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How to play the Bbmaj7#5 chord on guitar

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The Bbmaj7#5 chord

The Bbmaj7#5 chord, pronounced "B-flat major seventh sharp five", is a unique and intriguing harmony. This augmented seventh chord adds a sense of tension and sophistication to progressions. It's notably used in jazz, fusion, and experimental music to create an unsettled, mysterious atmosphere. The Bbmaj7#5 can be heard in songs like "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "Transition" by John Coltrane.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Bbmaj7#5 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Bbmaj7#5 chord

The Bbmaj7#5 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 6th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Bbmaj7#5 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings at the 6th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.

Strum all six strings together to play the Bbmaj7#5 chord. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to cleanly barre all the strings.

How to play an easy Bbmaj7#5 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bbmaj7#5 chord, try playing a regular Bb major chord instead. The major 7th and sharp 5th notes can be omitted without losing the basic chord quality. Focus on cleanly fretting the root, major 3rd and perfect 5th of the Bb major chord shape.

How to play a Bbmaj7#5 bar chord

The Bbmaj7#5 chord does not have a popular barre chord version that I am extremely confident about. Most standard chord reference sources do not list a common barre chord voicing for this uncommon chord. I apologize that I do not have accurate information to provide the requested instructions.

Common Bbmaj7#5 chord progressions

The Bbmaj7#5 chord adds a dreamy, ethereal quality to progressions, often creating a sense of floating or suspension. Some common chord progressions featuring the Bbmaj7#5 include:

  • I - IV - Bbmaj7#5 - V (Bb - Eb - Bbmaj7#5 - F)
  • vi - IV - Bbmaj7#5 - V (Gm - Eb - Bbmaj7#5 - F) Used in "Drops of Jupiter" by Train
  • ii - V - Bbmaj7#5 - I (Cm - F - Bbmaj7#5 - Bb)
  • iii - vi - Bbmaj7#5 - IV (Dm - Gm - Bbmaj7#5 - Eb)
  • IV - V - Bbmaj7#5 - vi (Eb - F - Bbmaj7#5 - Gm)

Drills to master the Bbmaj7#5 chord

To master the Bbmaj7#5 chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, starting with the root note (Bb) and ascending through the third (D), sharp fifth (F#), and seventh (A). Focus on clarity and precision as you play each note. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between the notes in different orders.

Another helpful drill is to play the chord as an arpeggio, plucking each note one at a time in ascending and descending order. This exercise will help you develop muscle memory and improve your ability to seamlessly transition between the notes of the chord.

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Songs that feature the Bbmaj7#5 chord

Here are 5 popular songs you can play with the Bbmaj7#5 chord.

  1. Giant Steps by John Coltrane (Bmaj7, D7, Gmaj7, Bb7, Ebmaj7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Bb7, Eb7, F#7, Bmaj7, Fm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7, C#m7, F#7)
  2. Countdown by John Coltrane (Bmaj7, D7, Gmaj7, Bb7, Ebmaj7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Bb7, Eb7, F#7, Bmaj7, Fm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7, C#m7, F#7)
  3. Satellite by John Coltrane (Bmaj7, Bbm7, Eb7, Amaj7, Abm7, Db7, Gmaj7, F#m7, B7)
  4. 26-2 by John Coltrane (Bmaj7, Bbm7, Eb7, Amaj7, Abm7, Db7, Gmaj7, Gbmaj7, B7, Emaj7)
  5. Wheelin' by John Coltrane (Bmaj7, Bbm7, Eb7, Amaj7, Abm7, Db7, Gmaj7, F#m7, B7)

How a guitar teacher can help

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