If you’re anything like me you probably can’t be bothered to learn the so-called advanced chords with big, scary names like Cmaj13(#11) and so on, but sooner or later you might need to call upon one of these chords so it’s best to have a couple of easy-to-remember shapes up your sleeve, just in case. Who knows? You may even get into jazz…
Due to the randomness of standard tuning, for most of those tongue-twisting chord names you can actually find a relatively simple and memory-friendly chord shape, just in case things get a little jazzy and you need to whip one out. I found this technique useful at Music College where you would inevitably have to play jazz at some point, and it’s always better to be prepared for any kind of jazz contingency than looking like a dick while fumbling around for a Cmaj13.
You can always do things the mathematical way. For example, a Cmaj13(#11) chord contains the intervals 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, #11, 13 or the notes C, E, G, B, D, F#, A which you could use to come up with your own chord shapes. This is all well and good, but it’s probably easier just to remember this chord shape:
Check out the following ‘complicated’ chords and their not-so-complicated chord shapes, then go forth and impress your friends with your new-found and somewhat extensive jazz chord vocabulary.