0

In 11th chords we're adding an 11th (which is a 4th above the octave) to a given chord:

Cmin7: 1 b3 5 b7 Cmin11: 1 b3 5 b7 11

Cmin7b5: 1 b3 b5 b7 Cmin7b5/11: 1 b3 b5 b7 11

I've learned that I should alter the 11th if there is a IIIma interval in the chord, because the minnor 9th interval between the 3th and the 11th:

C7: 1 3 5 b7 C11: 1 3 5 b7 #11

Cmaj7: 1 3 5 7 Cmaj11: 1 3 5 7 #11

But in the web, everywhere I look, a C11 and Cmaj11 have a natural 11th interval.

My question is, what should I play if I come across a C11 chord? Should I alter the 11th interval, or should I do so only if specified explicitly by (C(#11), C13(#11))?

Thanks.

1

Some would say that an eleventh chord should include Root, 3, 5 7 9 and 11. This complicates things a tad more.

For a C11 for instance, it'll be C E G B D F ; Cm11 - C Eb G Bb D F, and Cdom11 - C E G Bb D F.

Because of potential clashes of certain notes, often the 3 and 5 are omitted. This then starts to sound more like a sus chord. It's sometimes written as Gm/C, as the top part is indeed a Gm(7) chord in its own right.

On a guitar or such like, where it's difficult to voice some chords to sound good, certainly the 5th would be left out, and if other players were present, I might even simply play a Gm on top of everything else the others play, for Cdom11 or Cm11. For C11, a G7 would work. So, it's going to be instrument dependent to a degree. On piano, there's more opportunity to spread out the notes, and perhaps use them all and still sound good.

The #11 (or #4) ought to be specified in the chord symbol or name, as it's not expressly part of a chord with just '11' in the name. It needs telling, and it's fun when you see C#11 - is it C (#11) or C# (11)? Been caught out a few times, although context should help.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.