The diagrams below show fingerings for triads and 7th chords based on the CAGED patterns 4 (6th string root) and 2 (5th string root).

cagEd

Major  (maj, M)

Major 7 (maj7, M7, Δ)

minor  (min, m, -)

minor 7 (min7, m7, -7)

Dominant 7 (dom7, 7)

minor 7♭5 (half diminished, ø, m7b5)

cAged

Major  (maj, M)

Major 7 (maj7, M7, Δ)

minor  (min, m, -)

minor 7 (min7, m7, -7)

Dominant 7 (dom7, 7)

minor 7♭5 (half diminished, ø, m7b5)

What to Practice

Try these three practice examples:

Harmonized Major Scale

Remember there are seven notes (called degrees)  in a major scale. A chord can be built from any degree. Regardless of the key, every major scale has major 7 chords at positions 1 and 4, a dominant 7 chord at position 5, minor 7 chords at positions 2, 3, and 6, and a half-diminished (m7b5) chord at position 7. This can be written out using Roman numerals, where uppercase numerals represent major chords (any chord with a major 3rd) and lowercase numerals represent minor or diminished chords (any chord with a minor 3rd.) The small circle with a line through it next to chord vii means halfdiminished (minor 7b5).

IΔ ii-7 iii-7 IVΔ V7 vi-7 viiø

  • Using 6th string root chords only (cagEd), play a harmonized G major scale in triads (but use a 7th chord for the last one):
    G Am Bm C D Em F# G
     
  • Then do it with 7th chords:
    GΔ  A-7  B-7  CΔ  D7  E-7  F#-7b5  GΔ
  • Using 5th string root chords only (cAged), play a harmonized C major scale. Once the root note goes beyond fret 12 (the B-7b5 chord), play the chords down an octave. (The B-7b5 chord will have its root at fret 2 instead of fret 14.) Try this first with triads, then with 7th chords.
    Remember the pattern, regardless of key, is:
    I ii iii IV V vi viiø
    …or…
    IΔ ii-7 iii-7 IVΔ V7 vi-7 viiø

Rich Girl

Try Rich Girl by Hall and Oates. The original is in the key of F, but my backing track is the key of E.

E | G#m7  | C#m7 | B
A | A/G# | F#m7 | A/B
E | G#m7  | C#m7 | B
A | A/G# | F#m7 | E
E  (F#m7 G#m7)

Amaj7 | Amaj7 | F#m7 | F#m7
B | B | A B | C#m7  F#m7 G#m7
Amaj7 | Amaj7 | F#m7 | F#m7
F#m7 | G#m7 | Amaj7 | B