If I have a Dm7 chord played on the 5th fret of a guitar as a barre chord and move my pinky to play the Bb note next to the A on the 4th string I have the notes

D Bb C F A

so basically a Dm7 with an added Bb. Can someone please tell me the name of this chord? Does it change to a Bb chord of some kind?

EDIT: The chord in question will move as a ii chord in C major to F major and work as a pivot chord.

  • As @LaurencePayne's answer indicates, the chord name depends on its context. Very helpful if you would update your question to reflect what comes before and after, or at least how you're intended this chord to operate.
    – Aaron
    Feb 16, 2021 at 18:37

4 Answers 4


It's a good idea to try to find a basic triad amongst any group of notes in a chord. Here, the three are B♭, D and F. O.k. F A C could also have been in the frame, but let's continue with not only 1,3,5, but 7 and 9 as well.Basic triad makes B♭ major. Adding the A makes it B♭maj7, and then the C makes it B♭maj9.

Putting it all together, it's called B♭maj9/D, as the lowest note is D. That makes it 1st inversion of said chord.

Upon more thought - D F and A are also making a D minor triad. So this could be the basis for an extended chord. That leaves C and B♭. Adding C into the mix makes it Dm7. Leaving just B♭.Not particularly fitting, as it's ♭6 of D minor. but put into the mix, with the D bass, it becomes Dm7♭13. That leaves out the 9th and 11th of the chord, which often happens with 13th chords.

  • Wouldn't it have to be in the higher octave to be a b13 or does it not mater? Im my voicing it is the second note after the bass note? I always thought it would have to be higher up.
    – armani
    Feb 15, 2021 at 18:36
  • As long as it's not next to the A, where it would sound dissonant, it's o.k. We must have a little leeway, otherwise we'd end up with even more complex names.
    – Tim
    Feb 16, 2021 at 7:07

If you respell the chord in triads with the Bb at the root, you'll see it's a Bbmaj9 as you suspected.

  • 1
    So, Bbmaj9/D... 1st inversion.
    – Tim
    Feb 15, 2021 at 12:52

You could certainly parse those notes as B♭maj9/D. It may or may not be useful to do so, in context of what comes before and after. Where does that B♭ note lead to? Does D still feel like the root of the chord? A Dm chord with both 5 and +5 might not make much harmonic sense, but it could make melodic sense.

Dm, (your chord), F is lovely if you root the progression D, C, F. Then it would be harmonically useful to call it C-something (but practically probably more useful to label it B♭major7/C).

  • I wanted to modulate from C major to F major via the ii chord Dm in C major without making too much of an obvious shift like using a secondary dominant or pivot chord. The progression would go from Dm in C major to this Bbmaj9 chord to F major but in the hope that F major is the new key center. I like the sound of this chord because it has the note that differentiates C major and F major (Bb)
    – armani
    Feb 15, 2021 at 18:33
  • Yes. I've expanded my answer.
    – Laurence
    Feb 15, 2021 at 23:10

Since you're in the key of C, the presence of Bb in the chord prevents its ("formal") interpretation as a ii chord -- which is to say, as a chord in the key of C. It would be C9sus4: the dominant chord in F. Alternatively, it could be looked at as a Bb9 chord, also in F. The interpretation would depend on how the chord sounds in context.

Either way, the chord represents a direct modulation. To be considered a pivot chord it must be common to both keys.

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