Major 13th Arpeggios - Extension and Superimposition

What Is a Major 13 Arpeggio?

A major 13 arpeggio is major seventh arpeggio extended with three supplementary notes. The ninth (9), the eleventh (11) and the thirteenth (13). The interval pattern is root (1), major third (3), perfect fifth (p5), major seventh (7), ninth (9), eleventh (11), thirteenth (13). Major 13 arps can be played over major chords corresponding to the degree I of the diatonic scale. They can be useful when you want to add a specific sound to your lines and obviously, they work perfectly over maj7, maj9, maj11 and major 13 chords. Using extended arps in place of the usual four-note arpeggios will help you explore your guitar neck and find new ideas.


Major 13th Arpeggio 1 3 5 7 9 11 13
Cmaj13 Arpeggio C E G B D F A


Superimposed Arpeggios - Extended Arpeggios

Another interesting way to understand and use arpeggios is to visualize and play arpeggios inside arpeggios. You can see below that a Cmajor 13 arpeggio (C-E-G-B-D-F-A) contains three other arpeggios: Em7 (E-G-B-D), G7 (G-B-D-F) and Bm7b5 (B-D-F-A). You can also see Cmaj13 as a Cmaj7 arpeggio extended with a Bm7b5 arpeggio.

Major 13 arpeggio superimposition


Major 13 Arpeggio Shapes

The two diagrams below show how to play a major 13 arpeggio on guitar. Don't hesitate to experiment your own fingerings.

Major 13 arpeggio Guitar Diagrams

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Last edited: 20/11/2018