29
Oct

Dominant 7 (b9) Chords

Posted by Brian Huether | No Comments

And here we are again with another guitar lesson blog post on chord fingerings… You may be wondering if there is any rhyme or reason to all these posts. Well, there is. By showing you various fingerings for some useful chord types you will have the chord vocab to play a huge range of songs as well as creative tools to write your own songs. This will become more clear when I make some posts showing how all these chord varieties fit into an overall chord progression. And it will further be clear as you read my article on chord substitution. I know - I am like that coach who has questionable methods. But just tough it out and you will see the payoff!

Dominant 7 chords play a crucial role in songwriting. In a previous blog post I went over Dominant 7 chords and a couple alterations.  This time I want to show you fingerings for one of the most widely used Dominant 7 alterations - the Dominant 7 (b9).

Recall that the Dominant 7 chord comes about from the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of the Mixolydian Scale (which is 5th mode of the Major Scale). To make a Dominant 7 (b9), we add a flatted 9 (i.e. flatted 2). So consider a C Mixolydian Scale. It has the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, Bb. So the C Dominant 7 (b9) chord has the notes C, E, G, Bb, Db.

Below are some useful fingerings:

C Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root E
Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root E
Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root A
Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root D
Dominant 7 b9 C Dominant 7 (b9), root D

As is often the case, not all fingerings contain every note. The notes common across all fingerings are E, Bb and Db which are the 3-7-b9 notes. These notes are most responsible for the sound of the Dominant 7 (b9) chord.

Hopefully you have found this somewhat useful!

Later,

Brian


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