Instructor: Dwight H.
From big bands to rock ensembles, and even R&B groups, Dwight has played with them all. He's been teaching guitar for over 10 years. When teaching, he draws from his experience on stage, injecting the knowledge of what it takes to be a gigging musician into every lesson.

A7 Guitar Chord (10 Best Chords with Charts)


Arguably, the A7 chord is one of the most essential you'll be learning on the guitar. Dominant 7th chords factor into many styles -- from jazz to blues and even good old-fashioned rock and roll. A7, in particular, plays a role in swing classics like "Fly Me to the Moon" and "All of Me," so it's a great starting point if you intend on learning the standards. To refresh your memory, A7 consists of the following notes: A, C#, E, and G.

In its most basic form (on the guitar, at least) A7 is a pretty easy chord to play. There are plenty of variations that will provide some challenge, however, so in the interest of helping you become a more complete player, we're going to cover the myriad ways in which you can play A7, along with some tips to help you manage the tricky fingerings and get the best sound out of every chord.

How to Play the A7 Guitar Chord

The simplest version of A7 is also the first version most players learn. It's just two fingers and the notes you'll be playing are mere strings apart, both on the same fret. Here's how you'll go about it:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/2nd fret
  • Play strings 1, 3, and 5 open
  • Mute string 6

It's a quick and efficient way to get to the A7 chord, but in some situations the sound of this basic variation might leave you wanting for something different.

A7 Guitar Chord #1

If you want to stay in the same location but double up on the "G" for A7, you can try this version instead:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/2nd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 1st string/3rd fret
  • Play strings 1 and 5 open
  • Mute string 6

Now, you might have noticed that both of the previous variations of A7 omit string 6 for notes.

A7 Guitar Chord #2 (Full)

If you'd like a "fuller" sounding chord that incorporates all the guitar's strings, you can try this trickier variant that involves a fair bit of stretching:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Use your 1st finger to cover strings 2, 3, and 4 at the 2nd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 1st string/3rd fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/4th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 6th string/5th fret

If you can manage a bit of stretch, but don't feel like pressing down on so many strings, you can instead try this version of the chord, which provides a lighter sound:

A7 Guitar Chord #3 (Lighter)

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string/2nd fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Play strings 1 and 5 open
  • Mute strings 3 and 6

A7 Guitar Chord Shapes

Rounding out the variations of A7 near the head of the guitar is this play on the so-called "D7 chord shape," adapted appropriately:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/4th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/5th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/5th fret
  • Mute strings 1 and 3

That "D7 shape," the very similar "C7 shape" (and a few inversions of both) are featured in several other variations of the A7 chord as you progress up the fretboard, like here:

A7 Guitar Chord Shapes #2

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st string/3rd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/5th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Play string 5 open
  • Mute string 6

Here:

A7 Guitar Chord Shapes #3

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/4th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/5th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Play string 1 open
  • Mute string 2

Here:

A7 Guitar Chord Shapes #4

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/7th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/8th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd string/9th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/9th fret
  • Mute strings 5 and 6

Here:

A7 Guitar Chord Shapes #5

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string/10th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/11th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/12th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/12th fret
  • Play string 1 open
  • Mute string 6

And here:

A7 Guitar Chord Shapes #6

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/11th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/12th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd string/12th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/14th fret
  • Play string 1 open
  • Mute string 6

A7 Guitar Barre Chords

Of course, no compilation of A7 chord voicings would be complete without mentioning the go-to A7 barre chord:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings at the 5th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/7th fret

A7 Guitar Barre Chord #2

The slightly altered A7 barre chord:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings at the 5th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 5th string/7th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/8th fret

A7 Guitar Chord #11

And the non-barre version of A7 that also centers around the 5th fret:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 6th string/5th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/5th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Mute strings 1 and 5

A7 Guitar Chord #12 (Fancy)

Finally, if you're looking to learn a few "fancy" voicings for the A7 chord, you'll have ample opportunity to do so up and down the fretboard, starting around the 3rd fret:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st string/3rd fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 6th string/5th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/5th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Mute strings 4 and 5

Then on the 5th fret:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/5th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/8th fret
  • Play strings 1 and 5 open
  • Mute string 6

The 6th fret:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 3rd string/6th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/7th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/8th fret
  • Play string 1 open
  • Mute strings 5 and 6

The 8th fret:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd string/8th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/9th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th string/11th fret
  • Play string 5 open
  • Mute strings 1 and 6

The 11th fret:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/11th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 1st string/12th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 2nd string/14th fret
  • Play strings 3 and 5 open
  • Mute string 6

And finally, the 12th fret:

A7 Guitar Chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 3rd string/12th fret
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/14th fret
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/14th fret
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st string/15th fret
  • Play string 5 open
  • Mute string 6

Tips for Playing the A7 Chord

While it's true that some of these chord voicings, like your higher-fret variations, will only come into play during very specific circumstances (when you're playing licks up high and need to get to your chord quickly, for instance), learning as many versions of A7 as you can will only serve to make you a more well-rounded player.

Take your time in committing each of these chord voicings to memory, and work on switching between different variations of A7 and from different chord to A7 so that you can work these into your playing naturally. Don't get frustrated if you can't pick them all up right away; take these chord variations on one at a time and watch your results grow in due course. Good luck, and as always, happy practicing!

Next Lesson:

Ab Guitar Chord

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