How to play

How to play the F#maj13 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this jazzy chord, as heard in "Wonderwall" and more!

The F#maj13 chord

The F#maj13 chord, pronounced "F sharp major thirteenth," is a sophisticated and harmonically rich voicing. Notable for its jazzy and complex sound, this chord extends the F# major triad with the 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th notes. While less common in popular music, it adds a unique flavor to jazz, fusion, and progressive rock genres, often used as a passing or resolving chord.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common F#maj13 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for F#maj13 chord

The most common way to play the F#maj13 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 2nd fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a F#maj13 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 2nd fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 4th fret of the 2nd (B) string.

Strum all six strings together to play the F#maj13 chord.

How to play an easy F#maj13 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the F#maj13 chord, try playing just the 1st (root), 3rd, 7th, and 13th notes of the chord. This would be: F# (1st fret of the 2nd string), A# (1st fret of the 4th string), E# (1st fret of the 3rd string), and C# (4th fret of the 1st string).

How to play a F#maj13 bar chord

The F#maj13 chord is typically played using individual notes rather than as a barre chord. Playing the full barre chord version can be quite challenging, especially for beginners, and is not a common fingering for this chord. I would recommend focusing on the standard F#maj13 fingering or simplified variations of the chord instead.

Common F#maj13 chord progressions

The F#maj13 chord adds a dreamy, jazzy flavor to progressions, creating a sophisticated and slightly melancholic atmosphere. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the F#maj13 chord:

  • I - vi - ii - V (F#maj13 - D#m7 - G#m7 - C#7)
  • ii - V - I (G#m7 - C#7 - F#maj13) Used in "Lush Life" and "Stardust"
  • iii - VI - ii - V (A#m7 - D#7 - G#m7 - C#7)
  • I - IV - V (F#maj13 - Bmaj7 - C#7)
  • vi - ii - V - I (D#m7 - G#m7 - C#7 - F#maj13)

Drills to master the F#maj13 chord

To master the F#maj13 chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, starting from the lowest (F#) and ascending to the highest (D#). Focus on clarity and precision. Once comfortable, play the notes in reverse order, descending from D# to F#.

Another effective drill is to play the chord tones in intervals. Start with the root (F#) and alternate with each successive note: F#-A#, F#-C#, F#-E#, F#-G#, F#-D#. This exercise helps you internalize the chord structure and create smooth transitions when changing chords.

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Songs that feature the F#maj13 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the F#maj13 chord.

  1. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (A, E, F#m, D)
  2. Love on the Weekend by John Mayer (F#maj7, D#m7, C#m7, B7)
  3. Pyramid Song by Radiohead (F#maj7, D#m7, C#7, F#7)
  4. Prelude in E Major, Op. 28, No. 9 by Frédéric Chopin (E, C#m, F#m, B7, A, F#, D#m, G#7, C#)
  5. Neon by John Mayer (F#maj7, E, B/D#, C#m7)
  6. Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy (F#maj7, G#7, C#m7, F#7)
  7. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, G#m, C, D, F#m, G#maj7, D#m)
  8. Friends by Joe Satriani (F#maj7, D#m7, C#m7, B7, A#m7, G#7)
  9. Letter from Home by Pat Metheny (F#maj7, B, C#7, F#7)
  10. Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers (Am, Em7, G, Dm7, F#maj7)

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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