Master Chords

How to build big chords

9, 11, 13

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Dom9 and Maj9 chord shapes

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How to build and play 9, 11 and 13 Chords

Let’s take a look at how to construct the 9, 11 and 13 chords as well as what altered chords are and how to build them.

There are 3 types of 9 chords, the dom9, the maj9 and the min9. The video lessons above demonstrate all possible shapes of the dom9 and maj9. The min9 only has one shape so it didn’t get a video lesson.

There are two types of commonly used 11 chords, the dom11 and the min11. You can’t play 11 and m11 chords in all shapes so again, there are no video lessons for them.

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

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

To grasp the sound of all these chords you need actual song examples so you can hear them in context.


9, 11, 13 and altered chords in songs

The dom9 is heard frequently in songs by James Brown. In the playlist here you’ll hear it in ‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’.

My favorite ’11 chord in a song example’ is Michael Jackson’s awesome tune ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’ which is B11 – B almost throughout.

My favourite ‘13 chord in a song’ example is Billy Cobham’s ‘Red Baron’ which moves between a G13 and a C9 for the majority of the song.

The opening chord of Etta James gorgeous ‘At is a #5, add a b7 and you’ll get an altered chord.

In the step by step courses, you’ll discover plenty more.


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