The C7 piano chord is a great one to learn and often one of the first 7th chords I teach my students. It's an easy one to understand in terms of the notes and also understanding what makes up a seventh chord.
On this page you'll learn:
The C7 piano chord notes are: C E G Bb.
C7 is a type of seventh chord. Seventh chords are written with the letter name (which could include a flat or sharp) and a 7. There's no "m" involved in this type of 7th chord.
Often people want to know which hand to play this chord in. You can play C7 in either hand really, it depends on what you're doing and what you've learned to play so far.
If I were playing the C7 chord, this is what I'd play:
C7 piano chord right hand notes: C E G Bb (in any order)
C7 piano chord left hand notes: C
Another option with this type of chord is to play a melody or melody note in your right hand while playing a moving bass line in the left hand. In the case, you could play C, E, G, Bb in your left hand but not as a block, as one note after the other.
Here's a quick video of how to play the C7 chord on piano:
There are a real variety of ways you can play 7th chords and there's no "right" way in the end but it is helpful to learn chords in their root positions with proper fingering or finger positions in the beginning. This helps you to play chords well and also to get to remember the notes.
The C7 finger positions are:
Right hand fingers: 1, 2, 4, 5 (everything but middle finger)
Left hand fingers: 5, 4, 2, 1 (everything but middle finger)
This fingering can really challenge some people's hands at the beginning and I've had a lot of student's struggle to play 7th chords in the beginning. So if that's you and you fee like it's uncomfortable, just stick with it.
An alternative is to play the 7th chord in an inversion and one of the more comfortable ways to play this is to play the C7 chord in this order: G Bb C E. Just remember that we do want to keep C as a bass note so if you're playing it in the left hand, stick to root position if you can.
The C7sus or C7sus4 chord (they are the same) is a suspended 7th chord.
The notes for C7sus4 are: C F G Bb.
This is basically a suspended chord - C F G - with the lowered 7th - Bb - added on top.
You can practice the C7 piano chord with the following chord progressions:
C7 Chord Progression 1:
F Bb C7 F
C7 Chord Progression 2:
Bb C7 Eb Bb
C7 Chord Progression 3:
F Dm7 C7 C F
It's really useful to understand the theory behind 7th chords so that you can figure them out when you need to.
The formula for a seventh chord is: 1, 3, 5, lowered 7
This means when you look at a major scale, like the C major scale below, you play the 1st, 3rd, 5th and lowered 7th notes of the major scale. So that means C, E, G and B turns into B flat.
You can learn more about seventh chords here on this page.
If you need to look up more chords, visit the Piano Chord Charts page or download your own copy below.
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