How to play

How to play the Bmaj13 chord on guitar

Unlock the jazzy sound of Steely Dan's "Peg" and "Josie" with this essential chord.

The Bmaj13 chord

The Bmaj13 chord, pronounced "B major thirteenth," is a complex and harmonically rich guitar chord. It extends the basic B major triad with additional notes, creating a lush and sophisticated sound. This chord is commonly used in jazz, fusion, and R&B music to add depth and color to progressions. Notable songs featuring Bmaj13 include "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder and "Neon" by John Mayer.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Bmaj13 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Bmaj13 chord

The Bmaj13 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 7th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Bmaj13 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings at the 7th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to strum down across all six strings in one smooth motion.

How to play an easy Bmaj13 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bmaj13 chord, try playing a B major barre chord at the 7th fret and adding your pinky on the 9th fret of the 2nd (B) string. This voicing captures the essential notes of the Bmaj13 chord without the added complexity.

How to play a Bmaj13 bar chord

The Bmaj13 chord is most commonly played as an open chord, but playing it as a barre chord can be useful when you need a higher voicing or want to easily transition between chords.

Here's how to play a Bmaj13 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 7th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down.

Common Bmaj13 chord progressions

The Bmaj13 chord adds a dreamy, jazzy texture to progressions, creating a sophisticated and contemplative emotional atmosphere. Some common chord progressions featuring Bmaj13 include:

  • I - Imaj7 - Imaj13 - IV (B - Bmaj7 - Bmaj13 - E)
  • ii - V13 - Imaj7 - Imaj13 (C#m7 - F#13 - Bmaj7 - Bmaj13)
  • iii - vi - ii - Vmaj13 (D#m7 - G#m7 - C#m7 - F#maj13)
  • Imaj7 - III7 - vi7 - Vmaj13 (Bmaj7 - D#7 - G#m7 - F#maj13)
  • ii - V - Imaj13 - vi (C#m7 - F#7 - Bmaj13 - G#m7) Used in "Stardust" and "Alone Together"

Drills to master the Bmaj13 chord

To master the Bmaj13 chord, start by playing the individual notes (B, D#, F#, A#, C#, G#) one at a time. Focus on cleanly fretting and picking each note, ensuring they ring out clearly. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between the notes in different orders.

Next, try playing the notes together as a chord. Strum the chord, letting all the notes ring out simultaneously. Experiment with different strumming patterns and rhythms to get a feel for the chord's sound. Regularly return to playing the individual notes to maintain precision and clarity.

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Songs that feature the Bmaj13 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Bmaj13 chord.

  1. Wonderwall by Oasis (Chords: Em7, G, Dmaj7, Bmaj13)
  2. Creep by Radiohead (Chords: G, B, C, Cm)
  3. Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Chords: D, F#m, Bmaj13, G, A, Em)
  4. Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix (Chords: Em7, G, Am, Bm7, Cmaj7, Bmaj13)
  5. The Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix (Chords: Cm7, Bmaj13, Am7, G7)
  6. She's Electric by Oasis (Chords: C#m7, F#m7, A, B, Bmaj13)
  7. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day (Chords: G, Cadd9, D, Bmaj13)
  8. Gypsy Eyes by Jimi Hendrix (Chords: Bmaj13, Em7, F#7, G#m7)
  9. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by The Darkness (Chords: E, G#, C#m, Bmaj13)
  10. Bold as Love by John Mayer (Chords: Gmaj7, Bm7, Bmaj13, Em7)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

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