# Question for Chris Mood (aka Theory Master)

Christoph
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11/04/2003 11:50 pm

13th chords . . . what are the intervals that make them up?

chris mood
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11/05/2003 6:21 am
Hmmm, 13th chords, very unlucky number, I try to stay away from them. But we'll take a look, what the poppycocks.

G13 = G, B, D, F, A, C, E.

Maj. 3rd, P5, min.7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th. wa la, I have a hard time believing you couldn't figure that out yourself.
chris mood
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11/05/2003 6:32 am
He,he..actually I think I know why your asking, becuase you want to know if there is such a thing as a maj or min 9, 11, or 13th interval. I don't know, I always refer to intervals larger than an octave as being sharp or flatted, as does most people. I checked in my theory book and it made no reference to labeling intervals larger then an octave as maj. or min. Griphon might know. Sorry, you stumped me on this one.

I can tell you that the 9th interval is equivalent to a maj. 2nd, the 11th a P4th, and the 13th a maj. 6th., but I'm sure you allready know that.
Christoph
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11/05/2003 7:06 am

Thanks for the replies, dude.

The reason why I'm asking is that I'm learning a song for a band. On the chord chart it says Fm13. I'm not sure what exactly is meant by that.

Does it mean F-m13 or Fm-13? In the first case, what you said would hold true, that intervals in the upper octave are rarely labled with a minor or major. If such is the case, then the chord would be an Fb13. If the second is true, the chord would be a minor 7th with a 6th.

I don't understand why you're adding all the other crap - the 9th and 11th. Aren't 13ths just a dom7th and a maj6th?

Christoph
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11/05/2003 7:08 am

Yeah, I know about the equivalency of the intervals.

Originally posted by chris mood

G13 = G, B, D, F, A, C, E.

Ok . . . that's 7 notes. How the heck are you supposed to play that on guitar? (short of getting a seven string)

SPL
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11/05/2003 3:27 pm
Chris, the 11th is usually not played in a 13th chord is it?
SPL
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11/05/2003 3:29 pm
Originally posted by Christoph
Ok . . . that's 7 notes. How the heck are you supposed to play that on guitar? (short of getting a seven string)

You can drop the fifth(as long as it's a P5) without changing the character of the chord, and you can drop the 11th too.
That should make it a whole lots easier.
chris mood
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11/05/2003 5:02 pm
For an Fmin13th chord I would assume the arranger wants an Fmin7th chord w/an added maj.6th.

Technically 13th chords contain 7 notes, although this is impossible on the guitar and rarely sounds good on piano either. You really only see all 7 notes used simutaneously in Big Band Charts and orchestra scores.

1 technique I use for playing jazz chords is to limit all your chords to 4 note voicings (1 note for each finger), and to sub-out notes within the chord for higher extensions. Here's what I do.
Root - 9th
3rd - 11th
5th - 13th
7th - 6th

This technique works pretty good. Here's an example playing Fmin13
(xx1131) or (xx68610) or (xx0 10 9 11)
noticingthemistake
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11/05/2003 6:01 pm
Your right 9th, 11th, and 13th chords are not labeled as minor or major. The 9th chord is really a 2nd, which is both a major 2nd above the root in both major and minor chords. 11th chords are perfect 4th's above root. 13th chords from the discussion about major and minor 6th, we know that a 6th is always a major sixth above root in both major and minor chords. 9th are common to alterations, whether flattened or raised in blues context (dominant 9th mostly). The 11th chord has one alteration and it is extremely rare. Some times it is raised to maj#11. This is natural on the IV chord in a major key. In C major, F to B is a #11 or #4. Again it's rarely used, but when so the #11 is looked at as a leading tone, B-C. Make sense.

When playing 13th chord, there has to be a compromise. 7 notes, 6 chords. It's better to drop either the 11th or thr 5th. You must keep the 7th and 3rd. The 9th is truely optional, throw it out when the chord sounds to strong. You can't drop the 3rd because then you don't know whether it's major or minor. You can't drop the 7th because then you could be left with a (maj/min)6/9 chord.

If you playing in a jazz band, it's not uncommon to leave out the root and just let the bass play it. That might help also, but check the sound to make sure. In jazz the bass won't stay on the root for very long so that might be a problem.

Latr
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Christoph
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11/05/2003 6:40 pm

Righteous.

The fingering I had for Fm13 was - (x 8 10 8 9 10) Basically a minor 7th with a 6th. The problem is that the 6th (D) is outside the diatonic structure of the key I'm playing in. The proper note for the key would be a Db. Which would make that chord an Fmb13, right?

Right now I'm thinking that whoever wrote this chord chart didn't know what they were doing.

TheDirt
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11/05/2003 7:08 pm
OK, if you're without a bass player, you should nail the root. Also, the 3 and 7 are essential to the chord's quality. Finally, the 13 is important, because that's obviously a tone the composer wanted in there. The 5th, 9th, and 11th aren't too important if they're not altered. Solution to playing this chord? Play the root, 3rd, 7th, and 13th. The easiest order to play these? Root, 7th, 3rd, 13th. This leads to a great (and easy) voicing for M/m 13th chords. I'll do an example in F and in C.
`F13 = 1, x, 1, 2, 3, x = (F, Eb, A, D)Fm13 = 1, x, 1, 1, 3, x = (F, Eb, Ab, D)C13 = 8, x, 8, 9, 10, x = (C, Bb, E, A)Cm13 = 8, x, 8, 8, 10, x = (C, Bb, Eb, A)`
Easy and sounds good, too. Hope this helps.
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chris mood
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11/05/2003 7:18 pm
Originally posted by Christoph

Righteous.

