B7 Chord Good for Blues Turnarounds

QUESTION:

Is it important to learn the B7 chord and when would you play it?

ANSWER:

The B7 chord is the classic turnaround chord in the style of blues and is very recognizable when you hear it played. This chord works well as a turnaround in the key of E especially. In another guitar lesson we worked on a turnaround lick which works great over the I, IV, V chords in the key of A when played in blues music.

Since we are focusing on the open position notes in this guitar lesson it is yet another example of a guitar chord which requires your fretting hand to actually mute one string. The chords will only use five strings so the open E (the sixth string) will need to be the one that is muted. When you do this you not have to worry about that particular note being heard and the chord will sound just the way it should.

The specific notes in the B7 chord are:

  • B
  • D#
  • A
  • F#

B7 Chord Chart for Guitar
Once you have learned this chord you can try strumming an E Major, A Major and then the B7 and you will be able to hear its distinctive sound and recognize just how great this chord is for a turnaround in this particular progression. You do not have to simply strum it though, you can try arpeggiating the notes and use them individually as well for guitar licks.

Using this I, IV, V blues progression where the B7 is the fifth chord has been done so often in so many songs that it helps it to sound as recognizable as it does. This is a great foundation for loose jam sessions where everyone can have a chance to display their chops, taking turns playing licks. This is just one of those fundamental guitar lessons that many students learn in the very beginning because of its importance and because of the versatility it brings in the style of blues and other popular forms of music as well. So if you ever hear the phrase “blues in E” then this is where this chord will be well worth knowing how to play.