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Sixth Chords – aka – Minor 7th

Sixth chords are a common chord used in all styles of music. It has an alias too, it is also known as a minor 7th.

The difference is where the bass note for the chord is.

If you see a C6 in sheet music it means they want a C6 like C-E-G-A not an A-C-E-G like a minor 7th.

If you are playing rhythm guitar with a lot of other instruments it’s not as important because it won’t get noticed anyway.

Although in theory these chords are the same they have different sounds due to the order of the notes.

These chords are used a lot by keyboard players because the note is so close to the 5th. It’s a major second away.

Due to the way the guitar is tuned major 2nd’s are hard to put in a movable chord that’s easy to play.

Guitars are tuned in 4ths except for the 3rd to the 2nd which is a major third.

Also remember minor 7th’s that are also C6th’s when you are looking for a chord form to use and the best one for that song.

Chord Theory Refresher

Here is the C scale and its numbers.

Remember we usually make chords from every other note in the scale.

This chord is made by adding an adjacent(next to) note. There’s always exceptions to the rule.

The 6th chord is a 4 note chord.

It’s made 1-3-5-6

It’s made C-E-G-A

Here are some C sixth chords

Fingertip Chords

The first chord you need to have your thumb in the middle of the neck and your fingers should be on their very tips. The middle finger should lean down a bit to mute the 5th string.

To play these chords you need to stretch quite a bit. You might find it easier to start farther up the neck and work your way down.

What makes this chord hard to finger on guitar is the major 2nd interval G to A instead of a 3rd interval

Chords 1 and 2 are only one note different.

Chords 3 and 4 are identical except they are played on different strings.

Even if you can’t play these chords yet knowing about them will help your playing. These notes are in the C major pentatonic and the A minor pentatonic scales.

What the chord really is a

C chord with an A – C-E-G-A

or an

A minor chord with a G – A-C-E-G.

You can find some yourself by knowing the guitar fretboard.

Guitar Fretboard

I hope you found this page useful.

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