There are a number of ways to play a C7 guitar chord. Today I’ll show you one of my favorites.

C7 is also called the C dominant seventh chord or C Dom. Other dominant 7th chords are A7, B7, D7, E7, F7, and G7.

Playing the C7 (C Dom) Chord

Your 1st (index) finger will bar three different strings on the 3rd fret: 3 through 5. Put your 3rd finger on the 4th string of the 5th fret, and place your 4th finger on the 2nd string of that 5th fret.

All strings are strummed except 1 (the thinnest sting) and 6 (the thickest string). Give it a try!

Here’s the diagram showing you how:

C7 chord

C7 Open Chord

You don’t need barre chords to play a C7, though. Here is an open chord version that might suit your fancy.

Start by placing your 1st finger on the 2nd string of the 1st fret. On the 2nd fret goes your 2nd finger (on the 4th string). 

Finally, the 3rd fret is home to both your 3rd finger (on the 5th string) and your 4th finger (on the 3rd string).

Don’t strum the thickest string; only strings 1-5 should ring out here to complete the C7.

Another Variation

And since variety is the spice of life, here’s one more variation of C7 to try. This one starts on the 3rd fret – you’ll put your 1st finger on the 3rd string.

Skip the 4th fret and keep going to fret 5. Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string and your 3rd finger on the 2nd string.

Strum the thinnest 4 strings (the high E string is an open string here).

C7 3rd fret

I hope you enjoy these 3 different ways to approach the C7 chord. There are other ways to enjoy this beautiful chord but these are some of my favorites. Hopefully you’ll find your next favorite among these as well.

How to Build Your Muscle Memory

Memorizing the C7 chord will be the quickest way to play it when you need to in a song. It just takes practice to teach your fingers the shape to make. One way to make it more fun and easy to remember this and 25 other essential chords is to download and print our free guitar chord flashcards.

Tips for Great Sounding Chords

Are your strings buzzing or muffled? Proper technique can help you solve many problems you may be having playing chords like C7:

  • Sit up straight in your chair and make sure your arms have room to move freely
  • Use the very tips of your fingers to press down the strings
  • Press down as close to the fret (metal bar) as you can
  • Place your thumb about halfway down the neck for support

For more tips, see how to make your guitar chords easy to play. Also, learn more about guitar chords for beginners including how to take the chords you just learned and move them around the fretboard for new and exciting sounds.