Functioning and Static Dominant Chords
The next few ideas that we are going to be looking at will apply only to functioning dominant chords, so you need to understand clearly what that means.
A functioning V (dominant) chord is one that resolves to it's I chord.
Hopefully you know your diatonic chord sequence (click here if not) and know that the V chord is a dominant 7th chord. It contains a lot of tension (between the 3rd and b7th degrees of the chord) that wants to resolve to the I chord of it's key. Some examples (but you need to know all of them):
G7 (V) -> Cmaj7 (I)
F7 (V) -> BbMaj7 (I)
Luckily there is an easy way to do it on the guitar neck that saves you from having to remember every note in every key (although that is a good idea).
• If the root note of the V7 chord is on the 6th string, the I chord root will be found in the same fret on the 5th string.
• If the root note of the V7 chord is on the 5th string, the I chord root will be found two frets back (toward the nut) on the 6th string.
Easy peasy. Make sure you understand this fully before moving on.