How to play

How to play the Ebmaj7#5 chord on guitar

Unlock the secrets of this jazzy chord, heard in hits like "Stella by Starlight."

The Ebmaj7#5 chord

The Ebmaj7#5 chord, pronounced "E flat major seventh sharp five", is a captivating and unconventional guitar chord. Notable for its haunting and enigmatic sound, this chord adds an intriguing layer of complexity to jazz, fusion, and progressive rock genres. While rarely used in popular music, the Ebmaj7#5 can be heard in songs by artists like Steely Dan and Frank Zappa, adding a unique harmonic twist.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Ebmaj7#5 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Ebmaj7#5 chord

The most common way to play an Ebmaj7#5 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 6th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play an Ebmaj7#5 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 6th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd (B) 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.

How to play an easy Ebmaj7#5 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Ebmaj7#5 chord, try playing an Eb major triad on the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings. Place your index finger on the 6th fret of the 4th (D) string, middle finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string, and ring finger on the 8th fret of the 6th (low E) string.

How to play a Ebmaj7#5 bar chord

Playing the Ebmaj7#5 chord as a barre chord can be a great way to add variety to your playing and explore different voicings up and down the neck.

Here's how to play an Ebmaj7#5 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 6th fret, barring all the strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  4. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 1st (high E) string.
  5. Strum from the 6th (low E) string down.

Common Ebmaj7#5 chord progressions

The Ebmaj7#5 chord adds a dreamy, ethereal quality to progressions, often evoking feelings of wonder, transcendence, or even a hint of nostalgia. Some common chord progressions featuring this unique chord include:

  • I - IV - Ebmaj7#5 - V (Eb - Ab - Ebmaj7#5 - Bb)
  • vi - IV - Ebmaj7#5 - V (Cm - Ab - Ebmaj7#5 - Bb)
  • ii - V - Ebmaj7#5 - I (Fm - Bb - Ebmaj7#5 - Eb)
  • iii - vi - Ebmaj7#5 - IV (Gm - Cm - Ebmaj7#5 - Ab)
  • Ebmaj7#5 - vi - IV - V (Ebmaj7#5 - Cm - Ab - Bb)

Drills to master the Ebmaj7#5 chord

To master the Ebmaj7#5 guitar chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Start with the lowest note (Eb) and work your way up to the highest (D). Once you can play each note cleanly, practice transitioning between them smoothly.

Another effective drill is to practice the chord in different rhythmic patterns. Start with simple quarter notes, then try eighth notes, triplets, and more complex rhythms. This will help develop your timing and coordination when playing the Ebmaj7#5 chord in various musical contexts.

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Songs that feature the Ebmaj7#5 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Ebmaj7#5 chord.

  1. Breathe by Pink Floyd (Em, A, Ebmaj7#5, Cmaj7)
  2. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, G, Ebmaj7#5, C, D, FM7)
  3. Summer Highland Falls by Billy Joel (Ebmaj7#5, Amaj7, Abm7, Dbmaj7)
  4. Calling Elvis by Dire Straits (Ebmaj7#5, B7, Bb7, A7)
  5. Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson (Cm7, Ebmaj7#5, Fm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7)
  6. Steppin' Out by Joe Jackson (Ebmaj7#5, C#m7, F#m7, B7, A)
  7. Diary of Horace Wimp by Electric Light Orchestra (Em, Ebmaj7#5, A, Am, D)
  8. Lady Madonna by The Beatles (A, D, A/C#, Bm, Ebmaj7#5, Esus4, E)
  9. Perfect Way by Scritti Politti (Ebmaj7#5, Gb, Abm, Bb7sus4, Bb7)
  10. Love on Top by Beyoncé (Ebmaj7#5, G#m7, C#m7, F#7)

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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