C6th Chords for Lap Steel

Key of C
 

MAJOR

C Major Chords
 
E___0___________3___12_____________15___8__________________________
C___0___0___________12___12________________________________________
A___________3___3_____________15___15___7___10_____________________
G___0___0___________12___12_________________9______________________
E_______0___3____________12___15____________8______________________
C#__________3___3_____________15___15_______7 (if 6th string is C)_
 
 

MINOR

 
C Minor Chords
 
E_______3___8________15___20______________________________________
C___3___3___7___15___15___19______________________________________
A___3___3___6___15___15___18______________________________________
G_________________________________________________________________
E___3___________15________________________________________________
C#________________________________________________________________
 
 

AUGMENTED

 
E___0___4___8___12___16___20 (repeats every 4 frets)______________
C___0___4___8___12___16___20______________________________________
A_______3___7___11___15___19______________________________________
G___1_____________________________________________________________
E_________________________________________________________________
C#________________________________________________________________

 

DIMINISHED

 
E_________________________________________________________________
C____0___3___6___9___12___15___18 (repeats every 3 frets)_________
A____0___3___6___9___12___15___18_________________________________
G________2___5___8___11___14___17_________________________________
E____2____________________________________________________________
C#___2____________________________________________________________

 

DOMINANT 7TH

 
E___0_______________8___12________________________________________
C___0_______4___7_________________________________________________
A___1___3_______7___7___13___7____________________________________
G___0___3___5________________7____________________________________
E___0___3___6___6___6________6____________________________________
C#______3_________________________________________________________
 
Tune 6th note (bass string) to C# for a dominant A7th open strum (fret zero), and to Bb for a C7. 
Adding the A note (3rd string) with a Bb on bottom gives you a nice C13th chord. Most Hawaiian 
players today are using 8-strings tuned to C13th (E, C, A, G, E ,C, Bb, C), often referred to as C6th + 7th. 
 
Using Bb gives you a true Dominant C7th chord alongside your C6th chord; whereas using C# you have to move 
the bar up 3 frets to obtain a C7th chord. There are pros and cons to either tuning.

6th

 
E____0____12____24________________________________________________
C____0____12____24________________________________________________
A____0____12____24________________________________________________
G____0____12____24________________________________________________
E____0____12____24________________________________________________
C#________________________________________________________________

 

9TH

 
E___10____________________________________________________________
C___10___14___2___________________________________________________
A________13___1___________________________________________________
G___9_____________________________________________________________
E________12___0___________________________________________________
C#________________________________________________________________

 

13TH

 
E____0___12_______________________________________________________
C____0___12_______________________________________________________
A____0___12_______________________________________________________
G____0___12____*Notice the Bb on the 6th string, which is the 7th_
E____0___12_____note in the chord, and A is the 13th______________
Bb___0___12_______________________________________________________

 

RELATIVE MINOR

 
E___0____12____5____17____________________________________________
C___0____12____4____16____0___12__________________________________
A___0____12____3____15____0___12__________________________________
G_________________________________________________________________
E_________________________0___12__________________________________
C#________________________________________________________________

 

DEMENTED CHORD

 
E_________________________________________________________________
C____2___*actually it's a nifty way of playing a diminished_______
A_________chord. I use it a lot. It's not considered musically____
G____1____correct, since there's no way to rest the bar exactly___
E____1____over both strings 5 and 6. I move the bar up into the___
C#________chord and then down, keeping it moving. It sounds great!

 

Csus4

 
E_________________________________________________________________
C____7____________________________________________________________
A____8____________________________________________________________
G_________________________________________________________________
E_________________________________________________________________
B_________________________________________________________________

 

Making Chords is Easy!

Chord structure diagram:
 

           HALF-STEPS: |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  | 
TRIADS
    major (no symbol): 1  .  .  . M3  .  . p5  .  .  .  . (1)
                    m: 1  .  . m3  .  .  . p5  .  .  .  . (1)
                  dim: 1  .  . m3  .  . d5  .  .  .  .  . (1)
                  aug: 1  .  .  . M3  .  .  . a5  .  .  . (1)
SEVENTHS         
                 maj7: 1  .  .  . M3  .  . p5  .  .  . M7 (1)
               (dom)7: 1  .  .  . M3  .  . p5  .  . m7  . (1)
                   m7: 1  .  .  m3 .  .  . p5  .  . m7 .  (1)
              m(maj7): 1  .  .  m3 .  .  . p5  .  .  . M7 (1)
                 m7b5: 1  .  .  m3 .  . d5  .  .  . m7  . (1)
                 dim7: 1  .  .  m3 .  . d5  .  . d7  .  . (1)

M = major
m = minor
p = perfect
d = diminished
a = augmented
red = non-standard intervals referred to in symbol

Those are the 6 basic 7th chord types in music.

