• How to Remember Large Extended Chords Part 2

    in Chords & Progressions

    This lesson continues from where we left off in the last newsletter lesson on remembering extended chords.
    If you recall, I displayed a chart like this:
    # of notes Type of chord
    Three Triad
    Four Seventh
    Five Ninth
    Six Eleventh
    Seven Thirteenth
    If you have the 300pg course, you’ll find more information about this on page 50.
    We’ve already covered triads, sevenths, and ninth chords. If you didn’t get a chance to catch my last newsletter, simply visit www.pianoweekly.com!
    Just to recap, here are the formulas for chords we’ve already covered:
    Major triads (Ch 5): 1 + 3 + 5
    Cmaj: C E G
    Minor triads (Ch 8): 1 + b3 + 5
    Cmin: C Eb G
    Diminished triad (Ch 9): 1 + b3 + b5
    Cdim: C Eb Gb
    Augmented triad: 1 + 3 + #5
    Caug: C E G#
    Major seventh (Ch 10): 1 + 3 + 5 + 7
    Cmaj7: C E G B
    Minor seventh (Ch 10): 1 + b3 + 5 + b7
    Cmin7: C Eb G Bb
    Dominant seventh (Ch 10): 1 + 3 + 5 + b7
    C7 (aka Cdom7): C E G Bb
    Half Diminished seventh: 1 + b3 + b5 + b7
    C half dim7: C Eb Gb Bb
    Diminished seventh (Ch 13): 1 + b3 + b5 + bb7 (or just think of it as “6”)
    Cdim7: C Eb Gb A
    If you know all twelve major scales, then applying these formulas is a no-brainer. For example, taking the 1, 3, and 5 tones of any scale and playing them all together creates a major triad — it’s that simple!
    Now, let’s get to our eleventh and thirteenth chords:
    Eleventh Chords:
    Eleventh chords are a lot easier than you think (especially if you already know your seventh chords).
    First, I’ll list the formulas. Then I’ll give you even easier ways to remember eleventh chords.
    Major eleventh: 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 11
    Cmaj11: C E G B D F
    Minor eleventh: 1 + b3 + 5 + b7 + 9 + 11
    Cmin11: C Eb G Bb D F
    Dominant eleventh: 1 + 3 + 5 + b7 + 9 + 11
    C11: C E G B D F
    The easiest way to think of this chord is:
    Maj chord + the “5” dominant seventh chord
    In the key of C major, this is simply C major (C+E+G) under a G7 (because G is the fifth tone of the C major scale. I’m simply using its dominant seventh chord, which is G7).
    C maj + G7 = Cmaj11
    C E G B D F
    Notice, this is also identical to the formula above (1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 11).
    You try it:
    Cmaj11: Cmaj + G7 = Cmaj 11
    Fmaj11: Fmaj + ___7 = Fmaj11
    Bbmaj11: Bbmaj + ___7 = Bbmaj11
    Eb maj11: Ebmaj + ___7 = Ebmaj11
    Abmaj11: _______________________
    Dbmaj11: _______________________
    Gbmaj11: _______________________
    Bmaj11: _______________________
    Emaj11: _______________________
    Amaj11: _______________________
    Dmaj11: _______________________
    Gmaj11: _______________________
    Reference: Just in case you don’t know your dominant seventh chords yet, here’s a quick list for you to refer to…
    C7 ( C E G Bb), F7 (F A C Eb), Bb7 (Bb D F Ab), Eb7 (Eb G Bb Db), Ab7 (Ab C Eb Gb), Db7 (D F Ab B), Gb7 (Gb Bb Db E), B7 (B D# F# A), E7 (E G# B D), A7 (A C# E G), D7 (D F# A C), and G7 (G B D F)
    Forming the minor eleventh chord is just as easy.
    Minor chord + b7 major chord = Minor eleventh chord
    In the key of C, this is C minor (C Eb G) under Bb maj (Bb D F), since Bb is the b7 tone of the C major scale.
    Note: To find the b7 tone of any scale, simply locate the 7th tone and lower it one-half step. For example, the seventh tone in the C major scale is B so lowering it one-half step gives you the flatted seventh tone (b7).
    C minor + Bb major = C Eb G Bb D F (Cmin11)
    You try it:
    Cmin11: Cmin + Bbmaj = Cmin 11
    Fmin11: Fmin + ___ maj = Fmin11
    Bbmin11: Bbmin + ___ maj = Bbmin11
    Ebmin11: Ebmin + ___ maj = Ebmin11
    Abmin11: _______________________
    Dbmin11: _______________________
    Gbmin11: _______________________
    Bmin11: _______________________
    Emin11: _______________________
    Amin11: _______________________
    Dmin11: _______________________
    Gmin11: _______________________
    The dominant eleventh is identical to the dominant minor except for one change.
    Major chord + b7 major chord = Dominant eleventh chord
    … so instead of playing a minor chord at the bottom (like you did with the min11 chord), simply play a regular major triad.
    In C major, this is Cmaj (C E G) under Bbmaj (Bb D F). Basically, two major triads stacked on top of each other. It can’t get any easier than this.
    You try it:
    C11: Cmaj + Bbmaj = C11
    F11: Fmaj + ___ maj = F11
    Bb11: Bbmaj + ___ maj = Bb11
    Eb11: Ebmaj + ___ maj = Eb11
    Ab11: _______________________
    Db11: _______________________
    Gb11: _______________________
    B11: _______________________
    E11: _______________________
    A11: _______________________
    D11: _______________________
    G11: _______________________
    Easier Trick: I just prefer playing C on my left hand (or a power chord), and playing Bbmaj on my right hand and it creates the same dominant 11 sound I’m looking for (just without the 3 and 5)!
    Thirteenth Chords:
    Next, we’ll turn to thirteenth chords.
    Here are the formulas for the three thirteenth chords we’ll cover below:
    Major thirteenth: 1 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 11 + 13
    Cmaj13: C E G B D F A
    Easy way:
    Major seventh chord + 2 minor chord = Major thirteenth chord
    Example: In the key of C, this is Cmaj7 (C E G B) under Dmin (D F A).
    C E G B D F A, played together, create a Cmaj13 chord.
    Minor thirteenth: 1 + b3 + 5 + b7 + 9 + 11 +13
    Cmin13: C Eb G Bb D F A
    Easy way:
    Min seventh chord + 2 min chord = Minor thirteenth chord
    Example: In the key of C, this is Cmin7 (C Eb G Bb) under Dmin (D F A).
    Cmin13 = C Eb G Bb D F A (Cmin7 + Dmin)
    Dominant thirteenth: 1 + 3 + 5 + b7 + 9 + 11 +13
    C13: C E G B D F A
    Easy way:
    Dominant seventh chord + 2 minor chord = Major thirteenth chord
    Example: In the key of C, this is C7 (C E G Bb) under Dmin (D F A).
    C13 = C E G Bb D F A
    Easier way: I commonly play C on my left hand while playing a Bbmaj7 on my right hand (Left: C // Right: Bb D F A). This produces the same sound as a 13th chord (just without the third and fifth present). Notice, the Bb is the 7th of C… the D is the 9th… the F is the 11th… and the A is the 13th.
    In the next lesson, we’ll learn how to apply these extended chords to various progressions and songs!

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    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

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