Sometimes funky music requires knowing very atypical chords, in comparison to rock or pop music. A celebre Stevie Wonder song (Superstition), as an examples, contains (if you want to play it in a funky flavour) Bbmaj13(#11) chord.

I found on the web this shape for that chord:


but it's a little bit hard for me to understand how to rebuild it, for example, from a standard shape of Bbmaj. Is there a general easy rule which help a guitar player to construct such a chord?

1 Answer 1


The shape you're using is a bit hard to transpose, because it uses the high E open.You'd have to really stretch your fingers to transpose it and I doubt you'd achieve it. I found some other shapes that are easier to transpose:

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You see here that you don't use any open strings, so you can easily transpose these shapes up and down, using notes on the E string as the root of the chord.

  • Many thanks for your quick answer. I's a little bit hard for me to understand which is the connection between the first and the other two shapes. I mean, while the second and the third one have Bb (the fundamental), D, G, C, E notes, the first shape has an extra A and not C. Why? Isn't the configuration of the chord always the same?
    – maumag77
    Feb 8, 2016 at 10:59
  • 1
    In an instrument like the piano where you can play numerous notes at the same time, you'd play all the notes of the chord, which are Bb D F A C E G, but in the guitar it's really hard to play all these notes, so each time you choose some of them Feb 8, 2016 at 11:22
  • Thank you. To fix the concept, the chord is composed by the triplet Bb (root) - D (third) - F (fifth), plus A (seventh), G (thirteenth), E (eleventh #). What's the "role" of C?
    – maumag77
    Feb 8, 2016 at 13:30
  • The C is the 9th. When you play a chord like Bbmaj13, you'd include all the notes up to the 13th. Feb 8, 2016 at 13:39
  • @Shevliaskovic not necessarily. The other extensions 9 and 11 are typically put in, but 1, 3, 5, 7, and 13 are all that is required. On this chord the 11th is required due to it being noted, but the 9th isn't needed.
    – Dom
    Feb 8, 2016 at 15:22

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