6th Guitar Chords

major 6th

6th guitar chords - major triads with an added major 6th interval - it has a root, a major 3rd, a perfect 5th and a major 6th.

Put simply, a 6th chord is a major chord with an added 6th. The symbol for the chord is simply 6, e.g., C major 6th would be written as C6.

The chord formula for a 6th chord is 1 - 3 - 5 - 6

The featured song for this session is Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed. It is a great introduction to playing a 6th chord, and will give you a handy insight into how a 6 chord can influence the overall sound and feel of a song. F6 is used in this song and the following is an example of how to calculate the chord.

Example... Calculating F6
  • 'F' chords are based on the scale of F major which consists of 1 flat - Bb.
  • F major scale reads: F - G - A - Bb - C - D - E - F
  • Formula for a 6 chord = 1 - 3 - 5 - 6
  • Substitute notes into the formula (1=F, 3=A, 5=C, 6=D)
  • F6 = F - A - C - D
6th (6) Chord Table
6 chord A B♭ B C C# D E♭ E F F# G A♭
Root A B♭ B C C# D E♭ E F F# G A♭
Major 3rd C# D D# E E#(F) F# G G# A A# B C
Perfect 5th E F F# G G# A B♭ B C C# D E♭
Major 6th F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F

6 Chords - RH / LH

Chord Chart Legend Chord Chart Legend
Right Handers
6th Guitar Chords: A6 - C6
↓ 6th Guitar Chords - Part 1
Left Handers
6th Lefty Chords - Part 1
Right Handers
6th Chords: C#6 - E6
↓ 6th Chords - Part 2
Left Handers
6th Lefty Chords - Part 2
Right Handers
6th Chords: F6 - Ab6
↓ 6th Chords - Part 3
Left Handers
6th Lefty Chords - Part 3

Songs to try featuring 6th chords:

Interesting facts about major 6th guitar chords:

Sixth chords, often referred to as "6th chords," are a type of tertian harmony that consist of a triad (a three-note chord) with an added sixth interval above the root note. They are commonly used in music to add color and richness to chord progressions.

Dominant Sixth Chords (7/6 or 7 add 6): Dominant sixth chords are created by taking a dominant seventh chord (root, major third, perfect fifth, and minor seventh) and adding a major sixth interval above the root. In the key of G, a G7/6 chord would include the notes G, B, D, F, and E.

Major Sixth Chords vs. Minor Sixth Chords: Major sixth chords generally have a brighter, more open sound compared to minor sixth chords, which often sound slightly melancholic or mellow quality due to the presence of a minor third in the triad.

Inversions: Like other types of chords, sixth chords can also be inverted, meaning that a note other than the root is placed in the bass. Inversions can alter the overall color and function of the chord within a progression.

Usage: Sixth chords are often used in jazz, pop, and classical music to add harmonic variety and create smooth voice leading. They can be used as substitutes for other chords in progressions, such as replacing a simple triad with a sixth chord to add more interest.

Voice Leading: One of the notable features of sixth chords is their smooth voice leading potential. The individual notes within a sixth chord often move smoothly by step to notes in the following chords, contributing to a pleasing and connected sound.

Modal Interchange: Sixth chords can be used as part of modal interchange, where chords from parallel or related modes are borrowed to add color and variety to a progression.

Extended Chords: Sixth chords can be extended further by adding additional notes, such as ninth or eleventh intervals, which can create even richer and more complex harmonies.

Piano Voicings: On the piano, sixth chords can be played in various voicings to create different textures. Common voicings include root position, first inversion, and second inversion, each offering a distinct sound quality.

Try this
| A | A6 | A | A6 | D | Dsus4 | A | A6 |

Play this in 4:4 time, at a moderate tempo. Each chord is played for the whole bar. It's an interesting sound and can be a great way to finish a song in any particular key. Next time you play a tune in any given key, try finishing the song with the key 6th chord. See what you think.

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