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Gb13 Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of Gb13 in Root Position

    Gb13 Chord Piano Chart

    Gb13 is a chord that includes the root note Gb, a major third (Bb), a perfect fifth (Db), a minor seventh (Fb), a major ninth (Ab), an eleventh (Cb), and a 13th (Eb). It’s similar to a 6th chord since the 13th is a 6th at a higher octave but also includes a minor 7th, major 9th, and 11th.


    Structure of Gb13


    Gb, Bb, Db, Fb, Ab, Cb, Eb


    R, 3, 5, m7, 9, 11, 13

    Playing Extended Chords on Piano

    Extended chords are commonly used in piano playing, but they can be tricky to play in their entirety due to the large number of notes involved. To make these chords more manageable, pianists often omit certain notes, such as the root or the 5th. Another technique is to split the chord between both hands, playing either full or partial chords in each hand.

    How to play a Gb13

    One approach to playing the Gb13 chord is by playing the root note Gb with your left hand then, with your right hand, you can play the minor 7th note Fb, the 9th note Ab, and the 13th note Eb. This will result in a simplified Gb13 chord that only includes the root note, minor 7th, 9th, and 13th notes.

    Gb + Fb, Ab, Eb

    Alternatively, you can play the root note with your left hand and an inversion of the chord with the 7th note Fb (E), the 3rd note (Bb), and the 13th note (Eb) with your right hand.

    Gb + Fb, Bb, Eb

    However, even when notes are omitted or split between hands, extended chords can still create complex and dense harmonies. When these chords are inverted, the resulting clusters of notes can be particularly challenging to voice effectively.


    Gb13 Chord Inversions


    The Gb13 chord has a total of 6 inversions:

    Root Position: Gb Bb Db Fb Ab Cb Eb
    1st Inversion: Bb Db Fb Gb Ab Cb Eb
    2nd Inversion: Db Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb Eb
    3rd Inversion: Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb
    4th Inversion: Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb
    5th Inversion Cb Db  Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb
    6th Inversion  Eb Fb  Gb  Ab  Bb Cb Db

    Piano Keyboard Diagrams

    Gb13 Chord Piano Chart

    Gb13 Chord – Root position


    Chord Inversions on Piano

    Understanding chord inversions is an essential aspect of music theory as it helps to explain how chords are arranged. When playing chord inversions on a piano, it’s important to keep in mind that the diagrams used to illustrate the order of notes may not always be practical or even possible to play.

    To achieve the proper chord voicings on a piano, you need to distribute the notes of the chord across various octaves and positions on the keyboard. This often means that the basic shape of the chord’s inversions shown in diagrams may not be the most convenient or comfortable way to play the chord.

    While chord inversion diagrams can be useful in comprehending the structure and sequence of notes in a chord, it’s always a good idea to try out different voicings and fingerings to discover the most efficient and comfortable way to play the chord, while still maintaining its intended harmonic function and sound.

    Music Theory and Harmony of Gb13


    The Gb13 chord is an extension of the Gb7 chord and is used on the V and VII degrees of major and natural minor scales, respectively. It can be used in all the positions where Gb7 can be played, but a more common use is to play it in conjunction with the dominant chord. However, it’s important to note that some positions may not work as well as others when using Gb13 instead of Gb7.

    If you want to experiment with using Gb13 as an alternative to Gb7, you can start by checking out the Gb7 chord page for ideas on where to begin. Trying out the Gb13 chord in different positions can help you understand which ones work well and which ones may not be as effective.


    Building the Gb13 Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from the Gb Major Scale

    To form a 13th chord, you combine the root, the major 3rd, the 5th, the minor 7th, the major 9th, the 11th, and the 13th from a major scale.


    Gb Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th

    Gb Major Scale


    Gb Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th - Keyless Notation

    Gb Major Scale – Keyless Notation


    To create a Gb13 chord, apply the formula R, 3, 5, m7, 9, 11, 13 in the following way:

    1. Begin with the Root note, which is Gb.
    2. Select the major 3rd interval, Bb.
    3. Add the 5th interval, which is Db.
    4. Add the minor 7th interval, Fb.
    5. Add the major 9th, which is Ab
    6. Add the 11th Cb, which is a 4th interval at the higher octave.
    7. Lastly, add the 13th (Eb), which is a 6th at a higher octave.

