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.

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

Altered Chords

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

Altered Chords

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

Altered Chords

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

Altered Chords