Major 6th Chords (Maj6) - Guitar Diagrams and Voicings

What Are Major 6th Chords?

Major 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, (png 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 5 6

 

Here are two basic major sixth guitar chord shapes in C. These positions are movable, meaning that you can play them anywhere on the guitar neck.

Basic major sixth chords on guitar

What's The Relative Minor?

Major 6 chords contain the same notes as their relative minor seventh chords. The relative minor is exactly 3 semitones below. For example, A minor seventh (Am7) is the relative minor of C major 6 (CMaj6). This can be useful for chord melody arrangements.

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

 

Major 6 chord and relative minor

 

Chord Symbols and Notation

Major 6 chords can be written maj6, M6 or simply 6.

Drop 2 Chord Shapes

Maj6 chords are built by lowering the 7th of any major 7 chord position. The following guitar diagrams are based on drop 2 major 7th chord voicing shapes. The 7th is lowered by 2 semitones thus giving 4 voicings.

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

 

What is a Drop 2 Chord?

Drop 2 chords are built by dropping the second highest note of a four-note chord in close position to the lowest note of the chord. These chords are the most easy to play because all the notes on the guitar neck are close together. There is no string skip.

How to Play Maj6 Chords on Guitar?

The three diagrams below show how to play Drop 2 major 6 chords on guitar :

  • The root position (R 5 6 3) is represented in black.
  • The first inversion (3 6 R 5) is the blue shape. 
  • The second inversion (5 R 3 6) is the red form.
  • The third inversion (6 3 5 R) is in green.

Drop 3 Chord Shapes

Drop 3 chords are built by taking the third note from the top of a four-note chord in closed position and putting it to the bass. Four new voicings arise from this, here they are :

  • R 6 3 5 (root voicing)
  • 3 R 5 6 (first inversion)
  • 5 3 6 R (2nd inversion)
  • 6 5 R 3 (3rd inversion)
  • Guitar Walking Bass Lines

    This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
  • Diatonic Licks Bundle

    This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
  • 40 Mixolydian Jazz Guitar Lick

    This package contains a guitar method available as a PDF with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
  • 40 Minor (Dorian) Jazz Guitar

    This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
  • 40 Major Jazz Guitar Licks

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
  • 40 II V I Jazz Guitar Licks

    This pdf method for guitar contains 40 II V I jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
  • 101 Dominant Arpeggio Patterns

    This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
  • 49 Essential Jazz Lines

    This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation, audio files and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
  • Mastering Pentatonic Scales

    This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings

    This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook contains 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation on how to play over II-V-I chord progressions using different kind of voicings.
  • 11 Jazz Blues Studies

    This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • Mastering The Altered Scale

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
  • 40 Blues Dominant patterns

    This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
  • 25 Soul Jazz Guitar Licks

    You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
  • 25 Diminished Patterns

    This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 6 Tritone substitution licks

    This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.

Last edited: 05/11/2020