I. Intro to Chords

II. Triads and Inversions

III. Sus Chords

IV. Sixth Chords

V. Seventh Chords

VI. Extensions

VII. Add chords and Alterations

VIII. Bass and Polychords

IX. Modern and Chromatic Chords



Part IV: Sixth Chords


These chords have a very different sound to them than major and minor. They are somewhat dissonant to a degree, but add amazing color to the harmony if applied correctly. These chords, as well as suspensions can be substituted in chord progressions for their triadic equivalents to add more specialization to the sound.


In particular, there are two elementary types of 6th chords: The major 6th and the minor sixth.


A major sixth is composed of: 1, 3, 5, and 6th degrees of the scale. For example, Cmaj6 (usually notated C6) is:



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1




A minor sixth is composed of: 1, b3, 5, and 6th degrees of the scale. For example, Cmin6 (usually notated Cm6) is:


C Eb G A


Remember that the difference between major and minor triads is a flatted third. Well this remains the same with sixth chords. To get a minor sixth chord, flat the third of the major sixth chord. In this case we have produced Cm6.


Augmented Sixth chords are borrowed chords from different keys and will be covered in section X. Also, 6th chords are a form of triad inversion and the real importance behind this will also be explained and demonstrated in the same section.