Dominant 13th Arpeggios - Guitar Shapes and Exercises

What Are Dominant 13 Arpeggios?

Dominant 13 arpeggios are built with seven notes. These are dominant seventh arpeggios with three supplementary notes considered as extensions. These notes are the ninth (9), the eleventh (11) and the thirteenth (13) giving the dom13 formula 1 (root) - 3 (third) - 5 (fifth) - b7 (minor seventh) - 9 (ninth) - 11 (eleventh) - 13 (thirteenth).

Dominant 13 Arpeggio Formula 

G Dominant 13 Arpeggio G B D F A C E
Formula 1 3 5 b7 9 (2) 11 (4) 13 (6)



Superimposed Arpeggios - Upper-structure

As shown in the graphic, a dom13 arpeggio is built based on a dom7 arpeggio (1-3-5-b7) and contains three other seventh arpeggios  :

  • a m7b5 arpeggio (1-b3-b5-b7) starting on the third (B). 
  • a minor 7 arp (1-b3-5-b7) starting on the fifth (D).
  • a maj7 arp (1-3-5-7) starting on the seventh (F).

In other words, over G7 you can play Bm7b5, Dm7 or Fmaj7.

  • Bm7b5 will highlight the ninth of G.
  • Dm7 will highlight the ninth and the eleventh of G.
  • Fmaj7 will highlight the ninth, eleventh and thirteenth.
13 arpeggios upper structure guitar

Dominant 13 Arpeggios Guitar Shapes

The two diagrams show how to play dominant 13 arpeggios on guitar. The first have the lowest root on the sixth string whereas the second shape have the lowest root on the fifth string.

Dominant 13 arpeggio guitar shapes

Related Dominant 13 Chord Shapes

Here are some dominant 13 chord shapes. The idea behind is to play a dom13 arpeggio and the corresponding chord.

Dominant 13 guitar chord shapes

For example with these two easy exercises. The arpeggio shapes 1 and 2 previously seen are connected with two 13 chords (G13 and C13). Try to create you own exercises mixing arpeggios and chords.

13 arpeggio and chord
13 arpeggio and chord 2

Dominant 13 Arpeggios - Warm up Exercises

The two following exercises will help you work you guitar technique while practicing dominant 13 arpeggios.

The first exercise consists in playing dominant 13 arpeggios in triplets following a chromatic progression (C13, Db13, D13, Eb13, etc).


13 arpeggio warm up exercise

The second one is spread over two bars, you just need to repeat it following a descending chromatic progression (G13, Gb13, F13...)

13 arpeggio warm up exercise for guitar
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Last edited: 2023-07-10


  • Jai
    • 1. Jai On 2023-07-05

    Thank you for this lesson.

    In the final example, you say:

    "The second pattern is spread over two bars. You just need to repeat it following a chromatic progression (G, Gb13, A13...)"

    G13, G#13, A13 would be chromatic.

    Was that a mistake or do you mean to play:

    G13, Gb13, A13, Ab13, B13, Bb13

    This is where it gets iffy.

    Do you want me to go up a full step to C#13 C13, or a half step to C13 Cb13 (B13)?

    I suspect you meant for us to LITERALLY go up chromatically, but even your notation goes down a half step from G13 to Gb13...

    Thank you
    • jazz-guitar-licks
      • jazz-guitar-licksOn 2023-07-10
      Hello, That was a typo. I meant G13, Gb13, F13. This is corrected Thanks

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