Explanation of the Dominant 7th Chord

The Tricky to Understand Dominant 7th Chord

The “Dominant 7th” chord name comes from the fact that it occurs naturally in the seventh chord built upon the dominant (i.e. the fifth degree) of a given major diatonic scale. This chord chart below is very helpful to logic out this statement. In any music scale, the 1st note is called the “tonic,” the 4th note is called the “sub-dominant,” and the 5th note is called the “dominant.” That's just music terminology. I've highlighted the “5,” i.e., the dominant note, for simplicity below.

It's very simple, but took me a loooong time to figure out. There's no easy way to explain this. Let's consider E9th pedal steel. Your 9th note is a D, which is a Dominant 7th. Now D is NOT naturally occurring in the key of E, so you have to flat the 7th note (D#) to make it a Dominant 7th. So why is it called a Dominant 7th? It's because the D note DOES occur naturally in the scale of E if you begin the scale on the Dominant (or 5th) note of the key of A. Since the flatted 7th note occurs naturally when built upon the 5th (Dominant) note of a scale, it only makes sense to call it a Dominant 7th.

Here's another way to illustrate. The chord of E dominant 7th is: E - G# - B - D. Take a look below at the key of A. The 5th note (Dominant note) is E. If you structure the 7th chord after the 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 pattern, then starting at the 5th note in the key of A you have: E - G# - B - D; and the D note is NATURALLY occurring here. You didn't have to flatten the D# like you do in a scale that begins with the Tonic (1st note). This is the meaning of the Dominant 7th chord. It naturally occurs only if you build the scale beginning on the 5th note (called the Dominant) in any particular scale.

So in simplest terms, if you begin any scale on the Tonic (1st Note), you're going to have to flat the 7th note if you want to obtain a Dominant 7th. But if you begin the scale on the Dominant (5th note), then you will find a naturally occurring flatted 7th and not have to alter it. This is why a 7th note is called "Dominant," because it naturally occurs in any scale that begins upon the 5th note of a scale.

In short, a scale starting on the 5th (Dominant) note of any scale will produce a naturally flatted 7th note if you build using the 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 structure. Of course, 1 - 3 - 5 in any scale is a major chord. And then you're adding the 7th. Scales built starting from the Tonic (1st note) will produce a Major 7th chord. Scales built starting from the Dominant (5th note) will produce a Dominant 7th chord.

Hence, in the key of C, Hawaiian players commonly use the C Dominant 7th chord (that is, tuning your bottom string to a Bb note). The C Dominant 7th chord occurs naturally in the scale of F, when structured beginning from the 5th note (Dominant note). The Dominant 7th is one of my favorite chords on steel guitar.

Music Chord Structures

  1 (Tonic)   3 4 (sub dominant) 5 (Dominant) 6 7
Key of C: C D E F G A B
Key of A: A B C# D E F# G#
Key of Bb Bb C D Eb F G A
Key of B: B C# D# E F# G# A#
Key of C: C D E F G A B
Key of C# C# D# F F# G# A# C
Key of D: D E F# G A B C#
Key of Eb Eb F G Ab Bb C D
Key of E: E F# G# A B C# D#
Key of F: F G A Bb C D E
Key of F#: F# G# A# B C# D# F
Key of G: G A B C D E F#
Key of G# G# A# C C# D# F G

 

Major triad chords for Steel guitar

Triads are chords containing three notes: the root, third and fifth. For example: C major consists of the notes C, E and G.
 

Minor triad chords for Steel guitar

Triads are chords containing three notes: the root, third and fifth. Minor triads are similar to major triads except for a minor third. For example: C minor consists of the notes C, Eb and G.
 

