Start with your chromatic scale. The chromatic scale of a key is the seven notes that make up the large scale. For G, it’s GABCDEF # -G.
Choose your notes for the ‘recipe’ that makes up G7. For a G chord, you would include the first, third, and fifth scale notes, G, B, and D. For G7, add a flat seventh; the seventh scale note is F #, a plate 7 is an F.
Start with your ring finger on the third row of the guitar’s lowest string, the low E string. This is your first scale note, G.
Place your middle finger on the second row of the A-string (second string from the bottom, one string over E). This is your B note, your third scale listing.
Leave the two strings open. The D-string is the third string from the bottom and D is the fifth Shell note. The G string, the next string from D, represents a repetition of the first scale note, G.
Put your index finger on the high E-string first. This is your record seventh F. This note makes the G7 chord sound.
Tips and warnings
If you are just starting out on guitar, you will benefit from chord building. This activity helps you figure out what goes into a chord. For a seventh chord, it’s a little more complicated than for your more familiar larger and smaller chords. For G7, we are renovating a G-corn in a seventh chord by simply changing the note recipe. Here’s how to build the most common ‘open’ shape of the G7 on guitar.