How to play

How to play the Eb11 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this jazzy chord, as heard in "Moondance" and "Isn't She Lovely."

The Eb11 chord

The Eb11 chord, pronounced "E flat eleventh," is a sophisticated and jazzy chord that adds depth and complexity to guitar playing. Notable for its rich, expansive sound, the Eb11 is often used in jazz, funk, and R&B music to create lush harmonies and smooth progressions. While it may seem challenging at first, mastering the Eb11 can open up new creative possibilities for guitarists.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Eb11 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Eb11 chord

The Eb11 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 6th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play an Eb11 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 6th fret, creating a barre.
  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.

To strum this chord, place your pick or thumb near the center of the strings and strum downward, ensuring that all notes ring out clearly.

How to play an easy Eb11 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Eb11 chord, try playing an Eb barre chord at the 6th fret and adding your pinky finger to the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string. This will give you a similar sound without the added complexity of the full Eb11 chord shape.

How to play a Eb11 bar chord

Playing the Eb11 chord as a barre chord can be a great way to add a full, rich sound to your guitar playing. It's a bit more challenging than the standard open chord version, but with practice, you'll be able to play it smoothly and easily.

Here's how to play an Eb11 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 6th fret, creating a barre.
  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.
  5. Strum all six strings from the low E string to the high E string.

Common Eb11 chord progressions

The Eb11 chord is often used to add a jazzy, sophisticated flavor to progressions, creating a sense of tension and resolution. Some common chord progressions featuring the Eb11 chord include:

  • I - IV - V7 - Eb11 (Eb - Ab - Bb7 - Eb11)
  • ii - V7 - I - Eb11 (Fm7 - Bb7 - Eb - Eb11)
  • iii - vi - ii - Eb11 (Gm7 - Cm7 - Fm7 - Eb11)
  • vi - ii - V7 - Eb11 (Cm7 - Fm7 - Bb7 - Eb11) Used in "Girl from Ipanema" and "Fly Me to the Moon"
  • I - vi - ii - Eb11 (Eb - Cm7 - Fm7 - Eb11)

Drills to master the Eb11 chord

To master the Eb11 chord, start by playing each note individually, focusing on clean execution. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between the Eb11 and related chords like Bb7 or Abm7.

Another effective drill is to arpeggiate the chord, playing each note in sequence. This helps develop finger independence and muscle memory. Experiment with different rhythmic patterns and tempos to keep the exercise engaging and challenging.

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Songs that feature the Eb11 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Eb11 chord:

  1. Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7, Eb)
  2. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7, Eb)
  3. You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Fm7, G7, Cm7, F7)
  4. I Wish by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, G7, Cm7, F7, Bb7)
  5. Superstition by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Gm7, C7)
  6. Living for the City by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7)
  7. Boogie On Reggae Woman by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Gm7, C7)
  8. Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7)
  9. Overjoyed by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7)
  10. Master Blaster (Jammin') by Stevie Wonder (Eb11, Cm7, Gm7, C7)

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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