Jazz Chords – Upper Extensions

As we saw in Chord Sequences, four note chords are created by continuing the process of adding notes in intervals of a third to triads. If we extend this process we create 9ths, 11ths and 13ths

upper extensions
Upper extensions

Dominant 7ths have a greater scope for extensions and alterations than major 7ths or minor 7ths. With the latter the resulting dissonance is often a disadvantage.

In practice there are various conventions when adding extensions to different chord types:

Major 7 (and 6) chords

  • 9ths can be added (but not usually with root in melody)
  • 11ths are rare, a sus 4 is much more likely.
  • #11th is possible (but not with 5th in melody).
  • 13ths unlikely unless dissonance is required.

Remember: 6ths are used as an alternative to major 7ths, either for the distinctive colour of the 6th or to harmonise a melody note which is the root or 6th of the chord, in which case a major 7th in the chord may sound wrong.

major 9 chords

ex 4b: Major 9 chords

Minor 7 and half diminished chords

9ths and 11ths can be used.

A minor 7 chord with a 9th (nearly always a major 9th) is called a minor 9 chord.

minor 9 chords

ex 4c: Minor 9 chord

A minor 7th chord with a minor (or flattened) 9th would be called a minor 7 b9. In practice this chord is rarely used.

13ths are not recommended with minor 7th chords as the resulting tritone with the 3rd weakens the impact of the tritone in the (usually) following V7 chord. It also destroys the suspension effect of the resolution of the 7th of the IIm7 to the 3rd of the V7 (ex 4d).

13ths

ex 4d-1: The 7th of the IIm7 would usually resolve to the 3rd of the V7. If the Dm7 already had a B in the chord this resolution would be anticipated and therefore weakened (ex 4d-2).

Dominant 7th chords

These frequently extend up to 13ths, with many chromatic alterations of extensions possible and desirable

Upper extensions in jazz are derived from suspensions in classical harmony:

  • a 9th derives from a suspension onto a root.
  • an 11th derives from a suspension onto a 3rd
  • a 13th derives from a suspension onto a 5th

Therefore unless you need dissonant sounding harmony or clusters, bear in mind the following when voicing chords with extensions:

  • 9ths are rarely used next to a root.
  • 11ths usually omit the 3rd but they can work well next to the 3rd in an inside harmony part (ex 4e)
  • 13ths often omit the 5th, but can sometimes include them to create big chords (but with the extension usually in a higher octave, unlike 11ths with 3rds).

jazz theory 11ths

ex 4e: 11th chords

An 11th chord sometimes omits the 5th, must have a 7th and may include a 9th.

A 13th chord often omits the 5th, must have a 7th, may include a 9th to support the 13th but would not have an 11th unless stated. If it contains a 9th it is unnecessary to state this in the symbol unless it has been chromatically altered.

jazz theory 13ths

ex 4f: 13th chord

A 13th chord without a 7th would function as a tonic not a dominant chord and therefore most likely be regarded as a 6th or 6/9.

An 11th without a 7th would probably be regarded as a sus4.

jazz theory suspension

ex 4g: Sus 4 chord

Typical chromatic alterations:

chromatic alterations

ex 4h: Note that the #9 and b10 have the same notes. The C7 augmented and C7 b13 have the same notes.

  • Usually a b10 functions as a suspension of a b9 or 9.
  • Usually a #9 would resolve upwards by a semitone.
  • Usually a b13 resolves down by a semitone
  • Usually an augmented 5th resolves upwards by a semitone

N.B. Extensions are often written as slash chords, e.g. the (preceding) IIm7 chord but with the root of the V7 in the bass (ex 4i).

slash chords

ex 4i: Slash chords. Note the difference between the slash between the chord and root note and the smaller diagonal sometimes used to separate two extensions as above with 11/13.

Sponsored Links:

 

Subscribe To Our (very occasional) Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news, tutorials and special offers!
No Thanks
Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Our
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×
Frequently Asked Questions
I did not receive the email with with my download link

Please check your spam folder.

NB: Purchased downloads are also available to download directly from your customer account area.

I am having a problem downloading to iPad or iPhone

This is a common issue and affects all downloads, not just our products. In order to download anything to iPad etc. you will need an app that can handle .zip .pdf and .mp3 downloads.

See this article and/or this app

It may be easier to download to your desktop and then transfer to your tablet.

Download expired, reached its limit
  • The download may actually have  expired. Download links are valid only for a certain number of days and have a limit on number of downloads - please contact us with your order number and date of purchase to reset it. (Ideally reply to your order confirmation email)
  • Download manager/accelerator  software or browser plugin is interfering with the download. If so try disabling it.
  • The files did actually  download, but very quickly and you did not realise. Please do a search of your download destination directory before contacting us.
Do you sell outside the UK?

Yes, we sell internationally. Your currency will be automatically converted at the current exchange rate.

Saxophone Instruction DVD region compatibility

This is a PAL all region DVD so will not require you to reset your DVD player/computer region.

However as it is PAL format it may not be compatible with some older U.S. TV sets which are NTSC only, please check if your TV and/or DVD player is compatible with PAL format.

If not, it should still work on any computer with DVD drive (anywhere in the world). Please note we have only tested the DVD by playing on DVD systems or playing on computers with standard DVD hardware and software. We cannot guarantee that files extracted (ripped) from the DVD will play successfully. Sharing of copied DVDs or ripped files is illegal.

How much will postage cost?

After adding an item or several items to your cart, click on the Calculate Shipping button and choose your location from the dropdown menu. This will give you the postage options available to your country.

When will I get my stuff?

Products in stock

We usually post within 3 days of receiving an order. We are unable to give exact delivery times, but generally packages to Europe can take 2 - 7 days, outside Europe 4 - 14 days. Under exceptional circumstances (weather, strikes, customs delays) it can take longer.

Out of stock (backorders) or special orders

Out of stock books and DVDs are generally restocked within a week. Out of stock or special order mouthpieces can take between 6 and 10 weeks for manufacturing.

From time to time we have a holiday, in which case items will take longer, look out for any noticesd at the top of the page re:holidays.

How do I find out the price in dollars, yen, euros, dirhams etc?

The checkout pages shows prices in GBP (£). Your bank, credit card company or Paypal take care of the actual conversion, so you can pay with your normal account in your own currency. We don't publish actual rates in different currencies as this is constantly changing so we advise you check with a live currency conversion site such as xe.com

Thanks for signing up. You must confirm your email address before we can send you. Please check your email and follow the instructions.
×
×