Iain Scott provides another in-depth look at what makes chords tick. This month: 13ths.
In his ongoing quest to improve your vocabulary, camp commander Iain Scott is stacking it up high using extensions to build magnificent 13th chords.
A E Es with last month’s 11th chords, we build 13ths by stacking extra 3rd intervals above simple major or 7th chords. So, in the case of C7 (C-E-GBb), by adding the 9th (D), 11th (F) and 13th (A) we create C13. Clearly, this is a seven-note chord, so on the guitar we remove some of the less vital intervals (often the 5th, 9th and 11th) and play them as much more guitar-friendly four-note shapes.
You can also build 13ths from other intervals in the C Major scale (and all other keys, of course). So, from the second degree of C Major (D) we get: D (root), F ( A(5), C ( E(9), G (11) and B (13). This is Dm13 From the fifth degree (G) you would get G (root), B(3), D (5), F (b7), A(9), C (11) and E (13) to create a chord of G13. And so on.
Adding the note A creates C major 6 (C6): C (root), E(3), G (5), A (6). It’s not viable to play in that order on the guitar so we more commonly play: C-E-A-C-E (losing the 5th and doubling root and 3rd); or C-D-C-E-A (doubling the root but retaining the 5th).