11th chords

The 11th Chord adds a tone to the 9th chord and, hence the name, this tone is 11 steps from the root.  This chord could include seven tones. On the piano you could play the "full version" of his chord with seven tones, but on a guitar only six tones are possible of course. Therefore, at least one tone is always excluded, which can vary depending on the chord shape. See an overview of notes below.

11

C11

  • C11 chord diagram

D11

  • D11 chord diagram

E11

  • E11 chord diagram

F11

  • F11 chord diagram

G11

  • G11 chord diagram

A11

  • A11 chord diagram

B11

  • B11 chord diagram

Comment

This version of the 11th chord includes the root, the seventh, the ninth and the eleventh whereas the third and the fifth are omitted.

Chord progressions

Progressions including this chord type:

D11 – A13 – C11 – G13 (see tab)

tab chord progression

Alternative shape

C11

  • C11 chord diagram

D11

  • D11 chord diagram

E11

  • E11 chord diagram

F11

  • F11 chord diagram

G11

  • G11 chord diagram

A11

  • A11 chord diagram

B11

  • B11 chord diagram

Comment

This version of the 11th chord includes the root, the third, the seventh and the eleventh whereas the fifth and the ninth are omitted. There is more bass in the sound of this version. F11 and B11 are shown as open chords.

There are also major and minor 11th chords for guitar. The abbreviations for these are maj11 (e.g. Cmaj11) and m11 (e.g. Cm11). The short abbreviation in form of 11 indicates an expanded dominant chord.

Chord formula

The 11th chord is built with the formula 1-3-5-b7-9-11.

The relationship of the notes is based on the positions in the relevant major scale. Here you can see this relationship concerning the C11.

1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 8 9 10 11
C   E   G   Bb   D   F

Chord construction

C11  C - E - Bb - F - x - x
D11  D - F# - C - G - x - x
E11  E - G# - D - A - x - x
F11  F - A - Eb - Bb - x - x
G11  G - Bb - F - C - x - x
A11  A - C# - G - D - x - x
B11  x - B - D# - A - C# - E
Guitar versions of the chord

Notes in chord

C11  C - E - G - Bb - D - F
D11  D - F# - A - C - E - G
E11  E - G# - B - D - F# - A
F11  F - A - C - Eb - G - Bb
G11  G - B - D - F - A - C
A11  A - C# - E - G - B - D
B11  B - D# - F# - A - C# - E
The intervals are 1 – 3 – 5 – b7 – 9 – 11

11th barre chords

C11

  • C11 chord diagram

C#11 / Db11

  • C#11 chord diagram

D11

  • D11 chord diagram

D#11 / Eb11

  • D#11 chord diagram

E11

  • E11 chord diagram

F11

  • F11 chord diagram

F#11 / Gb11

  • F#11 chord diagram

G11

  • G11 chord diagram

G#11 / Ab11

  • G#11 chord diagram

A11

  • A11 chord diagram

A#11 / Bb11

  • A#11 chord diagram

B11

  • B11 chord diagram

Comment

The 11th chord could also be played with this alternate a barre chord shape:


11 chord barre

In this chord shape, the root is there you hold the top of your index finger (the 5th string). You could also choose to bar only the two lowest strings, as in one of the C11 versions presented below.

Two other ways to play this chord group is with the bass note on the 6th or 5th strings and to only include the barre finger. In other words, you could play C11 as X33333, C#11 as X44444 and so on. Or, you could play C11/G as 333333, C#11/G# as 444444 and so on.


11 chord barre11 chord barre

Example of chord progression:

E11/B - D11/A - G

G is recommended to play as a barre chord with the bass note on the 6th string in this progression.

More chord shapes

C11

  • C11 chord diagram

D11

  • D11 chord diagram

E11

  • E11 chord diagram

G11

  • G11 chord diagram

A11

  • A11 chord diagram

Comment

Above are instructions of how the chord type can be played in other ways, including open positions in some cases.

C11 as pictured above exclude the fifth (hence it could be named C11no5), notice the similarity with the C7-shape. D11 as pictured above exclude the fifth (hence it could be named D11no5). E11 has partly the same shape as D11.

Example of chord progression:

F – A11 – Dm – Bb

11th chord in open position

Here are additional shapes in open position for this chord category:

C11/Bb: X10011
D11: XX0010

D#11 / Eb11: XX1324
E11: 000101 / 022232 / 000202
F#11 / Gb11: 2X2100 / 244300
G11: 330201

Alternative chord shapes

Besides the chord pictures above there are more ways to play the 11th chord. Here is a alternative with the root on the 5th string:

11 chord shape


Since the root is on the 5th string, you use X3X331 to play D13. The shape is movable.

The similarities between dominant 11 and minor 11

Strangely, you can often use the same shape for a dominant eleventh and a minor eleventh chord.
D11 (XX0213), for example include the same notes as in a version of Dm11. And this is not enough, D11/Dm11 can also be D7sus4.



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