Advanced Chords tutorials
6. 6th Chords
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Did you at least time this tutorial well enough to be the 6th different chord type you discuss?

  1. Topics of discussion
  2. 6th Chords

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial, we will be talking about 6th chords. So, let's have some fun.

2. 6th Chords

6th chords are very similar to 7th chords, meaning that in order to obtain these chords, you simply add the 6th note of a major scale on top of a triad. The only main difference I can think of is that we do not have dominant 6th chords. As a result, we have 4 different chord formulas for 6th chords:

  • major 6th chords (notated with the 6 digit e.g. C6): 1 3 5 6
  • minor 6th chords (notated with m6, e.g. Cm6): 1 ♭3 5 6
  • augmented 6th chords (notated with aug 6 or 6(#5)): 1 3 ♯5 6
  • diminished 6th chords: 1 ♭3 ♭5 6

The fun fact in all of this is the following one. When adding the 6th note of a major scale on top of a diminished triad, you indeed can obtain what is rarely called a diminished 6th chord. However, if you take a closer look at that chord, you will realize that it contains the same notes as a dim7 chord. A dim7 chord, as you recall, has you playing a diminished triad and a double flatted seventh note, which of course translates to the sixth note of the major scale. Chromatic scales and music are fun, aren't they?

Anyhow, let's go through some ways of playing these chords using the CAGED system, starting with C6:

EADGBE3X112X
C6 chord

This is the C form. Here it is played back:

3EADGBE13241X
C6 chord

This is the A form. Here it is played back:

7EADGBE33X112
C6 chord

This is the G form. Here it is played back:

8EADGBE112341
C6 chord

This is the E form. Here it is played back:

10EADGBE4131XX
C6 chord

This is the D form. Here it is played back:

Hate these chords yet? If not, let's move on to minor 6th chords:

EADGBE4X213X
Cm6 chord

This is the C form. Here it is played back:

3EADGBE12341X
Cm6 chord

This is the A form. Here it is played back:

6EADGBE44X213
Cm6 chord

This is the G form. Here it is played back:

8EADGBE111341
Cm6 chord

This is the E form. Here it is played back:

10EADGBE2131XX
Cm6 chord

This is the D form. Here it is played back:

Now that these are out of the way, let's move on to aug6 chords:

EADGBE3X112X
Caug6 chord

This is the C form. Here it is played back:

3EADGBE33X41X
Caug6 chord

This is the A form. Here it is played back:

6EADGBEX3X112
Caug6 chord

This is the G form. Here it is played back:

8EADGBEX22341
Caug6 chord

This is the E form. Here it is played back:

10EADGBE3141XX
Caug6 chord

This is the D form. Here it is played back:

As for diminished 6th chords. take a look here for more details.

Before we end this tutorial, some of you might be wondering, where does one use 6th chords? Well, they are specific in genres such as latino and jazz and they can be used in a similar fashion as 7th chords. The idea is that you can use 6th chords to replace a basic chord in your progression. 6th chords replace major chords and minor 6th can replace minor chords.

Anyway, that's all for this tutorial. In the next one we will be talking about added tone chords, which are obtained by using a technique we've already been using quite a lot so far. See you then.

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