Minor 11th chords
The Minor 11th (m11) chord is in theory a six-note chord, but is played with one or more notes omitted on the guitar. The 11th minor can be used as substitution for 7th and 9th minor chords to give another flavor. This chord type is relative common in jazz fusion and progressive rock.
There are different many different versions of this chord possible on the guitar among many have difficult fingerings. The shapes presented in this overview are selected from a playability perspective. It's common to exclude the fifth and sometimes also the ninth.
In the Cm11 version presented above, the 5th is omitted.
In the Dm11 version presented above, the 5th and 9th are omitted. Two barre chord shapes including the 9th are 10 8 10 9 8 8 and X53553.
In the Em11 version presented above, the 5th and 9th are omitted. One of the alternative options including the 9th is 000032.
Fm11 is not included among the pictures. One way to play it's 111044.
Gm11 can also be played as 303311. In both this version and the diagram version above, the 5th is omitted.
Bm11 can also be played as X20220. This include the C# (the fifth note in the chord), but there is a slight dissonance between C# and D in this case.
One of the most frequent used minor 11th chords in popular music styles are the Bm11. Aside from the presented diagram version, two other, but less common, possibilities are X20200 and X22230.
Minor 11th with flats and sharps
Additional chords in this category:
C sharp / D flat m11 (no9): X44420
D sharp / E flat m11 (no9): XX1122
F sharp / G flat m11: 202100
G sharp / A flat m11: 44430X
A sharp / B flat m11 (no)): X1112X
Minor 11th (movable jazz shapes) - 1st set
This shape is probably the most used fingering for this chord category in jazz. The root is on the 6th string and the fifth string is muted with an adjacent finger. The fifth interval is omitted.
Minor 11th (movable jazz shapes) - 2nd set
Here is an alternative for minor 11th with bass on the 5th string. This shape is rather easy to play by laying a finger over three or four strings.
This chord is built by the following intervals: root, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th and major 9th. The minor 11th chord can be found on the ii and vi degrees in a major scale. In C major, this would be Dm11 and Am11 whereas Em11 would be a non-diatonic chord because of the F# note.
The minor eleventh is built with the formula 1-b3-5-b7-9-11 (root, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th, major 9th and perfect 11th).
Chord constructionCm11 C - x - Bb - Eb - F - x
Dm11 D - x - C - F - G - x
Em11 E - x - D - G - A - x
Fm11 F - x - Eb - Ab - Bb - x
Gm11 G - x - F - Bb - C - x
Am11 A - x - G - C - D - x
Bm11 B - x - A - D - E - x
Guitar versions of the chord
Notes in chordCm11 C - Eb - G - Bb - D - F
Dm11 D - F - A - C - E - G
Em11 E - G - B - D - F# - A
Fm11 F - Ab - C - Eb - G - Bb
Gm11 G - Bb - D - F - A - C
Am11 A - C - E - G - B - D
Bm11 B - D - F# - A - C# - E
The intervals are 1 – b3 – 5 – b7 – 9 - 11
Minor 11th chord inversions
A minor 11th chord is possible to play in numerous configurations including five inversions (it's also common to combine inversions with omitting notes for this chord type).
C minor 11th can be used as an example:
- C - Eb - G - Bb - D - F (root position)
- Eb - G - Bb - C - D - F (1st inversion)
- G - Bb - C - D - Eb - F (2nd inversion)
- Bb - C - D - Eb - G - F (3rd inversion)
- D - Eb - G - Bb - C - F (4th inversion)
- F - Eb - G - Bb - C - D (5th inversion)
To indicate that a chord is played inverted it is written as slash sign before the bass note. For example, the first inversion of the Cm11 chord is written Cm11/Eb. Some examples follow below in short notation:
For more chord diagrams, see The Chord Reference ebook.
Examples of progressions including minor 13th:
E - Esus4 - F#m11
F#m11 - Amaj9 - Dmaj9
Bm11 - Em7 - Cmaj7
Minor 11th chords work as ii and vi, but not as iii chords (atonal). So, for example, in C major key, Dm11 and Am11 are viable (diatonic) options.