What does it take to learn the B7 chord? For a pair of young musicians named Paul McCartney and George Harrison it was a quest across their hometown of Liverpool. As McCartney tells it, “We knew E (chord) and we knew A, but we didn’t know B7. It was kind of the missing part. The lost chord.” They had heard about this “bloke” who was rumored to be a B7 savant. Maybe he’d show them? With little else to go on, the future Beatles hopped on the bus and rode for hours to arrive at the home of this stranger and ask for a lesson.
Your quest to play B7 won’t be nearly so challenging. We’re about to show you everything you need to learn how to play and master this essential chord.
How to Play the B7 on the Ukulele
B7 is a dominant seventh. It starts with three notes, the B, D#, and F# from the B major scale. Then it adds a minor seventh, in this case, the A note.
There are many ways to play this chord, but here’s one of the most common.
- Place your first finger on the second fret of your E string. This makes an F#.
- Put your second finger on the third fret of the C string for a D#.
- The third finger goes on the fourth fret of the G string. That’s a B.
- The A string is open. Don’t touch any of the frets.
Read more: Learn how to play Let it Be on your Ukulele
How to Play the B7 on the Baritone Uke
If you have baritone ukulele, you can also play this chord in an easy way. The notes are the same. But because our ukes are tuned D-G-B-E, the finger positions are different.
- Your first finger goes on the first fret of the D string. That’s the D# note.
- Place the second finger on the second fret of the G string. There’s your A.
- The B string is open.
- The third finger goes on the second fret of the E string for an F#.
Make that Perfect Sound
There’s nothing worse than the dreaded “thud” noise when you’re learning a new chord. Use these simple techniques for a B7 that rings true. Put your fingertips on the fret board, not your finger pads. Place the fingertips next to the fret, not on top. This gives the clearest sound and requires the least amount of pressure.
Curve your knuckles so your fingers don’t hit other strings. Hold your uke with the thumb on the back of the neck, not the side. This gives your hand and fingers the space they need to do all of the above.
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Slowly strum with your thumb or a finger to play one string at a time. Listen for clear notes. If something doesn’t sound quite right take another look at your technique, make adjustments, and try again. Even small changes in fret, knuckle and hand position can make all the difference.
Now for the Fun Part
This is where your hard work and practice pays off. Learning the B7 opens up a world of Jazz, Blues, Pop and Rock. Here’s one of my favorites, (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay by the great Otis Redding.
If you’re interested in learning more chords like this one, you can get our FREE Chord Chart here!
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We’ll give the final word to Paul McCartney who, as a budding guitar player, would go just about anywhere to learn a chord.
Now is your time to practice, master and play the B7 chord on your ukulele like a master! Good luck, and happy strumming!