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Major 6th chords (Maj6) - Guitar diagrams and voicings

Chord formulas chartMajor sixth chords are built with four notes. They consist of a root (1), a major third (3), a perfect fifth (5) and major sixth (6). This means to add the sixth note of the major scale to a major triad.

For example, a major triad is made up of three stacked notes, ( C,E and G). To get a C maj6 chord you just have to add the sixth of C which is A.

C major 6 C E G A
Intervals 1 3 3 6

 

Relative minor chord

Major 6 chords contains the same notes as their relative minor seventh chords. The relative minor is exactly 3 semitones below. A minor seventh (Am7) is the relative minor of C major 6 (CMaj6). 

A minor seventh C E G  
C major 6   C E G A

 

Chord symbols and notations

Major 6 chords can be written M6 or simply 6. There are no differences between a CM6 and a C6 chord. Furthermore, it is important not to confuse with a C13. This one is a dominant 7th chord with a 13th (aka 6th) added. When a 6 is added to a tetrad chord (four notes), this one is considered as a 13th. The seventh convert the sixth as an extension.

C major 13 C E G B A
Intervals 1 3 3 7 6 (13)

 

Drop 2 major sixth chords | Guitar diagrams and voicings

You can build maj6 chords by lowering the 7th of any major 7 chord position. The following guitar diagrams and voicings are based on the drop 2 major 7th chord shapes with the 7th lowered by 2 semitones. In other words, the 7th is replaced by the 6th.

Root position  R 5 6 3
1st inversion (third in the bass) 3 6 R 5
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 R 3 6
3rd inversion (sixth in the bass) 6 3 5 R

 

Drop 2 major sixth guitar shapes - Basses on 6th string

Root position - Major 6 chord - Root in the bass - Bass on 6th string

Major 6 guitar chord diagram

1st inversion - Major 6 chord - Third in the bass - Bass on 6th string

Major 6 guitar chord shape bass on 6th string third in the bass

2nd inversion - Major 6 chord - Fifth in the bass - Bass on 6th string

Major 6 guitar chord position bass on 6th string fifth in the bass

3rd inversion - Major 6 chord - Sixth in the bass - Bass on 6th string

Major 6 guitar chord bass on sixth string six in the bass

Drop 2 major sixth guitar shapes - Basses on 5th string

Root position - Major 6 chord - Root in the bass - Bass on 5th string

Major 6 guitar chord bass on 5th string

1st inversion - Major 6 chord - Third in the bass - Bass on 5th string 

Major 6 guitar chord bass on 5th string third in the bass

2nd inversion - Major 6 chord - Fifth in the bass - Bass on 5th string

Major 6 guitar chord diagram fifth string fifth in the bass

3rd inversion - Major 6 chord - Sixth in the bass - Bass on 5th string

Major 6 guitar chord bass on fifth string sixth in the bass

Drop 2 major sixth guitar shapes - Basses on 4th string

Root position - major 6 chord - Root in the bass - Bass on 4th string

Major 6 guitar chord bass on fourth string

1st inversion - Major 6 chord - Third in the bass - Bass on 4th string

Major 6 guitar chord bass on fourth string third in the bass

2nd inversion - Major 6 chord - Fifth in the bass - Bass on 4th string

Major 6 guitar chord bass on fourth string fifth in the bass

3rd inversion - Major 6 chord - Sixth in the bass - Bass on 4th string

Major 6 guitar chord 14

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