B7 Chord on the Guitar


My guitar with pink pick

My goal is to casually take my guitar off its hook, when friends are over, and start playing a song as if it were the most natural thing to do.

I am playing the guitar – slowly. Not that I’m playing slowly – I’m learning to play at a slow pace (plucking at the guitar for six years), which at this rate will take me another 20 years to master.

If I think about it as a slow, incremental process, then I can continue – otherwise I feel overwhelmed.

I’ve mastered the major chords on the Ionian scale (just learned the name of the scale) and I know a few minor chords as well.

My goal is to make guitar playing an integral part of life.

The Slow Process of Guitar Playing

I  grab (try to) my guitar from the wall everyday and start plucking with my pink pick: E, B, G, D, A, E (Every Boy Gets Drugs And Enemas) – my acronym for remembering the strings. The more I touch the guitar, the more comfortable I feel holding it.

But after finding an old Simon and Garfunkel song book (an Easy-Play Speed Music book), I realized the B7 chord was essential to learning 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. It took all four fingers and I had to slide from an Em to the B7 practically on every word – my arm and fingers were throbbing.

There is a logic to learning to play, yet I’ve been trying to play everything at once instead of breaking songs into small playable pieces.

What does B7 Mean?

There is a complicated world of chords that I needed to figure out – specifically the seventh. I had been memorizing finger positions, but not understanding how chords were constructed.

A chord – is made up of three notes with the name coming from the lowest (base) note. Three fingers on three strings: doable.

I Googled “what makes a seventh chord?”

An excellent answer came my way: to form a seventh – you go up seven steps from the root note which in this case is a B (seven fingers not needed).

And I discovered that the space between each note is a step – a full step between whole notes and a half step between sharps or flats. For the guitar, two frets represent a step in music.

I’m getting this.

That actually makes sense and not as mind-boggling as I thought. And as I have tried to do with other skills I’m trying to master – like running and writing – small increments – one step at a time – to run a marathon, write a novel or learn the guitar.





About Organized Bohemian

Dana M. Petric is a writer/landscape gardener/blogger/performer/office temp/web designer. Her wrestle between creative and money-making ventures permeates her writing. Self-publishing her first book, Growing Iris, Dana continues on her path toward writing full-time. Beginning her post-secondary education at UBC (Liberal Arts dropout), she prevailed at George Brown Theatre School (Theatre Arts Diploma) and matured at BCIT (Technical Writing Diploma). She lives in Vancouver, BC with her partner Eric and daughter Cleo.
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