Voicings for 7th chords

The Voicing 1 5 7 3

When playing different types of 7th chords (maj7, 7, m7, m7b5, dim7), some of them force you to strech your fingers above-average when using the basic voicing 1 3 5 7. On the guitar a more comfortable and very common voicing is the voicing 1 5 7 3.

As already mentioned: rather than specifying the exact quality of each interval (like e.g. 3/m3, 5/b5/#5 or maj7/7/dim7), the term voicing just relates to the intervals sequence and therefore we just say "voicing 1 5 7 3" here, no matter whether it's a maj7 chord, a dominant 7th chord, a minor 7th chord and so on. Take a look at the most important chord types, all of them displayed with the voicing 1 5 7 3 here:

The voicing 1 5 7 3 is a good choice, when the root is played on A or D string.
Take your guitar and play through all of them!

The Voicing 1 5 7 3 5

Appending a second 5th to Voicing 1 5 7 3 → 1 5 7 3 5

There's nothing wrong with having a tone/interval twice. When playing the root on A string, voicing 1 5 7 3 5 is even the most common choice.

The Voicing 1 7 3 5

...just skipping the first 5th of the previous voicing 1 5 7 3 5

Voicing 1 7 3 5 is very common for 7th chords when the root is played on low E string (variation 2), since skipping the A string results in a more differentiated sound and for some chord types is also easier to play.

For the root on A string voicing 1 5 7 3 5 is more common, but 1 7 3 5 can sometimes be great as well. Just try and find out which voicings feel good and sound best for certain chord types and your style of music.

Since you skip one string using voicing 1 7 3 5, you'll not use it when the root is on fret zero (E or A).