6 and Major 6 Chords


Question by Craig Hedrick
(Belmont, NC, USA)

Question about 6th and major 6 chords:
Is there no difference between a 6 chord, which I guess would be a Dominant 6 chord and a Maj 6 chord? Is the Maj6 fairly exclusive to jazz?
In some other types of music I see chords called 6 which only have the 6 note added to a major, such as adding a B note to a Dmaj chord barred at the 5th.

Answer :

The “6” and “maj6” symbols are interchangeable and apply only to major triads.

As you are saying, it’s only a good old major chord with the addition of the 6th note (D6 or Dmaj6 = D F# A + B)

Furthermore, when a 6th is added to a dominant 7th chord, we call it a 13th.

For instance if the symbol is C13, the notes implied are : C E G Bb D F A , the A note being the 13th (aka 6th note of the scale).

Does that answer your question?
(please leave a comment here to answer!)

Thank you,
Marc-Andre Seguin

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