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Dbm6 Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of Dbm6 in Root Position

    Dbm6 Chord - Root Position - Piano Diagram

    The Dbm6 is a chord made up of four notes Db, Fb, Ab, and Bb. It’s the minor chord built on the key of Db with an added major 6th interval (Bb). It belongs to the chord family of “added tone chords” (aka “add chord”) because it has an extra tone added to a minor triad. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the music theory behind this chord.


    Structure of Dbm6


    Db, Fb, Ab, Bb


    R, m3, 5, 6


    Finger Position

    Left Hand

    5, 3, 2, 1

    5, 4, 2, 1

    Right Hand

    1, 2, 4, 5

    1, 2, 3, 4


    Dbm6 Chord Inversions

    The Dbm6 chord has a total of 3 inversions:

    Root Position: Db Fb Ab Bb
    1st Inversion: Fb Ab Bb Db
    2nd Inversion: Ab Bb Db Fb
    3rd Inversion: Bb Db Fb Ab

    Piano Keyboard Diagrams


    Dbm6 Chord Equivalencies

    Rearranging the notes of a chord can lead to interesting and unique chord equivalencies. This is especially true for 6th chords, as we can create a different type of chord by rearranging the notes of a minor 6th chord in a specific way.

    If we take the 3rd inversion of a minor 6th chord, where the 6th note becomes the root note, we end up with a minor 7th flat 5th chord (also known as a half-diminished chord).

    For example, let’s take the Dbm6 chord, which consists of the notes Db, Fb, Ab, and Bb. By rearranging the notes so that Bb becomes the root note, we get a Bbm7b5 chord with the notes Bb, Db, Fb, and Ab.

    3rd Inversion of Dbm6 = Bbm7b5

    The reason why the 3rd inversion of a minor 6th chord results in a minor 7th flat 5th chord is due to the note relationships between the chords. When we move the 6th note to become the root note, we end up with a chord that has a minor 3rd, diminished 5th, and a minor 7th interval. These intervals are exactly the same as a m7b5 chord.

    Also, note that the 3rd inversion of a minor 6th chord is a dominant 9th chord without root. In fact, Dbm6 3rd inversion is Bb, Db, Fb, Ab which could be considered also a Gb9 (Gb, Bb, Db, Fb, Ab) without the root.

    Music Theory and Harmony of Dbm6

    A Db minor 6th chord consists of four notes, a Db minor triad, plus a 6th interval. Due to the inclusion of the major sixth interval, represented by the note Bb, the Db minor 6th chord generates a sense of tension that can either be resolved by transitioning to a more stable chord or utilized to create a feeling of “uncertain stability.”


    Building the Dbm6 Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from the Db Major Scale

    To build a minor 6th chord, you would include the root note, minor third, fifth, and sixth from a minor scale.

    However, when teaching this concept, it can be more effective to demonstrate its construction using a major scale. This is because a major scale better illustrates the relationship between intervals and their respective qualities.

    For instance, to build the Dbm6 chord, you can start with the Db Major scale:


    Db Major Diatonic Scale

    Db Major Scale


    Db Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th - Keyless Notation

    Db Major scale – Keyless Notation.


    To create a Dbm6 chord, apply the formula R, m3, 5, 6 in the following manner:

    1. Begin with the Root note, Db.
    2. Select the 3rd interval F then lower it down by a half-tone to get the minor 3rd, Fb.
    3. Include the 5th note, which is Ab, to the chord.
    4. Finally, add the 6th interval, Bb.

    By following this simple formula, you can create a minor 6th chord from any major scale.


    by Combining Intervals

    One method to create a minor 6th chord is by combining specific intervals – a minor 3rd, a major 3rd, and a major 2nd (a whole-tone).

    m3 + 3 + 2 = minor 6th Chords

    To illustrate, let’s use the Dbm6 chord as an example: by examining the intervals between the notes, we can see that

    • Db-Fb is a minor 3rd interval,
    • Fb-Ab is a major 3rd interval,
    • and Ab-Bb is a whole-tone interval.

    These three intervals can be stacked together to create the Dbm6 chord.


    How to Use Dbm6 in a Chord Progression


    A minor 6th chords can be used as a variation of a minor chords. However, it’s important to understand that the major 6th interval present in this chord may not always be a part of the scale being used.

    Since Db minor chords are predominantly found in theoretical keys, we will refer to their enharmonic equivalent keys.

    on Natural minor Scales

    Minor Scales i ii III iv v VI VII
    Db = C# C# min7 ⇒ C#m6 = Dbm6 D#m7b5 Fb Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 A Maj7 B7
    Ab Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 ⇒ Dbm6 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7
    Gb = F# F# min7 G#m7b5 A Maj7 B min7 C# min7 ⇒ C#m6 = Dbm6 D Maj7 E7
    • Non-diatonic Tonic chord in C# minor as C#m6
    • Subdominant chord in Ab minor
    • Non-diatonic Dominant chord in F# minor as C#m6

    on Major Scales

    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Cb = B B Maj7 C# min7 ⇒ C#m6 = Dbm6 D# min7 E Maj7 F#7 G# min7 A#m7b5
    Bbb = A A Maj7 B min7 C# min7 ⇒ C#m6 = Dbm6 D Maj7 E7 F# min7 G#m7b5
    Fb = E E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 A Maj7 B7 C# min7 ⇒ C#m6 = Dbm6 D#m7b5
    • Supertonic chord in B Major as C#m6
    • Non-diatonic Mediant chord in A Major as C#m6
    • Non-diatonic Submediant chord in E Major as C#m6


    Dbm6 in Db minor (Non-Diatonic)

    Check C#m6 in C# minor


    Dbm6 in Ab minor

    The Db minor 6th can also appear as the subdominant chord in the key of Ab minor.

    i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 ⇒ Dbm6 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7


    Dbm6 Chord Progressions as iv degree

    The following chord progressions feature a Dbm6 chord as the subdominant (iv degree):


    iv III VI VII
    iv III VI VII
    Dbm9 | Dbm6

    Db (Fb, Ab, Cb, Eb) | Db (Fb, Ab, Bb, Db)

    Cb Maj7 Fb Maj7 Gb7
    i iv VI v
    i iv VI v
    Ab min7 Dbm6 | Dbm7 Fb Maj7 Eb min7


    Dbm6 in Gb minor (Non-Diatonic)

    Check C#m6 in F# minor


    Dbm6 in Cb Major

    Check C#m6 in B Major


    Dbm6 in Bbb Major (Non-Diatonic)

    Check C#m6 in A Major


    Dbm6 in Fb Major (Non-Diatonic)

    Check C#m6 in E Major


    Alternative Nomenclature for Dbm6

    • Db -6
    • Reb -6
    • Reb m6
    • Db m6th
    • Db min6
    • Reb min6
    • Db m(add6)
    • Db min add 6
    • Db minor 6th
    • Db minor sixth



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