How to play

How to play the Abmaj13 chord on guitar

Unleash the dreamy sound of Steely Dan's "Josie" and elevate your playing.

The Abmaj13 chord

The Abmaj13 chord, pronounced "A flat major thirteenth," is a rich and complex harmony that adds a sophisticated flavor to any musical arrangement. Notable for its lush and expansive sound, this chord is often used in jazz, R&B, and neo-soul genres to create a dreamy atmosphere. Prominent examples of its usage can be found in songs by artists like Erykah Badu and D'Angelo.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Abmaj13 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Abmaj13 chord

The most common way to play the Abmaj13 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 4th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Abmaj13 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across the 4th fret, covering all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 6th fret of the 1st (high E) string.

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to play all six strings in a downward motion, starting from the lowest (thickest) string to the highest (thinnest) string.

How to play an easy Abmaj13 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Abmaj13 chord, try playing an Ab major triad on the 4th fret. Barre your index finger across the 4th fret, place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string, and your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 5th (A) string.

How to play a Abmaj13 bar chord

The Abmaj13 chord is typically played as an open chord, but learning the barre chord version can be useful for playing in different positions on the fretboard or for incorporating into chord progressions.

Here's how to play an Abmaj13 barre chord:

  1. Barre your index finger across the 4th fret, covering all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 6th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Abmaj13 chord progressions

The Abmaj13 chord adds a dreamy, jazzy feel to progressions, creating a sense of sophistication and emotional depth. Some common chord progressions featuring Abmaj13 include:

  • I - vi - ii - V (Abmaj13 - Fm7 - Bbm7 - Eb7)
  • ii - V - I (Bbm7 - Eb7 - Abmaj13)
  • I - IV - iii - vi (Abmaj13 - Dbmaj7 - Cm7 - Fm7)
  • iii - VI - ii - V (Cm7 - Fmaj7 - Bbm7 - Eb7) Used in "Girl from Ipanema"
  • I - vi - IV - V (Abmaj13 - Fm7 - Dbmaj7 - Eb7)

Drills to master the Abmaj13 chord

To master the Abmaj13 chord, start by playing the notes individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Once comfortable, practice transitioning smoothly between each note in the chord.

Next, try playing the chord in different rhythmic patterns, such as quarter notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes. Experiment with various strumming and fingerpicking techniques to add depth and texture to the chord. Incorporating the Abmaj13 into chord progressions and songs will help you develop fluency and familiarity with its sound and application.

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Songs that feature the Abmaj13 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Abmaj13 chord.

  1. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (Chords: Abmaj13, Db/Ab, Fm7, Bbm7, Eb7sus4, Dm7, G7, C)
  2. Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder (Chords: Gbmaj7, Abmaj13, Bbm7, Eb9)
  3. Baby I'm Scared of You by Womack & Womack (Chords: Ebmaj7, Abmaj13, Db/F, Fm7, Bb13, Eb6/G)
  4. Wait for Love by Luther Vandross (Chords: Ebmaj7, Dm7, Abmaj13, Db/F)
  5. The Makings of You by Curtis Mayfield (Chords: Abmaj13, Bbm7, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7, Eb6)
  6. Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You) by Stevie Wonder (Chords: Fm7, Abmaj13, Db/F, Cm7, F7, Bbm7, Eb7sus4, Ab6/9)
  7. Bad Habit by Terrace Martin (Chords: Abmaj13, Db/F, Bbm7, Eb9)
  8. Love's in Need of Love Today by Stevie Wonder (Chords: Cm7, Abmaj13, Bb7, Gm7, C7)
  9. Too High by Stevie Wonder (Chords: C#m7, Emaj7, Abmaj13, B7, F#m7)
  10. Golden Lady by Stevie Wonder (Chords: Cm7, Fm7, Abmaj13, Db/F, Bb7, Eb6)

How a guitar teacher can help

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