I’ve learned how to form 13th Chords. However I can’t figure out any practical application for them. I’d greatly appreciate it if you could tell me where in a song like for example “What a friend we have in Jesus”, one might substitute 13th Chords?
The thirteenth chord is in the dominant chord family. The term dominant chord refers to the five chord in a diatonic major key. For the contemporary music application, the dominant chord is referring to a dominant seventh chord. The dominant seventh chord is a major triad with an added flat seventh. For example, a C dominant seven chord (C7) is nothing more that a C triad plus a flat seventh based on the C major scale. The C7 will be spelled C E G Bb. The Bb is created by lowering the seventh scale tone of the C major scale a half-step.
When we add the 13th scale tone to the dominant seventh chord it becomes a C13 chord. You can visit www.giftedplayer.com and search under weekly newsletter for a more detailed explanation of the 13th chord.
There are many altered versions of the thirteenth chord and my Contemporary Chord Finder learning system will provide you with the most popular voicings for the 13th, Suspended 13th and the 13b9 chord. The most common application for the 13th chord is the substitution of the “V” chord in a 2-5-1 progression in major. Let me give you an example of a 2-5-1 in Bb major from the Contemporary Chord Finder.
So much for the theory. Let me attempt to answer your question. Let’s switch over to the key of F major. I will give you some altered chords including the F13 in conjunction with the 2-5-1 progression in Bb major above. The chords below don’t contain all the melody notes, so you will have to sing the melody as you play the chords. Good luck. Play the first chord with the right hand thumb starting on the “E” just above middle C. For the second chord move your right hand thumb down to the Bb below middle C.