Been practicing 7th arpeggios for months now in all keys. And now I'd like to practice 9ths because I keep finding songs I like that have 9ths and even 11ths. But I feel like it'd be better to practice them all as opposed to keep adding notes to what I already know.

This is the practice I have in mind. In the scale of C major it'd look like:


and so on until you start back at the C note. Of'course you wouldn't really do this in the C major scale as it'd be too easy, but that's just an example of the pattern. So a "Chord Scale". This way you practice all chords (triads, 7ths, 9ths, 11ths, 13ths) and all notes in the scale at each pass. And do this for all the keys (C#, D, D#, etc.)

Is this an effective practice exercise, and what skills does it improve? Bonus points for references demonstrating whether it is an established practice bit.

  • I bet this at least has potential to be helpful, and my recommendation would be to also practice alterations on the extended chords (some of those aren't diatonic to any major scale).
    – user45266
    Feb 24, 2019 at 6:07
  • I've edited to rephrase the question in an attempt to keep it objective. The only problem with the question was simple to isolate, and I made sure that its only answer is still completely valid under the new question. If OP or others would like to see this rolled back, that is an option, but I don't believe this needs to be reverted and closed since it was so simple to edit it back into line with our policy.
    – user45266
    Sep 30, 2021 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


Jamey Abersold has a practice procedure similar to your diagrams. It includes playing up the chord to the 9th then back down the scale. You can find that on pages 9 and 17 in this PDF...


He only goes up to the 9th but you could probably adapt the idea to go up to the 13th, or try hitting just the extensions ascending up from the 7th to the 13th.

I think the Abersold stuff is very much centered on horns not piano so a lot of your choices will depend on how you handle the harmonic material over two hands.

Another thing to consider is common jazz voicings for these extended chords especially the 11th and 13th.

The way you have the scale in thirds rather than steps certainly will run through the extended chords, but I think it is more normal to play these chords with different inversions and omissions like with 'Evans' voicings or where 11th chords are given as sus4 chords and look more like stacked fourths.

That's just something to consider. A lot depends on style and the piano texture you want to use.

I personally have only practiced with stuff a small amount, and I only did these chord and scale ascending/descending patterns up to the 9th. My general impression of jazz - and I'm going out on a limb here - is past the 9th, 11th chords get treated more like stacked fourths and rather than true 13th chords add6 chords are the common thing.

The melodic approach in those two cases doesn't seem to involve arpeggiating the full 6 or 7 steps of the chord in thirds. It could still be a good exercises, but may not have a direct application for playing songs. Seems great for technical fingering, learning the whole keyboard, and developing the ear.

  • don't stop at 9ths. this 13th chord scale stuff has really been amazing and it's tough. it also helps with practicing modes.
    – user34288
    Feb 28, 2019 at 3:10

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