E7add9+: The E major scale has the notes: E F# G# A B C# D# my teacher as well as tuxguitar suggest that the following guitar chord diagram:

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The second is B, the third is G#, the prime is of course E and #9 (as add9+) is G so there is only the 7 left which is D# but in the diagram I only have a D. Where is the information in this notation that the 7th has to be a b7 or diminished/half-diminished not sure what it is called in that case...?

Could you explain me why it is in this chord (I mean I guess it isn't wrong since the chord editor, smartchord (names it only E9+ for unknown reasons) and my teacher name this chord like that.

I would like to get to the same conclusion and why my assumption towards what the chord should be is wrong.

  • Related: music.stackexchange.com/questions/80770/… (trying to find a dupe, I know there must be one)
    – Dom
    Dec 3, 2021 at 18:03
  • Two issues here. First is the 7 by itself means a m7 note from tthe root - in other words, that D will be there, not D#. Second is mixing 'add' and '+'. 'Add' means play the extra nte as well as what the chord says, while '+' means augment the note's interval, by making that note a semitone higher. Your teacher needs to check facts - the 7 by itself will always be Di an E cchord - D# will mean the chord is major 7. E7add9 is pointless. E add9 is a chord, E9 is a chord and E9+ is another chord. But they're all different...
    – Tim
    Dec 4, 2021 at 8:24
  • When there's a 9, it's 1,3,5,b7,9. (Dominant). When it's maj9 it's 1,3,5,7,9. When it's m9 there's 1,b3,5,b7,9. If it's 7#9, it's 1,3,5,b7,#9. Just 'add9', it's 1,3,5,9. All different.
    – Tim
    Dec 4, 2021 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


Leaving aside the "add9" for this explanation, the term "E7" refers to the dominant E, which has a flat 7th (which is a D natural). It is usually found in the scale of A major as the V chord. Just because you have a E major chord, it doesn't meant that you are in the E major scale.

If you wanted to mark a major 7th (which is D#), you would write it as "E maj7" (the "maj" here refers to the major 7th, not to the major chord, thus the space, but more often than not, people don't use the space)

  • I always thought that in the english notation the capital letter always marks the major chord. Thanks that explains a lot.
    – baxbear
    Dec 3, 2021 at 18:05
  • @baxbear the capital letter does mark the major chord, but the major chord does not mark the major scale exclusively Dec 3, 2021 at 23:00
  • Why couldn't it be called "Em7b11", just voiced so that the b11 is lower than the minor third? For this chord, IMO, the whole chord naming thing is just an approximation, kludge, hack, trying to shoehorn into traditional Western music language something that's kind of alien. Dec 4, 2021 at 10:30

Generally in jazz chord names the base 7-chord is taken to be the dominant 7-chord. So when you read E7 the 7-th does not depend on the scale like it would with standard figured bass notation, but it always stands for an E dominant 7 chord. So jazz chord names are agnostic to the key you are in.

Also it is a normal convention to omit the 7 from the chord name specification on a dominant 7 chord with additional thirds on top. So if you read E9+ this implicitely demands an E7,9+.

When you want the big seventh instead of the small you’d either specify E maj7, or often a triangle for the maj7.

  • 2
    I think the most widely used symbol is E7#9 Dec 3, 2021 at 18:58
  • 2nd para. 'Normal convention to include, not omit.
    – Tim
    Dec 4, 2021 at 16:42
  • @Tim Sorry, that meant omitting the explicit notation of the 7. I’ll rephrase it more clearly.
    – Lazy
    Dec 4, 2021 at 17:33

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