Because ii-V-I progressions are such a common feature in jazz, many jazz guitarists can easily pick out the sound of a ii-V-I progression, and already know how to improvise fluently over the sequence. These chords can also be referred to as “dominant 13th” chords, since they build off of a dominant seventh chord (often notated the same way, for example “C7”). For example, a standard 9th chord includes the root, third, fifth, seventh, and ninth scale degrees (or some combination of those tones). 11th and 13th chords, despite the extra notes, still generally follow the seventh chord in terms of functional harmony. The tonic (I) chord and subdominant (IV) chord, for example, are both major chords, while the supertonic (ii) is minor and the dominant (V) chord is, well, dominant. There are a lot of different dominant seventh voicings available, but when I play chord changes, I think about what note I’m going to put on top of the chord – keeping the top note close together from one chord to the next gives you the smoothest changes. Normal extended chords create a stronger sense of impending resolution to the root note, thanks to the added seventh. It’s that unstable, slightly dissonant sound that makes ninth chords so popular. Ninth chords are the most common type of extended chord. Your harmony needs to reflect the same moods, or else you risk confusing your listeners and losing their interest. Minor eleventh chords are more common than dominant eleventh chords because the minor eleventh lowers the chordal third by a half step to create a minor third interval. Then you can include one of the optional tones, the root, fifth, or ninth, and you have a nice 13th voicing: Pretty painless, huh? A Cm9, therefore, is composed of a C, Eb, G, Bb, and D. To avoid confusion between the three different types, classic extended chords are notated in the same manner as seventh chords. We’ll keep it as straightforward as possible to ensure players at all levels can understand, but there will be some theory involved in the explanations. For those reasons, add chords are more popular for progressions based nearly entirely around extended chords or for spacier, more ambient jams where excess tension for a chord to resolve would feel out of place. Major 13th chords copy the same general style of dominant 13th chords with the substitution of the major seventh interval for the dominant’s flat seventh. True, there are more voicings possible with extended chords than with standard barre chords, which tend to only involve the root note, major or minor third, and fifth. Major triads consist of the 1st, 3rd and 5th scale degrees. Dominant seventh chords increase that tension by lending an off-balance, uncertain feeling to the dominant chord. That resemblance makes ninth chords popular among guitarists looking to imply some sort of blues feeling, whether in a jazz setting, a funk tune, or a hard rock song. And while they may not be as common as power chords or classic barre chords, extended chords provide a spacey, dissonant sound that’s unlike any other chord. They can also create a much smokier, darker “jazzy” sound thanks to the abundance of available notes. Instead of lowering the third, other eleventh chords remove the half-step dissonance by altering the eleventh note itself. Few artists use the dominant eleventh without any modifications thanks to its inherent dissonance — the inclusion of the fourth in the chord creates a natural instability. Without the other notes found in standard extended chords, “add” chords do a better job of highlighting the specific extended note you select. As we mentioned above, a basic chord triad contains the root, third, and fifth of any given chord. However, you only really need to know a couple voicings of each extended chord to begin working them into your own playing. This is another reason the 13th and its associated permutations have eclipsed the 11th and certain forms of the 9th chord in popularity. A 13th chord can theoretically have dozens of different fingerings – so it’s understandable that many intermediate guitarists figure enough is enough, they’ll just stay intermediate. vertical sonorities with extra color tones in addition to their basic triad of chord tones This is probably due to Hendrix’s special affinity for the sound. Here, we take a look at a few of their most common uses and traits. They work great for adding a punch of harmonic color into a chord progression or for voice-leading a melody across multiple chord changes. Extended chords are the 9th , 11th , and 13th chords. Some 13th chords retain the 9th, but the 11th note is rare to find in a 13th chord, particularly in maj13 voicings — the dissonance created by the close relationship between the two notes turns many guitarists away from the sound. If you can successfully get your third finger to press into the fifth string without accidentally barring it, you may be able to use that technique as well. Three most common voicings of the min13 chord. Unless you’re aiming for a sharp, raw feeling in your song, try to eliminate this dissonance to preserve a harmonious progression. Moving on to 11th chords, the 11th (which is the same note as the fourth) and the 3rd are only a half step apart. The first one has the root on the fifth string, while the second and third both feature it on the sixth string. “Add” chords are indicated with an “add” tag between the chord letter and extension number. “Add” extended chords remove the tritone tension by including only the three notes of the major triad in addition to the extended note: the root, third, and fifth. Technically speaking, a proper 13th chord includes seven notes: the root, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth.