Minor 13th chords

The Minor 13th (m13) chord is in theory a seven-note chord, but is played with one or more notes omitted on the guitar. The sound character of the 13th minor is a little dissonant – the 13th note is outside the relevant minor scale – and therefore it's not always a fitting substitute for minor 7th and minor 9th. Instead it's functionally is closer to that of a dim and aug chords, often used as an in-between chord.

There are different many different versions of this chord possible on the guitar, but it's common to exclude one or more of the following: the fifth, the seventh, ninth and eleventh.

m13 (movable shape)

Cm13

  • Cm13 chord diagram

Dm13

  • Dm13 chord diagram

Em13

  • Em13 chord diagram

Fm13

  • Fm13 chord diagram

Gm13

  • Gm13 chord diagram

Am13

  • Am13 chord diagram

Bm13

  • Bm13 chord diagram

Alt. shape

  • Minor 13th chord shape

Comments

The first shape has the root on the 5th string. The fifth, the ninth and the eleventh are omitted.

The alternative shape is played with the root on the 6th string, for Am13 the short notation is 575575. The ninth and the eleventh are omitted.

Minor 13th with flats and sharps

Additional chords in this category:

C sharp / D flat m13: X4X456
D sharp / E flat m13: X6X678
F sharp / G flat m13: 242242
G sharp / A flat m13: 464464
A sharp / B flat m13: X1X123

Open minor 13 chords

Em13

  • Em13 chord diagram

F#m13

  • F#m13 chord diagram

Am13

  • Am13 chord diagram

Am13 (alt.)

  • Am13 chord diagram

Comments

The F#m13 is more correct written as F#m13/E. The keys that have been left out has no good options for being played in open position.

Chord formula

The minor thirteenth is built with the formula 1-b3-5-b7-9-11-13 (root, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, minor 7th, major 9th, perfect 11th and major 13th).

Chord construction

Cm13  x - C - x - Bb - Eb - A
Dm13  x - D - x - C - F - B
Em13  x - E - x - D - G - C#
Fm13  x - F - x - Eb - Ab - D
Gm13  x - G - x - F - Bb - E
Am13  x - A - x - G - C - F#
Bm13  x - B - x - A - D - G#
Guitar versions of the chord

Notes in chord

Cm13  C - Eb - G - Bb - D - F - A
Dm13  D - F - A - C - E - G - B
Em13  E - G - B - D - F# - A - C#
Fm13  F - Ab - C - Eb - G - Bb - D
Gm13  G - Bb - D - F - A - C - E
Am13  A - C - E - G - B - D - F#
Bm13  B - D - F# - A - C# - E - G#
The intervals are 1 – b3 – 5 – b7 – 9 - 11 - 13

Chord progressions

Examples of progressions including minor 13th:

Am13 - Em9 - Gmaj7

Bm13 - E11 - Amaj13


The second progression is thought to be used in a jazz context.

Minor 13th chords work as ii, but not as iii and vi chords (atonal). So, for example, in C major key, Dm13 is an (diatonic) options. This circumstances is the reason for this chord category being quite seldom used.

Back to chord types

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