How to play

How to play the Emaj7#5 chord on guitar

Unlock the secrets of this jazzy chord, featured in hits like "Misty" and "Oleo."

The Emaj7#5 chord

The Emaj7#5 chord, pronounced "E major seven sharp five", is a unique and somewhat uncommon guitar voicing. This chord is built on an E major triad with an added major seventh and a raised fifth, giving it a distinctively bright and slightly dissonant sound. The Emaj7#5 is occasionally used in jazz, fusion, and progressive rock to add harmonic complexity and tension to compositions.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Emaj7#5 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Emaj7#5 chord

The Emaj7#5 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 7th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Emaj7#5 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 7th fret, forming 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.

Strum all six strings together to play the Emaj7#5 chord, making sure each note rings out clearly.

How to play an easy Emaj7#5 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Emaj7#5 chord, try playing an open E chord (022100) and adding your pinky on the 3rd fret of the 2nd (B) string. This simplified version still captures the essence of the Emaj7#5 chord without the complexity of the barre chord.

How to play a Emaj7#5 bar chord

Playing the barre chord version of Emaj7#5 can be a great way to add a fuller, richer sound to your guitar playing, especially when playing with other musicians.

Here's how to play a Emaj7#5 bar chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 7th fret, covering all six strings (barring).
  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 6th (low E) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Emaj7#5 chord progressions

The Emaj7#5 chord, also known as the Emaj7+5 or Eaug(maj7), adds a sense of tension and ambiguity to chord progressions, often creating a dreamy or unresolved emotional feel. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the Emaj7#5:

  • I - IV - Imaj7#5 - IV (E - A - Emaj7#5 - A)
  • Imaj7 - Imaj7#5 - I7 - IV (Emaj7 - Emaj7#5 - E7 - A)
  • I - Imaj7#5 - vi - V (E - Emaj7#5 - C#m - B)
  • ii - V - Imaj7#5 - vi (F#m - B - Emaj7#5 - C#m)
  • Imaj7#5 - vi - ii - V (Emaj7#5 - C#m - F#m - B) Used in "Michelle" by The Beatles

Drills to master the Emaj7#5 chord

To master the Emaj7#5 chord, try playing the individual notes (E, G#, B#, D#) one at a time, focusing on each note's clarity. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between the notes in different orders.

Another helpful drill is to play the chord in various rhythmic patterns, such as quarter notes, eighth notes, or a combination of both. This will help develop muscle memory and improve your ability to switch to the Emaj7#5 chord smoothly while playing songs.

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Songs that feature the Emaj7#5 chord

Here are 6 popular songs you can play with the Emaj7#5 chord.

  1. Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra (Am7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, F7, Bm7(b5), E7, A7, Dm7, G7, Em7, A7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, F7, Fm7, Bb7, Emaj7#5, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Emaj7#5, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, F#m7(b5), B7(b9))
  2. Georgia on My Mind by Ray Charles (F, Dm7, G7, C, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Emaj7#5, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, C, Dm, C)
  3. Girl from Ipanema by Antonio Carlos Jobim (F, G7, Gm7, Gb7, F, Emaj7#5, F#m7, B7, Emaj7#5, C7, F)
  4. Misty by Erroll Garner (Eb, Bbm7, Eb7, Abmaj7, Dm7(b5), G7, Cmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, F#m7(b5), B7, Emaj7#5, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, C7, Fmaj7, Fm7, Bb7, Emaj7#5, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, C7, Fmaj7)
  5. My Funny Valentine by Richard Rodgers (Em7, A7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, Bm7(b5), E7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Emaj7#5, A7, Dm7, G7, E7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Bm7(b5), E7, Am7, D7, G7)
  6. Stella by Starlight by Victor Young (Gmaj7, Dm7, G7, Cmaj7, F#m7(b5), B7, Emaj7#5, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, F#m7, B7, Em7, Gm7, C7, Fmaj7, Bb7, Emaj7#5, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, C7, Fmaj7)

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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