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Dbm13 Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of Dbm13 in Root Position

    Dbm13 Chord - Root Position - Piano Diagram

    The Dbm13 chord is built upon the root note Db and includes a minor 3rd (Fb), a perfect 5th (Ab), a minor 7th (Cb), a major 9th (Eb), an 11th (Gb), and a 13th (Bb). This chord bears resemblance to a minor 6th chord due to the presence of the 13th, which is essentially a 6th note played at a higher octave. However, it also includes a minor 7th, major 9th, and 11th notes, which contribute to creating a sense of tension and dissonance.


    Structure of Dbm13


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


    R, m3, 5, m7, 9, 11, 13

    Playing Extended Chords on Piano

    Extended chords like the Dbm13 can be challenging to play due to the large number of notes they involve. To simplify them, pianists often use different strategies like omitting certain notes or dividing the chord between both hands.

    How to play a Dbm13

    When playing a Dbm13 chord, you can play the root note Db with the left hand and use the right hand to play the minor 7th note Cb (B), the 9th note Eb, and the 13th note Bb. This way, you can play a simplified Dbm13 chord that includes only the root note, minor 7th, 9th, and 13th notes:

    Db + Cb, Eb, Bb

    Another option is to play the root note with the left hand and use the right hand to play an inversion of the chord with the 7th note Cb (B), the minor 3rd note Fb (E), and the 13th note Bb:

    Db + Cb, Fb, Bb

    Also, you could play a Dbm13 just playing the root note with the left hand and the 9th, the 3rd, and the 13th with your right hand:

    Db + Eb, Fb, Bb

    Despite using these techniques, extended chords can still produce dense and complex harmonies. When the chords are inverted, the resulting clusters of notes can be particularly challenging to play effectively and require careful voicing.


    Dbm13 Chord Inversions


    The Dbm13 chord has a total of 6 inversions:

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

    Piano Keyboard Diagrams

    Dbm13 Chord - Root Position - Piano Diagram

    Dbm13 Chord – Root Position

    Chord Inversion on Piano

    Having a solid understanding of chord inversions is a crucial element of music theory since it sheds light on how chords are constructed. When it comes to playing chord inversions on a piano, it’s essential to keep in mind that the charts and graphs depicting the order of notes may not always be feasible or even playable.

    To achieve the proper chord voicings on a piano, you must spread the chord notes across various octaves and positions on the keyboard. This often entails deviating from the typical shape of the chord’s inversions shown in charts, which may not be the most practical or comfortable way to play the chord.

    While chord inversion charts can be helpful in understanding the structure and sequence of notes in a chord, it’s always a good idea to experiment with different voicings and fingerings to find the most efficient and comfortable way to play the chord, while still preserving its intended harmonic function and sound.

    Music Theory and Harmony of Dbm13

    The Dbm13 chord is a diatonic extension of Dbm7. While it can be substituted for the Dbm7 chord in any position, it is commonly used in conjunction with it. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that certain positions may not be as effective when substituting Dbm13 for Dbm7.


    Building the Dbm13 Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from the Db Major Scale

    To build a minor 13th chord, you would typically combine the root note, minor 3rd, 5th, minor 7th, major 9th, 11th, and 13th from a minor scale. However, for educational purposes, it may be clearer to demonstrate its construction using a major scale, as it better illustrates the relationship between intervals and their qualities.

    To build a Dbm13, you can start with the Db Major scale:


    Db Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th

    Db Major Scale


    Db Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th - Keyless Notation

    Db Major Scale – Keyless Notation


    To create a Dbm13 chord, apply the formula R, m3, 5, m7, 9, 11, 13 in the following way:

    1. Begin with the Root note, Db.
    2. Select the 3rd interval, F then subtract a half-step to get the minor 3rd E, which we call Fb to preserve the basic interval structure of the chord.
    3. Add the 5th interval, Ab.
    4. Select the 7th interval, C, and lower it down by a half-step to get the minor 7th, Cb (B).
    5. Add the major 9th, Eb.
    6. Pick the 11th Gb, which is a 4th interval at the higher octave.
    7. Lastly, add the 13th (Bb) which is a 6th at a higher octave.

