Practical difference between a 6 chord and a 13 chord when walking?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bass Momma, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Bass Momma

    Bass Momma

    Dec 25, 2017
    When walking to a chord chart, is there any practical difference in how I should treat a 6 chord or a 13 chord? (Asking for a friend who counts on her fingers and only has two hands )
    jchrisk1 likes this.
  2. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    C6 to me implies more of a triad sound. With a C13 the dominant 7 is implied as well. Truthfully unless I feel that that 13 is really supporting the melody, I read a C13 as C7
  3. C6 and C13 are not interchangeable. A C6 has a tight “Andrews Sisters” close harmony feel; a C13 has an extended jazz chord dissonant vibe.

    Either way, though, in jazz, our job is mostly to walk from root to root, so for me, I’d probably treat them no different.
  4. craigie

    craigie Guest

    Nov 11, 2015
    I agree with the above. You’re overthinking it for bass.

    I was wondering recently though for guitar whether to classify a chord as a 7#5 or b13......
    To me if the note is voiced below the 7 then it’s #5, above it’s b13.
    Bass Momma likes this.
  5. Although, technically a +5 chord doesn’t have the regular 5 in it, but the b13 would.
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  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    C6 = C E G A
    C13 = C E (G) Bb (D) (F) A
    (notes in parenthesis are optional)
  7. craigie

    craigie Guest

    Nov 11, 2015
    True except the b13 May be voiced without the 5.
  8. EarnestTBass


    Feb 3, 2015
    The same four notes that spell a 6 chord can be rearranged to spell another minor 7th chord.

    For example:
    C6 = C E G A
    Am7 = A C E G

    The root note will define the chord in these situations.
    This can be a useful piece of information when used intentionally.
    It can be a source of confusion when you have a chart prepared by someone who doesn't know the difference.

    Be aware that whether you play C or A as a root might define whether you have a major or minor tonality.
    I think it's the bass player's job to know the difference.
  9. IamGroot

    IamGroot Inactive

    Jan 18, 2018
    Listen to the melody and go from there. See Dreams post no. 3
  10. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    To me the C6 is a color chord. Typical rock and roll (50's sound for walking bass). The C13 is a different animal. As noted above you could generally expect that the b7 is somewhere in the sound and in a good number of cases it denotes some kind of bi-tonality, such as Bb7/C or Dm/C.... so that would mean (IMHO) to keep the root fairly present in your line.
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  11. Groove Master

    Groove Master Commercial User

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Easy: Over a C6 you can walk with the major scale and over the C13 you can walk with the dominant mixolydian scale. Now lets have a tons of replies that will say otherwise :-(
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    probably not. it may depend more on how many notes you have to play to get to the next change/challenge. but in a 13 chord: using the 7, 9, 11, and 13 can be cool if the music can stand it.
  13. It depends on context and style, but generally: C6 (C-E-G-A) = avoid the b7 (Bb). C13 (C-E-G-Bb-D-(F)-A) = include the b7 (Bb). (If it's a blues, do whatever you want).
    Wasnex and IamGroot like this.
  14. Then it would be a +(5). b13 can include perfect 5th, +(5) does not (in ordinary circumstances).
    craigie likes this.
  15. IamGroot

    IamGroot Inactive

    Jan 18, 2018
    Ask yourself why the C6 or C13 is being used and you will have your answer.
  16. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    pretty much what I do. Most extended chords are just 7th chords with extra notes.
    Play a dominant 7 pattern, don't clash with the extensions or melody in your passing tones.
    IamGroot and eJake like this.
  17. Spin Doctor

    Spin Doctor In Memoriam

    Nov 14, 2008
    Southern Maryland, USA
    Just do what Ron Carter said. "When walking play the letters, when soloing play the numbers."
  18. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    C13 is a 7th chord with extensions. C6 is a major chord. The 13th chord wants to resolve, the 6th doesn't neccasarilly resolve. The b7 in the 13th is the thing that changes everything. The tritone between the 3 and b7 is the juice that gives it the unsettled sound your ear wants to resolve.
  19. IamGroot

    IamGroot Inactive

    Jan 18, 2018
    Apologies for repeating what other posters have already said. See the sound gallery for clips of 13th chords.

    In modern pop/jazz harmony, after the dominant thirteenth, a thirteenth chord (usually notated as X13, e.g. C13) contains an implied flatted seventh interval. Thus, a C13 consists of C, E, G, B♭, and A. The underlying harmony during a thirteenth chord is usually Mixolydian or Lydian dominant (see chord-scale system). A thirteenth chord does not imply the quality of the ninth or eleventh scale degrees. In general, what gives a thirteenth chord its characteristic sound is the dissonance between the flat seventh and the thirteenth, an interval of a major seventh.

    Thirteenth - Wikipedia
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  20. Groove Master

    Groove Master Commercial User

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    This is WRONG. When notating extensions on a chord symbol, it implies all the extensions below by default. It is up to the musician to understand and voice properly by omitting the dissonance between the third and the eleven or the fifth and the b13 for example. BTW the major 7th IS NOT a dissonance but the minor ninth interval IS a dissonance and that IS the reason why we should avoid having a major third and an eleven within a chord.

    That is why it is important to understand the theory behind chord construction and their harmonic functions. We shouldn't have to indicate a symbol like this: C13(add9, no 11) for example
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