7th, 9th and 13th chords are all more or less interchangeable dominant chords. Each of them does, however, have it’s own characteristic sound. Generally speaking, the more extended notes you have in a chord, the more jazzy sounding it becomes. It’s up to you which you use in a blues – stick to all 7ths, or all 9ths, or mix and match the different types. Just be guided by what sounds good, and what is appropriate for the particular style of blues you happen to be playing.
In this lesson I show you three of my favourite 13th chord voicings. These are by no means the only ways to play 13th chords, but they’re practical, good-sounding shapes that work well in blues. I also look at some ways in which they can be smoothly combined with 9th chords in the course of a 12-bar chorus.
If you’ve followed the other lessons in this series you should be able to come up with your own variations on the basic idea. As before, try varying the rhythm you use, try finding ways to play the same chords in different places on the neck, try throwing in passing chords, and remember to practice in other keys.
You can find a transcription of what I play at the start of the video below. Download the sheet music here, if you wish. Have fun.