In this lesson, we’ll learn how to derive different types of dominant chords – Dominant 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th and playing them on guitar. Just like the other two chord types (major and minor chords) that we learned in the previous 2 lessons, Dominant chords are also derived from a Major Scale.
For the purpose of explanation, I am using the same old C Major Scale here as well.
Dominant 7th Chord
Dominant 7th chord is very similar to a Major 7th chord and it shares almost the same intervals or notes of a Major 7th chord, except that the 7th degree is lowered a half step (flattened). In C Major Scale that would be a B flat.
The formula for building a Dominant 7th Chord is 1-3-5-b7; this is nothing but a Major Triad (1-3-5) combined with a flattened 7th degree.
Applying this chord formula on the C Major Scale gives us the C Dominant 7th Chord notes as C-E-G-Bb.
Dominant 7th chord can be denoted in multiple ways, for e.g. CDom7, C7, C Dominant Seventh or C Dominant 7th.
Dominant 9th Chord
If you know how to derive a Dominant 7th chord, building a dominant 9th chord is super easy. All you need to do is add the 9th degree of the major scale to it. In C Major Scale that would be the note D.
The formula for building a Dominant 9th chord is 1-3-5-b7-9.
Applying it on the C Major Scale gives a C Dominant 9th Chord as C-E-G-Bb-D
Dominant 9th Chord is denoted in multiple ways for e.g. CDom9, C9, C Dominant 9th, C Dominant Ninth.
Dominant 11th Chord
Dominant 11th Chords can be easily built by adding the 11th degree of the major scale to the Dominant 9th chord. In the case of C Major Scale, the 11th degree is the note F.
The formula for building Dominant 11th chord is 1-3-5-b7-9-11.
Note: Since there are more than 5 notes for this chord, it is practically difficult to include all of them in the chord voicing using our fingers on the fret board, so omitting one or two notes is OK. The same applies to the Dominant 13th chord also.
By applying this chord formula on C Major Scale we get a C Dominant 11th chord as C-E-G-Bb-D-F
Dominant 11th chord can be denoted as C11, Cdom11, C Dominant Eleventh or C Dominant 11th
Dominant 13th Chord
This chord is also pretty easy to build! All you need to do is just add the 13th degree of the major scale to a Dominant 11th chord, and you get a Dominant 13th chord. In the case of C Major Scale, the 13th degree is the note A.
The Dominant 13th chord formula is 1-3-5-b7-9-11-13
By applying this formula on the C Major Scale, we get the C Dominant 13th chord as C-E-G-Bb-D-F-A.
A dominant 13th chord can also be denoted in different ways, for e.g. C13, Cdom13, C Dominant Thirteenth or C Dominant 13th.
In the next lesson, we will check out the Diminished chords. Please do leave your feedback as comments.