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 chords.

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

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

Comment

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.

Open minor 13 chords

Em13

  • Em13 chord diagram

F#m13

  • F#m13 chord diagram

Am13

  • Am13 chord diagram

Am13 (alt.)

  • Am13 chord diagram

Comment

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 ninth is built with the formula 1-b3-5-b7-9-11-13.

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

13th minor with flats and sharps as root note

Additional chord in this category:

C#m13 / Dbm13: X4X456
D#m13 / Ebm13: X6X678
F#m13 / Gbm13: 242242
G#m13 / Abm13: 464464
A#m13 / Bbm13: X1X123

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.

Back to chord types

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