I did a search for the minor 6 chord and I found that this refers to the minor triad with an added major 6th interval (or 13th rather). I am studying a song that has a minor triad with a minor 13th interval. What do you call this chord?

  • What song is it? It shouldn't violate the rules, as the question isn't asking specifically about a song. Perhaps a copy of the page will help.
    – Tim
    Dec 12 '17 at 9:08
  • It is Fix you by coldplay. i could share a snippet but how do I upload images with my posts? The progression according to the tab book I own is Eb Gm Cm7 Bb which is pretty standard but then below there is a piano arrangement which shows the second chord to be a Gm6 (the 6th is a minor 6th) with the notes (G Bb D Eb)
    – armani
    Dec 12 '17 at 16:12
  • Reckon that makes it Ebmaj7/G, as alluded to in my answer.
    – Tim
    Dec 12 '17 at 16:23

It's quite happy being a m6, with the major 6th note just above the P5 - as in A C E F#. It doesn't have to be 13, in fact it usually isn't. Flatten the major 6 to an Fn, and the notes are A C E F. It's not an A minor derivative now, but an Fmaj7. With the A as its lowest note, it's known as Fmaj7/A. The first inversion of Fmaj7.

  • I dwelt for awhile on your first sentence about the chord being "happy" as a m6. Did you mean, in reference to the song; that an m6 would have been as suitable as the ^7 as you described?
    – Greg
    Dec 12 '17 at 13:40
  • @Greg - Didn't mean it sounds happy! Said it is happy being a m6, even rather than a m13, neither of which is ever a substitute for maj7 anyway! Look at the notes involved - Eb G Bb D making it Ebmaj7/G...pretty well as I said, in another key.
    – Tim
    Dec 12 '17 at 16:18
  • makes sense, I wonder why my tab book says Gminor then when the notes on the staff below are G Bb D Eb
    – armani
    Dec 12 '17 at 16:22
  • A lot of tab writers may well be fine guitarists, but still on the way to becoming conversant with the theory, and how certain things are portrayed. Could the author be one? G Bb D =Gm, but without the Eb.
    – Tim
    Dec 12 '17 at 16:42
  • @Tim The book is supposed to be official sheet music for the song and there is apiano arrangement with chord boxes. When I said "tab" I was incorrect. So what chord would the Gminor turn into if the Eb note was added considering that that we are in Eb major and that the Gminor chord is the iii chord.
    – armani
    Dec 12 '17 at 19:58

The chord symbol for a minor triad with an added minor 6th would be Xm(♭6), where X is the chord root.

This requires that X is truly the root of the chord. Otherwise, as Tim explained, it's an inversion of a maj7 chord.

For the chord to be considered a 13th chord, it would be implied that the chordal 7th is present. [C E♭ G A♭] would be Cm(♭6); whereas, [C E♭ G B♭ A♭] would be Cm7(♭13).

The main distinction between a m(♭6) chord and an inverted maj7 chord is the point of stability. Given [C E♭ G A♭], if the C is the stable pitch, then the chord is Cm(♭6); if the A♭ is stable, then it's A♭maj7/C.

Domenico Scarlatti uses m(♭6) chords in his Sonata in C Major, K502.

measures 82–84: See beat 3 of measures 82 and 84 [A C E F]

Scarlatti K502 mm. 82-84

measure 88: See beat 3 [G B♭ D E♭]

Scarlatti K502 m. 88


  • Thanks Aaron, in the sonata example, in bar 82, why do you say that is Amb6 and not Fmaj7 6/5? you mention "stable" pitches, but in C major A is not a stable tone is it? It would be the 6th degree.
    – armani
    May 22 at 7:12
  • @armani The local context of the chord is A minor rather than C major. Similarly in the G minor example, we've temporarily left C major. Note that the other right-hand notes outline A minor and G minor, respectively, and in measure 83, we have the dominant of A minor.
    – Aaron
    May 22 at 8:28

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