CHORDS THEORY - Lesson 29 - 13th chords

Andrei Moraru

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Nov 11, 2019
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So do you plan on putting two octaves worth of notes in these chords or what?
  1. Topics of discussion
  2. 13th chords explained
1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we will talk about 13th chords in detail. So, let's have some fun.

2. 13th chords explained

Major 13th chords, notated as maj13, are formed by adding the 13th note on top of a major 11th chord. The formula for them is 1 3 5 7 9 11 13.

Dominant 13th chords, notated as 13, are formed by adding the 13th note on top of a dominant 11th chord. The formula for them is 1 3 5 ♭7 9 11 13.

Minor 13th chords, notated as m13, are formed by adding the 13th note on top of a minor 11th chord. The formula for them is 1 ♭3 5 ♭7 9 11 13.

Minor 13th flat five chords, notated as m13(♭5), are formed by adding the 13th note on top of a minor 11th flat five chord. The formula for them is 1 ♭3 ♭5 ♭7 9 11 13.

As you can see, 13th chords consist of 7 different notes, which technically makes them impossible to play on a regular guitar. So, what to do then? Well, as was the case with previous chords, we'll just have to skip some notes when playing these chords.

Generally speaking, when playing such advanced chords, you need to check what notes are the ones that make or break the chord. For example, the 3 or 5 notes can be omitted when playing such a chord. However, we would require at least two of the higher notes (7, 9, 11, 13) to be present. And since these are 13th chords, I think you know which one of those needs to actually be present. As a result, you're left with a choice between the other 3.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's try and figure out a way to play these chords. We'll be going through them from maj13 to m13(♭5) and we'll be using C as a root note. First off, Cmaj13:

Cmaj13.png
And here it is played back.

Next up, the C13 chord:

C13.png
And here it is played back.

Let's move on to the Cm13 chord:

Cm13.png
And here it is played back.

And finally, the Cm13(♭5) chord:

Cm13b5.png
And here it is played back.

That about covers it for this one. Next time, we're going to create advanced chords with modified triads. See you then.
 
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