View Full Version : "Hawaiian" D7 - What is it Actually?

Uke Don
02-14-2018, 09:45 AM
I've never really given this much thought until today. I just played it this way when it sounded right in a song that called for D7. Anybody know what the so called Hawaiian D7 (2020) is actually called? I tried to find the chord name but no luck anywhere.

02-14-2018, 10:10 AM
I believe that would be Am6 - the notes being A C Gb A

02-14-2018, 10:12 AM
I play a lot of Hawaiian music. There are a few times that I freely use one or the other D7 depending on mood and the song.
When I play "Opihi Man" for example, that song goes mainly between G and D7, but I play G as G6 0202 and D7 as Am6 2020 and go back and forth between those two.

02-14-2018, 10:25 AM
The "Hawaiian D7" chord is an incomplete chord that can be heard as several functions depending on musical context. As far as I know, "Hawaiian D7" is the most accurate name it has.

From a theoretical perspective, treating these three notes as a single chord without regard to context, I am inclined to think of them as a flavor of Adim, Cdim, or F#dim.

02-14-2018, 10:40 AM
I believe that would be Am6 - the notes being A C Gb A

And no D to be seen.

02-14-2018, 10:45 AM
I am not so fond of having the 7th as the highest note like in 2223, but a lots can be helped by the way it is strummed. So I use regular D7 most times.

Sometimes if I would consider from a songbook, F#dim 2020, could maybe give a more desirable 7th effect, except I play usually by myself and need that D too :)

02-14-2018, 11:00 AM
Many people call it a "rootless" D7. Depending on the context, the root of a chord is often unnecessary. Another instrument, including ones own voice, may be supplying the root, or the chord progression may imply the root. Jazzy chords often exclude the root. From a practical standpoint, this is because extended chords have more than 4 notes. But a musician may also choose a rootless voicing for a preferred sound or for ease of play.

02-14-2018, 01:55 PM
I just learned the "real" D7 from the beginning and never found it that hard (2223), don't really understand people teaching the (2020) form, guess it might be easier for a pure beginner?

02-14-2018, 02:12 PM
I just learned the "real" D7 from the beginning and never found it that hard (2223), don't really understand people teaching the (2020) form, guess it might be easier for a pure beginner?To be versatile. To have options. You don't have to choose just one, you can learn both. I use them both.

02-14-2018, 04:11 PM
I use 2020. It is basically just a guitar A7 without the root. A really good blues chord shape.


02-14-2018, 04:30 PM
This is a good discussion point.
The Hawaiian D7 is called the Hawaiian D7 because it is used a lot in Hawaiian music. No doubt most Hawaiians do use the other D7 as well, when required. If you are teaching people how to play Hawaiian music on a Hawaiian instrument, it makes sense to teach the chord shape favoured by Hawaiians, even if it is easier to play. So the voice of the chord is a very important aspect to consider when choosing to use it.
If you are going to teach people about the D7 chord you need to know that the D major scale goes D E F# G A B C# D, it doesn't go D E Gb G A B Db D as shown by a computer search which can't work out enharmonic notes.
The notes in the 2020 shape are A C F# A, if you are really keen on getting a D note you could try 2025 A C F# d. This gives you the low C voice as well as all the notes in the chord. You can exercise your little finger by tapping the D note at fret 5 on the A string and see how it sounds.
Two other close by D7 chords are 2223 and 5655. You can learn all these chord shapes and you will find uses for them all.
The 2020 shape is usually only called D7 when it is used in the context of a D7 chord. If you play it in a progression which does not have a D7 context, it might have a different name.
Yes, good post. I find the 2020 shape very useful, e.g. 3131 for Eb7, 5353 for F7, etc. Depending on the context, the rootless voicing can be more appealing and/or convenient than others.

Uke Don
02-15-2018, 04:31 AM
Thanks everyone for helping me expand my knowledge. Learned something about "rootless" chords and appropriate voicing.

Vic Arpeggio
02-15-2018, 09:53 AM
I let my ear and my lack of technical facility determine which D7 fingering to use. In the key of G major, the 2020 fingering sounds like a D7 to me.

Keep riffin'