How to play

How to play the Emaj13 chord on guitar

Unlock the dreamy sound heard in "Wonderwall" and "Stairway to Heaven".

The Emaj13 chord

The Emaj13 chord, pronounced "E major thirteenth," is a sophisticated and harmonically rich voicing that adds a touch of jazz-influenced complexity to any progression. Notable for its inclusion of the 7th and 13th scale degrees, this chord often appears in jazz, fusion, and R&B contexts. Its lush, expansive sound can elevate a simple melody or provide a captivating backdrop for improvisation.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Emaj13 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Emaj13 chord

The most popular way to play the Emaj13 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 7th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Emaj13 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 7th fret of the 1st (high E), 2nd (B), 3rd (G), 4th (D), 5th (A), and 6th (low E) strings, forming a barre chord.
  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, start from the 6th (low E) string and strum downwards, making sure to include all six strings in your strumming motion.

How to play an easy Emaj13 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Emaj13 chord, try playing an E major chord (022100) and adding your pinky finger on the 4th fret of the 4th (D) string. This will give you a basic Emaj13 sound without the complexity of the full barre chord shape.

How to play a Emaj13 bar chord

The Emaj13 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 creating a fuller sound.

Here's how to play an Emaj13 barre chord:

  1. Barre your index finger across the 7th fret, covering all six strings.
  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 all six strings from low to high.

Common Emaj13 chord progressions

The Emaj13 chord adds a dreamy, jazzy quality to progressions, creating a sophisticated and slightly melancholic atmosphere. Some common chord progressions featuring Emaj13 include:

  • I - vi - ii - V (Emaj13 - C#m7 - F#m7 - B7)
  • ii - V - I (F#m7 - B7 - Emaj13)
  • iii - VI - ii - V (G#m7 - C#7 - F#m7 - B7) Used in "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder
  • I - IV - V (Emaj13 - Amaj7 - B7)
  • vi - ii - V - I (C#m7 - F#m7 - B7 - Emaj13)

Drills to master the Emaj13 chord

To master the Emaj13 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Once comfortable, play the notes in pairs, such as E and G#, then B and D#, followed by F# and C#. Experiment with different combinations to develop finger strength and dexterity.

Next, practice strumming the chord while switching between Emaj13 and other chords like Emaj7 or E7. This will help you transition smoothly between chords in songs. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more confident with the fingering and transitions.

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Songs that feature the Emaj13 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Emaj13 chord.

  1. Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder (Emaj13, C#m7, F#13, B13, G#m7)
  2. Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon (Emaj13, Emaj7, A, E/G#, C#m7, F#m7, Bm7, Dmaj13)
  3. Peg by Steely Dan (Emaj13, C#m7, A13, G#m7, F#m7, B13)
  4. Lido Shuffle by Boz Scaggs (Emaj13, C#m7, A13, B13, G#m7, F#m7)
  5. Captain Marvel by Chick Corea (Emaj13, D#m7, G#7, C#m7, F#7, B7, Bbm7, Eb7)
  6. The Nightfly by Donald Fagen (Emaj13, F#m7, B7, C#m7, G#7, A13)
  7. Deacon Blues by Steely Dan (Emaj13, C#m7, F#m7, B7, A13, G#m7)
  8. Josie by Steely Dan (Emaj13, C#m7, G#7, A13, B13, F#m7)
  9. I Got The News by Steely Dan (Emaj13, C#m7, F#m7, B7, A13, G#m7)
  10. Hey Nineteen by Steely Dan (Emaj13, C#m7, G#7, A13, B13, F#m7)

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.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

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