Dominant 13th Flat 9 Chord Guitar

This week's Guitar Chord Of The Week is a Dominant 13th Flat Nine (13b9) chord. What's unusual about this particular shape is that it doesn't contain a root note.

Dominant 13th Flat 9 Chord Guitar
Dominant 13th Flat 9 Chord Guitar

This chord has quite an strange sound when played on its own. However, when you play it as part of a chord progression, it can sound great.

Try it yourself in the example chord progression provided at the end of the lesson...

Dominant 13 Flat 9 Chord For Guitar

This week's chord is obviously quite a jazzy chord; it might sound a little strange if you played it in a folk song!

Dominant chords are built from the fifth degree of a scale. Therefore, if you were in the key of C major, you would play this chord with a root of G.

However, this particular chord shape doesn't actually have a root note. To tell you where to position the chord, the R in brackets shows where the root note would be.

This means that to play a G13 flat 9 chord, this shape would be played at the 8th fret.

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Here is the notation for the chord as it is played. You can see that it contains the following notes, from bottom to top: F, B, E, Ab

Dominant 13th Flat 9 Notation
Dominant 13th Flat 9 Notation

F = the 7th

B = the 3rd

E = the 13th

Ab = the flat 9

Along with the root, the fifth and eleventh notes have also been omitted from a full 13 flat 9 chord. See the Guitar Chord Theory page for more information on complex chords.

You can potentially use this chord in the place of any seventh chord, and it will sound best in a jazz song with other extended chords.

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Example Chord Progression

Don't write this chord off without trying it in the correct environment. Below we will show you how this shape can be used to spice up an already interesting jazz-style progression.

Below are two chord progressions. The first uses dominant 9th chords. The second uses this week's 13th flat 9 chord.

Try them both to hear how the second progression has a different, more complex sound.

Dominant 13th Flat 9 Chord Progressions
Dominant 13th Flat 9 Chord Progressions

Enjoyed playing this chord? Subscribe to Guitar Command for more chords plus news, articles and lessons. Check out our book, Guitar Chords, Scales & Arpeggios for many more complex jazz chords, plus loads more guitar information. See sample pages here.

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