples to teach even the most basic concepts and techniques.



Lesson 1

The Series Introduction

Don't get stuck learning chords, scales and theory with nowhere to apply the things you work on. Take the "David Isaacs" approach and learn the guitar by using real music. You'll be playing along with...

Length: 2:32 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Lesson 2

Strings & Things

Tune up, learn your way around your guitar, and explore a simple, musical picking exercise to help you learn the string names. You'll be playing right out of the gate!

Length: 22:20 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Hands on the Fretboard

Learn hand position, posture and see how to set up your playing for success when it comes to your fret hand. Dave goes in depth with his discussion and demonstration of hand mechanics. Don't miss this...

Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Your First Song!

Learn the E7 minor and Am chords and then immediately put them to use with a simple song. Play along to the provided backing track and feel like you're part of the band...It's only your 4th lesson! Keep...

Length: 15:32 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Power to the Chords

Power chords are some of the most simple and ubiquitous tools for playing and making great songs. Learn the most basic shapes and put them to use right here! Dave also discusses the beginnings of strumming...

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Music & Melody

Learn a simple melody and take in a little info about what a 'key' is. You can learn the melody and have a friend strum the rhythm. Or, do it the other way around!

Length: 18:07 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Two Finger Chords & More

These simple, musical tools can take you a long way. Use your index and middle fingers to play a simple Am chord and a simple E chord. You'll also learn how to read chord charts and play through another...

Length: 16:46 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

A Simple Melody

You will be introduced to a simple A minor scale and then learn a song that helps you get your new scale under your finger tips!

Length: 12:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Finger Independence

Do you ever feel like you are wearing mittens while you are trying to practice your guitar playing? If you have ever experienced this sensation, this lesson is for you!

Length: 11:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Let's Major on C Major

You'll be introduced to the C Major scale and then you'll be able to put it to use over a soothing acoustic guitar rhythm bed. Have fun!

Length: 10:37 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

The C Chord and G7 Chord

Here you'll get to spend some time applying some fundamental chord shapes. Dave shows how to switch between these two chords seamlessly and, as usual, has a creative example ready to go so you can put...

Length: 18:39 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

G and C Working Together

I know what you're thinking..."I just learned these!" Well, you did learn a C chord and a G chord, but this lesson goes over ways to play these chords together in a chord progression that REALLY sounds...

Length: 11:06 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Playing Most Songs

You've probably heard it before, but most songs out there can really be played with just 3 or 4 chords. In this lesson, Dave gives you the tools to play most of the songs you know and love!

Length: 14:04 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Rhythm & Charts

We're moving into some new territory with this series now. You'll now be focusing more and more on material that you can play in a band setting. Up until now, you've been applying the basics to real music,...

Length: 24:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

A Taste of the Blues

Learn about the blues form and strum along with a cool, laid back, bluesy track. You'll be able to take the material in this lesson a long way down the road! Don't forget to have fun with it now though...

Length: 12:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Major Pentatonic Music

Learn the C major pentatonic scale and put it to good use over a catchy tune! You'll be surprised how simple this is and how very musical you can be with just 5 notes arranged in a musically interesting...

Length: 8:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Four Fingers and a Chord

The mighty and intimidating F chord is one that most beginners see as a major hurdle in learning the basic chords on the guitar. Dave offers some ways to make the F chord more approachable. Once you examine...

Length: 15:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Chord Shapes & Arpeggios

Work on precision with your picking hand and more finger independence with your fretting hand using a soothing practice track called "Chimes". You'll get a good taste of combining melody and rhythm playing...

Length: 15:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Work Those Rhythms

Dave works you through eight different strumming variations, discusses how to feel the groove while keeping the rhythm, and shows you how to take a handful of examples and create any strum pattern you...

Length: 14:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Complete C

Look at the C major scale once again. This time however, you'll get to complete the first position C major pattern. You'll play every note within reach of your first 4 frets. You'll also learn a catchy...

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

The Return to Chords

Work in the Am, Dm, and Em chords and play them in a melancholy, yet soothing example. You'll also get to work on your basic strumming.

Length: 12:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Shifty Pentatonic

Learn the E minor pentatonic scale with a small position shift that will get you out of the open position and moving around the neck a little bit. This is where it really starts to feel like you are owning...

Length: 13:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Let's Major on A Minor

Earlier in the series, we explored the C major scale. In this lesson, the A minor will get some love. Learn the basic open position and use it in a new melody.

Length: 15:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

In 7th Heaven

Back to some chords now. In case you couldn't tell from the title, we'll be focusing on 7th chords for this lesson. You learned A7 a while back, and now you'll learn E7 and B7.

Length: 13:32 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Walkin' The Blues

Take a moment to pat yourself on the back! You've covered a lot of ground so far! You've been playing real music now for some time, and in this lesson, we're going to learn a walking blues line. What is...

Length: 10:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Moveable Chords

Chords that don't have any open strings in them AND chords whose open strings fit comfortably within the chord all called "moveable chords". Learn how to play a couple chords up the neck.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Moveable Pentatonic

In this lesson, you'll take another big step forward when it comes to working outside of the open position. You'll feel like doing some jamming too!

Length: 8:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Syncopated Strumming

There are eight more strum patterns for you to dig into in this lesson. This time, they are a bit trickier. Follow along with the rhythm charts and take each example in chunks if needed. Combine them with...

Length: 19:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

And Now...Barre Chords!

You knew it was coming! This is the lesson where we stop dancing around full fingered moveable chords and dive head first into the most common barre chord shapes. They're not as bad as you may be fearing....

Length: 19:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

Advancing with Blues

As the musical examples continue to distance themselves from that stereotypical beginner sound, Dave works through this track with a simple, moving melody inside a blues progression.

Length: 14:47 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Make It up as You Go

Some of you may have been waiting for this one! Now we'll focus on some improvisation...Some lead playing. It's not about knowing all the scales or trying to be fancy. It is about using what you know...

Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Like a Drummer

Learn how to create motion and percussive interest with your strumming. If you look at and listen to how drummers accent general grooves, there is a lot of insight there in to how to make your rhythm playing...

Length: 17:29 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

New Chords, New Strums

Learn B minor chord and continue developing your feel and grooviness when it comes to strumming. Be sure that you are combing over older lessons as well so that you can incorporate many ideas into what...

Length: 21:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

A Start to Alternate Picking

Develop precision in your picking. Learn when it's best to use alternate picking. Get comfortable with a few exercises and then apply the technique in a musical context!

Length: 20:26 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

A Little Bluegrass

We're going to continue with rhythm playing and 16th note strumming, but this time we're going to touch on some laid back bluegrass playing. This is another simple style of playing to add to your arsenal.

Length: 10:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

A Bit More on Barre Chords

Learn a few more barre chord forms and get more advanced with your strumming. As you've come to know and love with these lessons, you'll have a chance to learn a new song!

Length: 13:51 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Here You Are

You've made it a long way if you've made it to the end of this series! In this final lesson of Mr. Isaacs beginner course, you'll spend some dedicated time moving both major and minor barre chord formations...

Length: 21:58 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About David Isaacs View Full Biography Nashville-based Dave Isaacs has made a name for himself as one of Music City's top guitar instructors, working with both professional and aspiring songwriters and artists at his Music Row teaching studio. He is also an instructor in the music department at Tennessee State University and is the coordinator and artistic director of the annual TSU Guitar Summit.

A seasoned performer as well, Dave has released eight independent CDs and gigs steadily as a solo artist, bandleader, and sideman. He continues to write, record, and perform as well as arranging and producing projects for other artists.

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