Tweet6th chords are essential chords to learn when developing knowledge of jazz guitar chords. When learning jazz guitar chords, guitarists tend to focus on learning the main chord types such as major 7, dominant 7, minor 7 and minor 7b5. This article explains how major and minor 6th chords are formed, applied on the guitar neck and how they are used in musical situations. Because they don’t sound quite as sweet or jazzy as major 7ths, major 6th chords can generally be easily integrated into other musical styles. That’s not to say major 7ths can never be used in anything but jazz, but they usually require a little more care. The difference between a major 6th and 7th chord is that the major 6th chord has a natural 6th instead of a natural 7th. So if a lead sheet said C Major 7, you could use Cmaj6 chords as well or instead of the major 7ths. The first inversion has the root on the 6th string and the second one has the root on the 5th string.
Below is a typical western swing style progression that uses major 6th chords to have a play through.
I like to sometimes to omit the 5th and root from the maj6 chord inversion with the root on the 6th string. The major 6th chords shape then becomes an easy two note shape that can be moved across the fretboard and work as some kind of a G chord. Bass notes can be added to each of these shapes to produce a fuller sound and a stronger tonality. Having 1 chord type with a root, 3rd, and 5th in the bass is useful to create interest and movement when you have a few bars of one chord. The next example shows how you can use the chords in the previous example together in static major 7 or major 6 situations in conjunction with walking bass guitar lines.


Besides knowing minor 7th and minor 7b5 chords, jazz guitarists also frequently use minor 6th chords. The difference between a minor 6th and minor 7th chord is that the minor 6th chord has a natural 6th instead of a flattened 7th. The diagram below shows two common fingerings for minor 6th chords; one has the root on the 6th string and the other has the root on the 5th string. Remember to play these chords in a few different keys and ideally try to find a few different inversions. Minor 6th chords work well and arguably better than minor 7th chords when functioning as a I chord. This is because the b7th found within a minor 7 chord sounds like it wants to resolve, usually to the third of the V dominant 7th chord whereas the 6th sounds more ‘stable’. But try playing a minor ii V I and finish on a minor 6 chord instead of a 7th chord to see what you prefer.
The chart below shows a chord progression that uses minor 6th chords like the gypsy jazz standard Minor Swing.
In my Wes Montgomery article I talk about exchanging minor 7th chords with dominant 7b9 chords. Try incorporating 6ths into over the standards that you are working on and the chord melody arrangements that you know.
Check out any link below for the answers to my top 10 most frequently asked questions that I am asked by students, teachers, readers, and subscribers. This entry was posted by Jamie on 19 January, 2014 at 20:26, and is filed under Jazz Guitar Chords, Latest Lessons. Listen to the chord again, followed individually by the 7th and 4th notes and finally the 7th and 4th notes sounded together (forming a tritone interval). In short, the V7 is a signpost to the key of a song or composition, since there is only one such chord quality in a major key.


And finally, the last chord of the scale on the seventh degree, VII, is now a minor 7th with a flatted 5th. Disclosure: Please note, that when you click certain links and purchase certain items through my Website , I will receive a referral commission. The purpose of the following post is to teach you how to play an easy version of the more difficult B Minor Chord. The B Minor Guitar Chord  is found by locating the 1, b3 and 5 steps of the  B Major Scale: B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, or the notes B, D and F#.
The chord symbol is now represented by a capital letter along with mi7 or min7, sometimes you will also see this -7 (minus sign followed by the 7).
Chord V is especially important to note because the added fourth tone has changed the major quality triad to one that is now called the dominant 7th chord.
If you take a look at the keyboard, you will notice that these two notes are part of two sets of white key halfstep intervals. However, in pop and especially jazz music, we view this chord as having a minor chord quality rather than a diminished one.
In the next post, I will show you how just by using these seventh chords, a simple song can be tweaked to sound more sophisticated.
With the exception of two of the chords, the major chords still retain their major quality sound and are still in the major chord family; the same goes with the minor chords.
Breaking the notes down to solfeg, you will see a very natural and organic movement in music, i.e. However, the 7th note has given each chord an extra bite, or a slightly more sophisticated quality, apart from contributing to a fuller, richer sound.



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