    By following this simple formula, you can create a 13th chord from any major scale.


    by Combining Intervals

    One method to create a 13th chord is by combining specific intervals – a major 3rd, a minor 3rd, a minor 3rd, a major 3rd, and a minor 3rd. This is the formula:

    3 + m3 + m3 + 3 + m3 + 3 = 13th Chords

    Upon analysis of the Gb13 chord, we can note that:

    • the interval between Gb and Bb is a major 3rd,
    • between Bb and Db is a minor 3rd,
    • between Db and Fb is a minor 3rd,
    • between Fb and Ab is a major 3rd,
    • between Ab and Cb there is a minor 3rd,
    • and finally, between Cb and Eb there is a major 3rd.


    by Combining Chords

    Another way to build 13th chords is by combining a major triad with a Maj 7th chord derived from its minor 7th, or by merging a dominant 7th chord with a minor triad that is based on its second interval.

    Gb Major + Fb Maj7 = Gb13


    Gb7 + Ab minor = Gb13

    To build a Gb13 chord, you can blend a Gb Major triad with an E Major chord or a Gb7 with an Ab minor. When played together, these two chords produce a Gb13 chord.


    How to Use Gb13 in a Chord Progression


    The Gb13 chord is essentially an extension of the Gb7 chord, with the addition of the 9th (Ab), the 11th (Cb), and the 13th (Eb) note. Because of this, the Gb13 chord can often be substituted for the Gb7 chord.

    Here are the tables of the major and natural minor scales that include the Gb dominant 7th chord, which can be substituted or complemented by a Gb13 chord but I suggest referring to the posts on dominant 7th chords to learn more fancy uses and contexts in which a dominant 13th chord can be played.

    The Cb Major key is considered a theoretical key and not commonly used in practice. It’s more convenient to refer to its enharmonic equivalent key  (B Major), as it involves fewer accidentals.

    on B Major Scale

    Major Scale I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Cb = B Cb Maj7 C# min7 D# min7 Fb Maj7 F#7 ⇒ F#13 = Gb13 G# min7 A#m7b5
    • Dominant chord in B Major as F#9


    on Ab minor Scale

    Natural Minor  i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7 ⇒ Gb13
    • Leading Tone chord in Ab minor


    Gb13 as Dominant Chord in Cb Major

    Check F#13 in B Major


    Gb13 as the Leading Tone chord in Ab minor

    In the context of the Ab natural minor scale, the Gb13 chord can be used as a variation for the dominant 7th chord on the VII degree. Using the Gb13 chord as a leading tone can create a sense of tension and resolution that can be used to lead into the tonic chord or as part of a modulation to the Gb7 chord.

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


    Gb13 as VII degree – Chord Progressions

    Here are some chord progressions that demonstrate how the Gb13 chord can function as the leading tone or be a part of modulation towards a Gb7:


    i iv VII i
    i iv VII i
    Ab min7 Db min7 Gb13 | Gb7 Ab min7


    i VII VI V
    i VII VI v
    Ab min7 Gb13 | Gb7 Fb Maj7 Eb min7


    i III VII VI
    i III VII VI
    Ab min7 Cb Maj7 Gb13 | Gb7 Fb Maj7


    i iv VII VI
    i iv VII VI
    Ab min7 Db min7 Gb13 | Gb7 Fb Maj7


    i iv VII III
    i iv VII III
    Ab min7 Db min7 Gb13 | Gb7 Cb Maj7


    Circle Progression
    i iv VII III VI ii V7 i
    Ab min7 Db min7 Gb13 | Gb7 Cb Maj7 Fb Maj7 Bbm7b5 Eb7 Ab min7


    Alternative Gb13 Nomenclature

    • Gb 13
    • Solb 13
    • Gb 13th
    • Gb 7/13
    • Gb dom13
    • Gb 7/9/11/13
    • Gb Dominant 13
    • Gb Dominant 13th
    • Gb Dominant thirteenth



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