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Lesson 49 - Major 13th chords

printable version

I. Index

1.  Introduction
2. Constructing the Major 13th Chord
3. Playing the Major 13th Chord
4. Major 13th Chord in all 12 Keys
5. Conclusion

II. Content

1. Introduction
In this lesson, you will learn about the major 13th chord. The major 13th chord is basically a major 11th chord with one extra note added - the major 13th.

2. Constructing the Major 13th Chord
Playing the major 13th chord is easy. Just play a major 11th chord, and add a note that is an interval of a major 13th from the root note of the chord. Another way to think about it is by using a formula of half steps. Below is the formula for the major 13th chord.

Root + 4HS + 3HS + 4HS + 3HS + 3HS + 4HS

3. Playing the Major 13th Chord
Let's take a look at the major 13th chord starting on C. This is called the C major 13th chord (Cmaj13). In the animation below, the notes of the C major 13th chord are first played separately, then together.

4. Major 13th Chord in all 12 Keys
You can play the major 13th chord in all twelve keys. Below is a list of all 12 major 13th chords.

Key of C: C, E, G, B, D, F, A

Key of G: G, B, D, F#, A, C, E

Key of D: D, F#, A, C#, E, G, B

Key of A: A, C#, E, G#, B, D, F#

Key of E: E, G#, B, D#, F#, A, C#

Key of B: B, D#, F#, A#, C#, E, G#

Key of Gb: Gb, Bb, Db, F, Ab, Cb, Eb

Key of Db : Db, F, Ab, C, Eb, Gb, Bb

Key of Ab: Ab, C, Eb, G, Bb, Db, F

Key of Eb: Eb, G, Bb, D, F, Ab, C

Key of Bb: Bb, D, F, A, C, Eb, G

Key of F : F, A, C, E, G, Bb, D

5. Conclusion
In this lesson, you learned how to play the C major 13th chord. There is a major 13th chord for each of the 12 keys.

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