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


    by Combining Intervals

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

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

    Upon analysis of the Dbm13 chord, we can note that:

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


    by Combining Chords

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

    To build a Dbm13 chord, you can blend a Db minor triad (Db, Fb, Ab) with a Cb Maj7 chord (Cb, Eb, Gb, Bb) or a Dbm7 (Db, Fb, Ab, Cb) with an Eb minor (Eb, Gb, Bb).

    Dbm + Cb Maj7 = Dbm13


    Dbm7 + Eb min = Dbm13


    How to Use Dbm13 in a Chord Progression


    The Db minor 13th chord is a more complex version of the Db minor 7th chord, as it includes additional notes such as the 9th, 11th, and 13th. These extra notes add a lot of dissonance and tension to the chord, which can make it tricky to use in a chord progression. Even if you leave out some of the notes, you still need to find the right voicing, because the effect of the Dbm13 depends on how it fits in with the other chords. It’s important to experiment with different voicings and figure out what works best with your particular progression.

    In this post, we will focus just on the most common uses of the Dbm13 chord. The tables of the major and minor keys below include the Db minor 7th chord, which can be substituted or complemented by a Db minor 13th chord.

    Dbm13 in Theoretical Keys

    Except for the key of Ab minor, where the Db minor chord naturally occurs, all other keys are considered theoretical. In these cases, it is common practice to refer to their enharmonic equivalent keys for simplicity and practicality.


    on Natural minor Scales

    Minor Scales i ii III iv v VI VII
    Db = C# C#m7 ⇒ C#m13 = Dbm13 D#m7b5 E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 A Maj7 B7
    Ab Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Dbm7 ⇒ Dbm13 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7
    Gb = F# F# min7 G#m7b5 A Maj7 B min7 C#m7 ⇒ C#m13 = Dbm13 D Maj7 E7
    • Tonic chord in C# minor as C#min13
    • Subdominant chord in Ab minor
    • Non-diatonic Dominant chord in F# minor as C#min13


    on Major Scales

    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Cb = B B Maj7 C#m7 ⇒ C#m13 = Dbm13 D# min7 E Maj7 F#7 G# min7 A#m7b5
    Bbb = A A Maj7 B min7 C#m7 ⇒ C#m13 = Dbm13 D Maj7 E7 F# min7 G#m7b5
    Fb = E E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 A Maj7 B7 C#m7 ⇒ C#m13 = Dbm13 D#m7b5
    • Supertonic chord in B Major as C#min13
    • Non-diatonic Mediant chord in A Major as C#min13
    • Submediant chord in E Major as C#min13


    Dbm13 as Tonic Chord in Db minor

    Check C#m13 as Tonic Chord in C# minor


    Dbm13 as Subdominant Chord in Ab minor

    The Db minor 13th can also be played as the subdominant chord in the key of Ab minor.

    i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7
    Dbm13 Chord Progressions as iv degree

    The following chord progressions feature a Dbm13 chord as the subdominant (iv degree):


    iv III VI VII
    iv III VI VII
    Dbm13 | Dbm7 Cb Maj7 Fb Maj7 Gb7


    i iv VI v
    i iv VI v
    Ab min7 Dbm13 | Dbm7 Fb Maj7 Eb min7


    Circle Progression
    i iv VII III VI ii V7 i
    Ab min7 Dbm13 | Dbm7 Gb7 Cb Maj7 Fb Maj7 Bbm7b5 Eb7 Ab min7


    Dbm13 as Dominant Chord in Gb minor (Non-Diatonic)

    Check C#m13 as Dominant Chord in F# minor


    Dbm13 as Supertonic Chord in Cb Major

    Check C#m13 as Supertonic Chord in B Major


    Dbm13 as Mediant Chord in Bbb Major (Non-Diatonic) 

    Check C#m13 as Mediant Chord in A Major


    Dbm13 as Submediant Chord in Fb Major

    Check C#m13 as Submediant Chord in E Major


    Alternative Dbm13 Nomenclature

    • Db m13
    • Db m13th
    • Db m11/13
    • Db min13th
    • Db minor 13
    • Db m7/9/11/13
    • Db minor thirteenth



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