Extended chords are seventh chords with an additional note or two added. Seventh chords contain four notes leaving three notes from the major scale. Adding one of those non-chord notes to a seventh chord results in an extended chord.
Major 13 and dominant 13 guitar chords sometimes include the 9 in the voicing as well. I call that a “double extended” chord. I have 27 guitar chord voicings for the double extended chords that I notate as 9/11, 9/13 and 11/13.
Dominant 7th extended chords
If you are unfamiliar with the term extended chords, or extended 7th chords, then here is a brief explanation. Read my Music Intervals and Triads in Music articles if you are unfamiliar with how to build chords.
- Triads have 3 notes: the root name, a third and a fifth.
- Seventh chords are 4 notes chord which adds the 7th scale degree to the triad.
- Any additional note added to a 7th chord, not already in the chord, is called an extension.
- The word “extension” means to add or make bigger, so adding a non-chord tone to the 4-note 7th chord makes it a 5-note chord – it’s larger, it’s been extended.
- The extended note does not change the chord quality or tendency/function of the 7th chord.
Here are all the possible extended notes that you will see in any type of extended 7th chord: ♭9, 9, #9, 11, #11, ♭13 and 13. Some examples are 7♭9, 7#9, maj9, m11, etc. Sharp or flat fifths are not 7th chord extensions, rather they are just called altered 5ths.
The 5-note extended chords built on the dominant scale degree of the major scale are as follows:
9 = dominant 7 + the major second (7+2)
11 = dominant 7 + the perfect fourth (7+4)
13 = dominant 7 + the major sixth (7+6)
Here are the other “normal” extended chord types from the major scale:
Major: maj9, maj13, maj9/13, maj7#11, maj9#11, maj13#11
Minor: m9, m11, m13
Suspended: 9sus, 7sus b9, 13sus
That’s about it. There other extended chord types that can be built from other scales, but I’ll skip those chords for this article. Check my other categories for those chords.
Also, don’t confuse “add” chords with extensions. The 6 chord is not the same as the extended chords of 13, maj13 or m13 chord. The same is true for an add9 vs 9, maj9 and m9 chords.
Double extended dominant 7th chords
Another special note is that music theory includes the 9th in 11 chords, and the 9th and 11th in 13 chords. Seven note chords are not possible on guitar, so that’s out. However, one of my chords below does include the 9th and 11th – the 9/11 chord.
By the way, I came up with the phrase “double extended” so if you google that term you won’t find a music-related site. The term doesn’t apply to the 9/11 chord but it fits the 9/13 and 11/13 chords.
Here are the chords I’ll be covering:
9/11 = dominant 7 + the major second AND the perfect fourth
9/13 = dominant 7 + the major second AND the major sixth/thirteen
11/13 = dominant 7 + the perfect fourth AND the major sixth/thirteen
The 6 add9 and add9/11 chords equate to the 9/13 and 9/11 double extended 7th chords respectively. There is no “add” parallel for the 11/13 chord.
9 /11 chord
Chord intervals: Root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th, major 2nd, perfect 4th= R-M3-P5-m7-M2-P4 = 1-3-5-♭7-9-11
Equivalent chord: the polychord 6 add9/#11 on the ♭7, e.g. D9/11 = C6 add9/#11
Chord tendency: The tendency for all the dominant 7th chords in this article resolve to the tonic of the scale, so G9/11, G9/13, and G11/13 resolves to C major.
9 /13 chord
Chord intervals: Root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th, major 2nd, major 6th= R-M3-P5-m7-M2-M6 = 1-3-5-♭7-9-13
Alternate names: sometimes just called 13
11 /13 chord
Chord intervals: Root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th, perfect 4th, major 6th= R-M3-P5-m7-P4-M6 = 1-3-5-♭7-11-13
12 Open double extended dominant G7 chords
Below are the notes in each G7 extended chord. I included the versions without the perfect 5th and the root note:
G9/11 chord tones: G-B-D-F-A-C, equals F6 add9/#11
G9/11 no 5th chord tones: G-B-F-A-C, equals F add9/#11
G9/13 chord tones: G-B-D-F-A-E
G9/13 no 5th chord tones: G-B-F-A-E
G11/13 chord tones: G-B-D-F-C-E
G11/13 no root chord tones: B-D-F-C-E
G11 /13 no 5th chord tones: G-B-F-C-E
Note that 5 and 6-note chords can be unwieldy and hard to hold, so it is common to drop the perfect 5th and sometimes even the root note.
You can play the 9/11 chord without the 5th, but when you do that it equals an add9/#11 on the ♭7 (G9/11 no 5 = F add9/#11).
You can play the 9/13 chord without the 5th and it remains unique as it does not equal another chord.
You can play the 11/13 chord without the 5th or the root note and both omissions remain unique as they do not equal other chords.
Here is a chord diagram of the symbols I use in my chord blocks:
Notes on the chords
G9/11 chords: I don’t like the open B over the F in #1, so I prefer #2 even though that one doesn’t sound great AND it’s hard to hold.
G9/13 chords: Love #1 and #3 is good as well. #2 has the dissonance of the open B and F thing so I don’t like that one. #4 is a problem because it’s hard not to mute the open A string.
G 11/13 chords: It’s hard to hold the C note on the B string of #1 – my fingernail prevents fretting that note correctly, but it sounds good. #2 sounds fantastic, #3 on the other hand, doesn’t sound that great. #’s 4, 5 and 6 are just “okay”.
Go to my Downloads page to get a PDF copy of every open G guitar chord built from the C major scale. That PDF file also includes the 11 open B diminished chords from C major as they have the same tendency of G7 chords. Or check out the PDF file directly and download if you like what you see: G-maj-B-dim-in-C.pdf.
Check out these articles for more G chords from C major:
- G7 Guitar Chords: 71 chords for G7, G9, G11 & G13
- Major Chords from C Major: All the triads and “add” chords for C, F, and G
Try these chords out when a 9, 11 or 13 isn’t enough or when the extra extended note contains a melody note. And using the Mixolydian mode over any of these chords would sound great so give that a try as well.
Check out the Wikipedia Extended Chord page for more on these types of chords. Also, take a look at my Comprehensive List of Chords article for every chord type that can be build from the most popular scales.