View Full Version : 13th chords
As a future jazzmando head, I am trying to figure this out, so I figured I would go ahead and ask.... The chord (for example) A13, the 13th note is a F#, which is also the 6th. Is the difference b/t A6 and A13 the flattened 7th and "6th" note (or 13) on the A13. If so, does this mean that 9, 11 and 13 chords always have a flattened 7th (unless maj7 or min7)? Am I on the right track?
"does this mean that 9, 11 and 13 chords always have a flattened 7th (unless maj7 or min7)? Am I on the right track?"
I believe so. The only problem is that you only have 4 strings. So you have to pick out the notes that sound the best.
A6 implies simply 1-3-5-6. A13 implies a dominant 7th chord (1-3-5-b7) plus extensions to the 13th (so 1-3-5-b7-9-11-13). Of course as Tom says you can't (or wouldn't necessarily want to) play them all.
Yes generatlly 9, 11, 13 would all imply dominant type chords with a major 3rd and a b7, plus the extensions.
If you assume the presence of the root, ususally played by the bass on the first beat of the chord, then all you really need to play are what are called the color tones of the chord. These are: 3rd (defines whether the chord is major or minor), 7th (b7 is a dominant, M7 a I chord), m7 (a ii chord), 6th (added to a major or minor chord), 9th, and 13th (added to either a M7 (I) or m7 (ii). Thus, a C13 chord (C-E-G-Bb-D-F-A or 1-3-5-b7-9-11-13) could be only E-Bb-D-A for example, for the four strings of a mandolin. Except for Big Band arranging, the 11th is rarely used in a chord voicing, unless it appears as a the melody note. Its worth noticing that if you rearrange the 7 notes of a 13th chord from bottom to top you have the diatonic scale, which is why you can play any note in the scale in your improvisation and it will "fit". Also, in actual practice if you see a C13 chord, you have the option of just playing a C7 (dominant or V chord).
This is all much simpler in practice than it sounds when you write it out. Ted Eschliman has a really good discussion of all of this on his jazzmando.com site.
Jazz notation can get a bit fuzzy but generally yes. Now, if I saw something like Amaj9 or Amaj11 I'd interpret that to have a major seventh.
So, a G13/11, I would play (if I had more than 4 possible notes), G,B,D,C,E,F? G,B,D being triad, F being flattened 7th, C being the 11th and E being the 13th? Since the bass is presumily playing the root, I could include and B or D, which ever is more comfortable, or even omit it completely, correct? I checked out Ted's site, very cool.
You guys are too kind. Thanks.
As far as the 5th, you are absolutely right in that if it happens to be comfortable in the fingering I'd use it, but in Western (European) harmony, it's kind of neutral "filler" material--not the color or drama of the other voices. Given the choice, I'd leave it out.
You could even do a three string voicing of the G13 as B,F,E, or more likely F, B, E on your lowest three strings if you started it on the 10th fret.
For the curious jazz mandolinist, this page is my summary of the above principles:
Chord Ecomonmics (http://members.aol.com/teesch/Economics.html)
Exactly what mandohack said there. You will get more "mileage" per note by sticking in the most colorful ones (The b7 and 6 for sure) and the 3rd for the major/minor distinction. Since the color notes have the potential to lie a half-step apart (F and E for the G root), you have to separate them by a near-octave to cut down on the dissonance, and it sounds much better with the b7 voiced lower and the 6 higher. Thus finding F, B, E in ascending string order sounds great when combined with the bass note and other chord tones (which may just be implied). for the special case of the G13, you can actually use the top three strings for the F, B and E notes and hit the G string for the root, if you want to hear the best 4-note approximation of the full chord on the mandolin.
I talk about this a little on my mando page
For an A7 13 you can try the tritone (3 and b7) with the 13th-
That's the 'bare bones" info with all you need for that chord. But, you DO have another string, so you can make it a 13 with 9:
now, if you need A7 b9 #5 just drop 13 and 9 down 1/2 step. That's the top 2 strings. Need #9? etc.
It (theory) seems boggling at times, but remember- it is finite. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif Keep those tritones on the bottom and the "color notes" on top. Most pianists of the modern variety voice chords like this- "rootless". Man, that's what you have guitar and bass players for! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
The McGann Rule (I had forgotten who I stole that from):
Tri-tone on the bottom strings, color note(s) on the top.
This is the essence of good jazz/swing fretboard voicing. Once you grap this and can seamlessly execute it, not only will your audience (and sidemen) consider you a better player, they'll think you're smarter and better looking, too!
Dru Lee Parsec
How about this: For a 13th chord you have these scale tones:
1, 3, 5, b7, 9, 11, 13
The 3rd can of course be flatted for a minor. Assuming that you're playing with a group and somebody else is playing the 3rd. Now look at the top 4 notes. You have the b7, 9, 11, 13. The intervals between those scale tones are: Maj 3rd, min 3rd, Maj 3rd. Does that look like a Maj7th chord to you? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif Since we only have 4 notes to play on a mandolin you could do a quick substitution to a Maj7th chord 2 frets down from the root. In other words, play a Maj 7th chord with the root on the Dominant 7th (b7th) note of the chord you really want to play. So if you want to play the sound of a C 13th chord then drop 2 frets below the C to get the b7th and play a Maj7th chord. So you actually play a BbMaj7th for the C 13th. Let the bass player and guitar player handle the root, 3rd and 5th.
think of making the chord with the left hand of a piano, then the chord one whole step behind it with the right hand, one octave up....
say g11 or g13. # actually, I am confused too!
g, b, d maj3, min3
f-a-c maj3 min 3
(and that would be, d7, 9, 11 right?)
so the trick is, for a 13, is it a major 3rd skip or minor 3rd skip up?
I dont know how it alternates....I would think it goes
major, minor, minor like 7 chords, but it could gain one when it goes over the acotave , only having seven for true, then it gets bumped into a major third from gaining a "place" ?
Since I started investigating the G13/11, and what the heck it meant, I discovered http://guitar.to/folder/ukulele.html
which once you change the screen to mando, has all the chords you will ever need (except the G13/11). BTW, how essential is the G13/11 to play Miles Davis' "All Blues", and is there a common key that can be noodled over during that song. The G maj scale and G blues scale sounded ackward at best. Is this song in a different key other than G, even though it has the 5&4 (the Eb throws me)?
Incredible link...thanks Harrmob!
have you tried using the arpeggios over the chord changes yet? when I have a hard time fitting a new scale into every measure or so, I often start with the arpeggios, well I add a few tones, mabye 1-3-5-7- maybe 9 use only 1-3-5 on your down beats at first, this should walk your ear around. then you get used to it and move on...
anyhoo, thats I do. works fer me.