5 Different Ways to Play Over an A7 Chord

Hello guys,

today I would like to talk to you about 5 different ways (compared to the use of pentatonic used on 1st degree) to play on the dominant seventh chords and also can be used for the Blues, to make your sound more modern!

First of all, a small theoretical point. When we talk of dominant seventh chords we talk about Major Chords (hence a major triad with I, III maj, V) with the minor seventh! Do not confuse with the Major Seventh (Maj7) chords, which are Major chords (still a major triad with I, III maj, V) but with the major seventh.

Also, keep in mind that when we use a seventh chord we can always add extensions, then 9a 11a and 13a.

So why not try other solutions to widen our sound?

Here’s some idea, to play on A7 or A7 (9):

  1. E minor pentatonic 
    We’re going to play: E (5th) – G (7th) – Root (A) – B (9th) – D (4th/11th).
  2. F# minor pentatonic
    We’re going to play: F# (6th/13th) – Root (A) – B (9th) – C# (3rd) – E (5th)
  3. B minor pentatonic
    We’re going to play: B (9th) – D (4th/11th) – E (5th) – F#(6th/13th) – Root (A)
  4. A dominant seventh pentatonic
    We’re going to play: Root (A) – B (9th) – C# (3rd) – E (5th) – G (7th)
  5. B dominant seventh pentatonic
    We’re going to play: B (9th) – C# (3rd) – D# (b5th) – F# (6th/13th) – A (Root) 

Some notes:
If we look at these options, by playing the Pentatonic on the V grade (the first point) we would add 9th and we will create an interesting suspension thanks to the 4th or 11th.

The second option, however, gives us a major sound on the A7 (9) chord. A bit like playing the major pentatonic on A! Always a great solution though.

The third option is similar to the first with the only difference of adding VI (F #) instead of  VII (G).

The fourth option only adds 9th as an additional color.

The last option is the one that extends more the harmony by adding Vb (D #) – and is very interesting.


Here’s the video!


How to choose which option to play?
It depends on the context in which you are playing and the sound you’re aiming for! Experience that and try to understand what sound is best suited to your needs! There is no definite rule as you can understand!
But of course, they all give you a different vision and sound on the 7th static chords (chords that do not resolve to any other chord) by widening your expressive potentials!
Sounds great, isn’t it? 🙂


If you enjoyed this lesson and want to deepen the study of the tools you can use on the Modern Blues, come and have a look at my courses on the GUITARlab – Modern Blues Guitar School!
Click on the covers to find out more!

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