6th chords for Steel guitar

The 6th chords are identical to the major triad, but with an additional sixth. For example: C6 consists of the notes C, E, G and A.
 

Augmented chords for Steel guitar

The augmented chord is similar to a major triad, but with a raised fifth. Thus, the augmented chord is made up of two major thirds stacked on top of one another. For example: C major consists of the notes C, E and G#.
 

m7b5 chords for Steel guitar

The m7b5 chord is similar to a minor seventh, but with a lowered fifth. For example: Cm7b5 consists of the notes C, Eb, Gb and Bb.
 

7th chords for Steel guitar

The 7th chords are chords made up of a major triad plus a minor seventh, also known as dominant seventh chords. For example: C7 consists of the notes C, E, G and Bb.
 

9th chords for Steel guitar

The 9th chords are chords made up of a major triad plus a seventh and a ninth. A full 9th chord consists of five notes, but sometimes the fifth or third are left out. For example: C9 consists of the notes C, E, G, Bb and D.

 

Minor 7th chords for Steel guitar

The minor seventh chord is a minor triad plus a minor seventh. For example: Cm7 consists of the notes C, Eb, G and Bb.
 

7#5 chords for Steel guitar

The 7#5 chord is similar to the regular seventh chord, but with a raised fifth. For example: C7#5 consists of the notes C, E, G# and Bb.
 

7#9 chords for Steel guitar

The 7#9 chord is similar to the seventh chord, but with an additional raised ninth. The raised ninth is identical to the minor third, which means that the 7#9 contains both the major and the minor third. For example: C7#9 consists of the notes C, E, G, Bb and D#.
 

m9 chords for Steel guitar

The minor ninth chord is a minor triad plus a seventh and a ninth. For example: Cm9 consists of the notes C, Eb, G, Bb and D.
 

maj7 chords for Steel guitar

The maj7 chord is a major triad plus a major seventh (maj7 = major seventh). For example: Cmaj7 consists of the notes C, E, G and B.
 

add9 chords for Steel guitar

The add9 chord is a major triad with an additional ninth. Unlike the regular 9th chord, the add9 has no seventh. For example: Cadd9 consists of the notes C, E, G and D.
 

13th chords for Steel guitar

A full 13th chord is made up of seven notes. That is a major triad plus a seventh, ninth, eleventh and the 13th. Since this is impossible to play on a six-string steel guitar, the fifth and the third are often left out (and sometimes even the root). For example: A C13th consists of the notes C, E, G, Bb, D, F and A.
 

Diminished 7th chords for Steel guitar

The dim7 (diminished seventh) is made up of a diminished triad (i.e. a minor triad with a lowered fifth) and a diminished seventh interval. The diminished seventh interval is a minor seventh that has been lowered a half note (identical to a straightforward sixth). In other words, the diminished seventh is constructed by putting four minor thirds on top of each other. For example: Cdim7 consists of the notes C, Eb, Gb and Bbb (In this example, the diminished seventh interval is written as "Bbb", not as "A").
 

Suspended (sus) chords for Steel guitar

Sus4 chords have no third, which is "suspended" (sus = suspended) and replaced by a fourth. A variant of the sus-chord is the sus2, where the third is replaced with a second. The sus-chords are neither major nor minor chords. For example: Csus4 consists of the notes C, F and G.


Music Chord Structures

  1   3   5 6                7  
Key of C: C D E F G A B C
Key of A: A B C# D E F# G# A
Key of Bb Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
Key of B: B C# D# E F# G# A# B
Key of C: C D E F G A B C
Key of C# C# D# F F# G# A# C C#
Key of D: D E F# G A B C# D
Key of Eb Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Key of E: E F# G# A B C# D# E
Key of F: F G A Bb C D E F
Key of F#: F# G# A# B C# D# F F#
Key of G: G A B C D E F# G

 


Here's a few .JPG images that I made with Microsoft Publisher, showing the individual notes per fret on the C6th tuning. I made various charts for the different C6th tunings, so you can copy the one(s) you like to your desktop or website. Please feel free to copy anything from my website. I want to share freely with others. The following charts will help you figure out different chords on the various frets. I think it's a very helpful tool for steel guitarists. The C6th tuning is excellent because of it's broad chord availabilities. These charts will work well with the preceding chord information.

 

 

And always remember to C# or you'll Bb!
 



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