The Jazz Guitar Site

Altered Dominant Chords

A lot of the color in jazz comes from the sounds of the various altered dominant chords. This lesson will present numerous voicings for altered dominant chords.

  • What makes a dominant chord altered is when the 5th or 9th degree of the chord are raised or lowered by one half step.
  • There are many different ways of notating altered chords, but you may see them written out as C7#5, C7+, C7aug, C7b9, C7#5b9, etc.
  • Below I will notate some useful chord voicings to know with the #5, b5, b9, and #9 altered tones.
  • Note that the voicings below do not contain all the chord tones, but a combination of them. When making your own voicings, it is important to pick and choose what tones you use in order to create a chord with the sound you desire.

  • The dominant b5 chord contains the 1-3-b5-b7. For example C7b5 contains C-E-Gb-Bb.

  • The dominant #5 chord contains the 1-3-#5-b7. For example C7#5 contains C-E-G#-Bb. 

  • The dominant b9 chord contains the 1-3-5-b7-b9. For example C7b9 contains C-E-G-Bb-Db.  

  • The dominant #9 chord contains the 1-3-5-b7-#9. For example C7#9 contains C-E-G-Bb-D#.  

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