If the basic sound of jazz is based on tetrad chords (four-note chords), it is common to extend them with other tones. These other notes forms the upper structure of a chord which includes 9th, 11th and 13th. Adding extensions to chords help to get off the beaten tracks and provides some new harmonic colors to your playing (chord soloing, comping, and arrangement). This lesson provides you useful extended major 7th chord shapes to apply to your playing.
Basically, major 7th chords are made up of a root (1), third (3), fifth (5) and seventh (7). They can be extended with a ninth (9), a sharp eleventh (#11) and a thirteenth (13).
The notes in yellow in the chart below can be added to the basic structure of a major 7th chord to extend it. Therefore a C major 7th chord can become Cmaj9, C maj7#11, Cmaj13.
|C Major seventh chord||C||E||G||B||D||F#||A|
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