The fingering I had for Fm13 was - (x 8 10 8 9 10) Basically a minor 7th with a 6th. The problem is that the 6th (D) is outside the diatonic structure of the key I'm playing in. The proper note for the key would be a Db. Which would make that chord an Fmb13, right?

Right now I'm thinking that whoever wrote this chord chart didn't know what they were doing.

Correct. To make this a lot easier on your self play a Bbmin9th instead. Sub out the root for the 9th like this (xx6668). If you wanted to you could even put F in the bass quite comfortably ((x86668).

NTM....Minor, Major, and Dominate7#11 chords are actually quite common, I would even go as far as saying more common then chords that contain the natural 11th. The natural 11th does not sound good within a chord, to "sus" sounding.
Inisfail
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11/06/2003 12:40 pm
Wow, I finally understand how little I know about theory.. Perhaps I will visit my local library and borrow some books.

Puh..
chris mood
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11/06/2003 3:42 pm
Originally posted by Christoph

Righteous.

The fingering I had for Fm13 was - (x 8 10 8 9 10)

The b13 is a pretty tense note, I would probably bury it within the chord instead of voicing it in the melody.
noticingthemistake
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11/06/2003 5:14 pm
Here's some ways I would voice a 13th chord.

Fm(b13) - (111123 or 111121)

That was with the 11th, to get rid of it. Just play (131123 or 131121), alittle bit of a stretch. Here's an easier but inversion of that chord (x31123 or x31121). It's also easy to play a m13 (131131), a dominant 13 (131231), or the easiest a maj 13 (100010)
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chris mood
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11/06/2003 7:39 pm
Originally posted by noticingthemistake
Here's some ways I would voice a 13th chord.

Fm(b13) - (111123 or 111121)

That was with the 11th, to get rid of it. Just play (131123 or 131121), alittle bit of a stretch. Here's an easier but inversion of that chord (x31123 or x31121). It's also easy to play a m13 (131131), a dominant 13 (131231), or the easiest a maj 13 (100010)

You should thin out your guitar voicings a little bit, no need for all that doubling, sounds muddy on guitar. A good rule of thumb for jazz chords is that if your playing a note off the 6th str skip the 5th. Playing the 6th & 5th strings together sounds good on bar chords becuase that P5 interval in the bass creates a good rock sound, but it's a little to thick sounding for jazz chords.

Fminb13(1x112x) or (xx1121), Fmin13(1x113x) or (xx1131)
F13 (1x123x) or (xx1231)
Christoph
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11/06/2003 8:09 pm

I don't mind using the fifth on the minor chords, but on the more airy sounding ones (i.e. maj7, 13th) it does sound a bit muddy.

noticingthemistake
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11/07/2003 3:40 am
Originally posted by chris mood
NTM....Minor, Major, and Dominate7#11 chords are actually quite common, I would even go as far as saying more common then chords that contain the natural 11th. The natural 11th does not sound good within a chord, to "sus" sounding. [/B]

I don't see very many, especially where those terms are correct. A dominant7#11 could very well be a misinterpreted Dominant7b5 chord, I'd watch for that and also it being confused as a dom9#5 (Cdom#11 = Ddom9#5). It does happen naturally in the melodic minor as IV but still from my experience it takes alot of unorthodox variables to sit right, especially since it's very close to V (more common and correct). With a minor7#11, that could be a half-diminished chord and 99% of the time is. The problem is you have to play the 5th and the #11 for it to actually be a X#11 chord. You can't ommit the 5th like most chords because then the #11 is commonly taken as a b5 in it's place (the problem with the minor version). In a major chord, the #11 with the 5th is actually colorful but over a minor chord it is disrupting and dissonant (like it's fighting between diminished and minor sounding). 11th chords are suspended 7th chords, just like sus4 is a suspended major or minor triad. I've even seen this "G7sus4", that's really a G11. That is actually a very common chord.
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noticingthemistake
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11/07/2003 4:00 am
Originally posted by chris mood
You should thin out your guitar voicings a little bit, no need for all that doubling, sounds muddy on guitar. A good rule of thumb for jazz chords is that if your playing a note off the 6th str skip the 5th. Playing the 6th & 5th strings together sounds good on bar chords becuase that P5 interval in the bass creates a good rock sound, but it's a little to thick sounding for jazz chords.

Fminb13(1x112x) or (xx1121), Fmin13(1x113x) or (xx1131)
F13 (1x123x) or (xx1231) [/B]

Yeah, taking out the 5th in 13th chords does take out some of the muddiness. To me 13th chords sound muddy anyways, but it does help. I didn't really think of doing that when I wrote that post but if you read my previous post I went through that. Looking at your voicing, all cool but something I will bring to attention is the voicing for the mb13 chords sound like other chords. The first one (1x112x) sounds like a Fm7#5 chord or even Db9/F, or clearer in the second one (xx1121) Eb11. I know a 5th isn't a great combo but for a distinctive b13 sound, I think it needs to be there. Otherwise we can think of a b13 as a #5 without conclusion.
"My whole life is a dark room...ONE BIG DARK ROOM" - a.f.i.
chris mood
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11/07/2003 6:16 am
Originally posted by noticingthemistake

I don't see very many, especially where those terms are correct.
*Check out a Big Band chart sometime.

A dominant7#11 could very well be a misinterpreted Dominant7b5 chord,
*Of course we all know the difference there.

With a minor7#11, that could be a half-diminished chord and 99% of the time is.
*again, obvious difference

In a major chord, the #11 with the 5th is actually colorful but over a minor chord it is disrupting and dissonant (like it's fighting between diminished and minor sounding).
*You have to be carefull w/the voicing, put the #11 towards the bass, natural 5th more towards the melody

11th chords are suspended 7th chords,
*????
"G7sus4", that's really a G11. That is actually a very common chord.
*your right, it's a common chord, but it's not a G11 chord.

[/B]