• 10 Different Ways To Form Extended Dominant Chords

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    You arrived at this page because you’re interested in learning about the formation of extended dominant chords.

    Extended dominant chords are basically used as passing chords to major and minor chords and that’s why they are indispensable in harmony — especially in the classic 2-5-1 progression.

    In this lesson, we’ll be exploring 10 different ways extended dominant chords can be formed using a variety of known chord types like:

    Major triads

    Minor triads

    Major seventh (sharp fifth)

    Major seventh (flat fifth)

    Diminished seventh

    But before we go any further, let’s quickly define extended dominant chords just to refresh our minds.

    A Quick Review On Extended Dominant Chords

    Right before we talk about extended dominant chords, let’s take a look at dominant chords.

    A Short Note On Dominant Chords

    The dominant chord is the chord of the fifth tone of the scale, which is also known as the dominant. In the key of C major:

    …the fifth tone (aka – “dominant”) is G:

    Therefore, chords of the fifth tone (which is G):

    …are generally classified as dominant chords.

    “What Is An Extended Dominant Chord?”

    An extended dominant chord is a dominant chord with a width that extends beyond an octave.

    Basic dominant chords may include the dominant triad and the dominant seventh chord, while extended chords have widths that extend beyond an octave to a ninth, eleventh, or thirteenth.

    The chord of the fifth tone of the C major scale (which is G):

    …can be the G dominant triad:

    …or the G dominant seventh chord:

    …while extended dominant seventh chords go beyond the octave (G to G):

    The G dominant ninth chord:

    …the G dominant eleventh chord:

    …and the G dominant thirteenth chord:

    …are extended dominant chords.

    Extended Dominant Chord Types

    Note the following about extended dominant chord types:

    • There are so many extended dominant chord types and this depends on the chord extension used in the process of formation.
    • Also the extensions of an extended dominant chord can either be raised or lowered and this produces altered chords.
    • Generally, an extended dominant chords can be classified according to the quality of the chord it resolves to. So, there are specific extended dominant chord types that resolve to major chords and other extended dominant chord types that resolve to minor chords.

    10 Different Ways To Form Extended Dominant Chords

    In this segment, we’ll go ahead and explore 10 different ways extended dominant chords can be formed using triads and seventh chords.

    Extended Dominant Chord Type #1

    The dominant thirteenth (sharp eleven) can be formed using the dominant seventh chord on the left hand and a major triad that’s a whole step above the root of the dominant seventh chord.

    “Here’s A Reference In C…”

    The C dom13 [#11] chord:

    …can be formed by playing the C dominant seventh chord (on the left hand):

    …and a major triad that is a whole step above the C dominant seventh chord (which is the D major triad):

    Altogether, that’s the C dom13 [#11] chord:

    Extended Dominant Chord Type #2

    The dominant thirteenth (flat nine) can be formed using the dominant seventh chord on the left hand and a major triad that’s a minor third below the root of the dominant seventh chord.

    “Here’s A Reference In C…”

    The C dom13 [b9] chord:

    …can be formed by playing the C dominant seventh chord (on the left hand):

    …and a major triad that is a minor third below the C dominant seventh chord (which is the A major triad in first inversion):

    Altogether, that’s the C dom13 [b9] chord:

    Extended Dominant Chord Type #3

    The dominant seventh (sharp nine, sharp five) can be formed using the dominant seventh chord on the left hand and a major triad that’s a major third below the root of the dominant seventh chord.

    “Here’s A Reference In C…”

    The C dom7 [#9,#5] chord:

    …can be formed by playing the C dominant seventh chord (on the left hand):

    …and a major triad that is a major third below the C dominant seventh chord (which is the Ab major triad in second inversion):

    Altogether, that’s the C dom7 [#9,#5] chord:

    Extended Dominant Chord Type #4

    The dominant seventh (flat nine, sharp five) can be formed using the dominant seventh chord on the left hand and a minor triad that’s a half-step above the root of the dominant seventh chord.

    “Here’s A Reference In C…”

    The C dom7 [b9,#5] chord:

    …can be formed by playing the C dominant seventh chord (on the left hand):

    …and a minor triad that is a half-step above the C dominant seventh chord (which is the Db major triad):

    Altogether, that’s the C dom7 [b9,#5] chord:

    Extended Dominant Chord Type #5

    The dominant thirteenth (flat nine, sharp eleven) can be formed using the dominant seventh chord on the left hand and a minor triad that’s a tritone above/below the root of the dominant seventh chord.

    “Here’s A Reference In C…”

    The C dom13 [b9,#11] chord:

    …can be formed by playing the C dominant seventh chord (on the left hand):

    …and a minor triad that is a tritone above/below the C dominant seventh chord (which is the F# minor triad):

    Altogether, that’s the C dom13 [b9,#11] chord:

    Final Words

    Now that we’ve learned how these chords can be formed, it is recommended that you practice all the different formation approaches in all 12 keys.

    We’ll continue in the next lesson with how they can be applied as passing chords and also in songs as well.

    All the best, and see you then!

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Pauline

    This is brilliant but you have only given 5 ways not 10. I guess I could work them out myself though lol,

    Reply

    2 My Essay Services Review

    The extended dominant chords are necessary to create a harmony in every sound. The other types of chords should also support this.

    Reply

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