Extended guitar chords explained

Man's hand playing an extended guitar chord
(Image credit: Future)

On paper, the idea of extended chords is reasonably simple to grasp: adding extra notes to a chord beyond the root, 3rd and 5th from its ‘parent’ scale. 

However, once we add in the conventions that govern add, sus and 7th chords, plus concepts such as leaving the 3rd out of a dominant 11th chord to avoid dissonance, and the lack of strings/fingers to hold all these notes down on a guitar, dark clouds within the mind can start to gather… 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.