Advanced Chords tutorials
9. 11th chords
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So is this like in high school and these chords are in the 11th grade?

  1. Topics of discussion
  2. Major 11th chords
  3. Dominant 11th chords
  4. Minor 11th chords
  5. Minor 11th flat five chords

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we will be talking about 11th chords and how to play them on guitar. So, let's have some fun.

2. Major 11th chords

Major 11th chords are obtained by adding the 11th note on top of a major 9 chord. They are notated as maj11. Thus, the formula for these chords is 1 3 5 7 9 11. Quite the chord this one, isn't it?

Let's take a Cmaj11 chord. The notes for such a chord are C E G B D F. As you might expect, the CAGED system is all but useless in trying to play this chord. However, here are 3 movable forms, which you can use to play other maj11 chords. And here they are:

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Cmaj11 chord

And played back:

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Cmaj11 chord

And played back:

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Cmaj11 chord

And played back:

3. Dominant 11th chords

Dominant 11th chords, notated with the number 11, are obtained by adding the 11th note on top of a dominant 9th chord. As a result, the formula for these chords is 1 3 5 ♭7 9 11.

For a C11 chord, the notes therefore are C E G B♭ D F. Because of the sheer complexity of this chord, you will mostly be able to play it in two ways:

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C11 chord

And played back:

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C11 chord

And played back:

4. Minor 11th chords

Minor 11th chords, notated as m11, are obtained by adding the 11th note on top of a minor 9th chord. Thus, the formula for them is 3 5 ♭7 9 11.

Cm11 chord therefore has the following notes: C E♭ G B♭ D F. Here are some ways to play it:

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Cm11 chord

And played back:

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Cm11 chord

And played back:

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Cm11 chord

And played back:

5. Minor 11th flat five chords

Minor 11th flat five chords, notated as m11(♭5), are obtained by adding the 11th note on top of a m9(♭5) chord. Thus, the formula for them is ♭3 ♭5 ♭7 9 11.

The Cm11(♭5) chord consists of the following notes: C E♭ G♭ B♭ D F. Here is how you can play this chord. To me, this is the only physical way I can manage to play it on a standard guitar:

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Cm11(♭5) chord

And played back:

That about covers it for this tutorial. In the next one, we will be discussing 13th chords. See you then.

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