The B7 Chord is another variation of the Dominant Seven family of chords. This chord is the same as the B Major Chord with an additional "A" note added to the top of the chord. It contains the exact same notes as the B major with an added dominant seven note.
Let’s take a look at the notes in the chord, how it's built, and the different inversions and fingerings.
What is a B Dominant 7 Chord?
This chord is constructed exactly the same way as all the other "7" Chords. It contains the notes B-D#-F#-A.
This note is very easy to play becasue it comes from the the B Major Chord. If you can play B Major, then you can easily play a B7.
All you have to do is play B-D#-F# from the B major chord, then add an A to the top of the chord.
This is the easiest way to play any dominant seven chord. Simply play the major chord then add the dominant seven note to the top.
How to Make a B Dominant 7 Chord
The B7 chord can have multiple names. It can also be referred to as B Dominat Seven as well. The reason for this is because you use the dominant seven note instead of the major 7 note.
The major 7 note is the more common note that most people will recognize. This is because it lies within the major scale. The dominant seven however, is outside of the major scale.
The major seventh in the key of B is A#. You can find the major seventh my counting to the seventh note in the major scale.
But in order to play a B dominant seven chord, we need play an A note instead of the A# note.
If we look at the B major scale we can see that the A from the dominant seven chord is not inside of the scale.
Instead of using the major seventh in this chord, you must use whats known as the minor major seventh. The minor major seventh gives you the dominant seven completing the B7 chord.
This just means that you need to find the major seventh note and then minor it, or lower it a half-step.
Take a look at the picture below for more details.
The A natural is not in the B Major Scale, but this note is the cornerstone of the B dominant 7 chord.
Fingering and Inversions
The fingering for the B7 chord is similar to other dominant seventh chords. Because the notes are spread out across the keyboard, it's necessary to stretch your fingers a little bit to play this chord and some of the different inversions.
Use the chart below to see the fingering and notes for each of the four inversions.
The root position is the standard inversion for any chord. Start with your thumb on B, add the second finger on D#, third finger on F#, and your fifth finger on A.
This inversion is a little bit of a stretch but is still short of a full octave.
The second inversion has the notes closer to each other making it easier to play then the root inversion.
To play the first inversion; start with your thumb on D#, add F# with you second finger, then play A with you ring finger, and then add the root note B with your fifth finger.
The second inversion starts with the first finger on F#. Then add the second finger on A, third finger on B, and finally the fifth finger on D#.
The third inversion starts with the thumb on A. Add your second finger on B, fourth finger on D#, and the fifth finger on F#.
Use this sheet music to show you the four inversions of the B7 chord. You can see how there are two sharps in this chord, a D# and F#. The other two notes in the chord are natural notes, the B and A.
The B7 chord, along with other dominant seven chords is a slightly advanced chord. If you are a beginner I would reccomend you skip this chord and stick with the basic major and minor chords.
If you are an intermediate player whoa already knows these basic chords then this chord will really add to your piano toolbox.
Make sure you remeber that the dominat seventh note is different than the major seventh note. The dominant seven is outside of the major scale, while the major seven is inside of the major scale.
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