Master Chords

How to play 9, 11 and 13 Chords!

Let’s take a look at how to construct some bigger chords, the 9, 11 and 13.

First up are the 9s.

9 Chords!

There are 3 types of 9 chords:

  1. Dom9
  2. Maj9
  3. Min9

The video demonstrates the possible shapes of dom9 and maj9. Min9 only has one shape.

For more info on these chords, how they work and when to use them you need real musical examples, sections of an actual song so you can hear it in context.

You get this when you take the Master Guitar Course.

9 Chords in songs

The dom9 is most frequently heard in songs by James Brown, here he is with Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag.

11 and min11 chords!

There are two types of commonly used 11 chords, the dom11 and the m11.

Below are two shapes displayed, notice how the dom11 doesn’t have a third. It has a 9th instead.

A11, G shape
A11 G shape

Am11, G shape

Am11 Gm shape

11 Chords in songs

My favorite “11 chord in a song example” is Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough which is literally B11 – B almost throughout. Let’s have a listen!

13 Chords

The 13th chord is closely related to the dom7 and 6 chord and one shape is almost only used, The E shape.

To build big chords like this you need to keep just the important notes, these are the root, the 3rd, the 7th and whatever the note we extend to, in this case the 13th.

G13, E shape

13 Chord in a song

My favorite 13 chord in a song example is Billy Cobham’s Red Baron which goes G13 – C9 for the most part of the song.

Altered Chords

Altered chords are chords with b5, #5, b9 and #9 in combination with a dom7 chord.

Below are two very useful altered chords.

D(#5), C shape

D7#9, C shape (Hendrix)

An altered chord in a song

Etta James gorgeous ‘At Last’ contain an altered chord, have a listen and see if you can find it!