The C13 chord (also known as C dominant 13), is a dominant chord. It has a major triad with a minor 7th, major 9th, 11th (compound perfect 4th) and 13th (compound major 6th).

The notes in C13 are:



The harmony is ultimately determined by the chord’s root. But many arpeggios feature other chords that you can use or play over the main chord.

From the root: C11
From the 3rd: E-11b5(b9)
From the 5th: G-9
From the 7th: Bb△7
From the 9th: D-




A chord is created by a series of notes called an arpeggio. A chord tone is the name for any note that makes up a chord.


The Dominant Scale

The Dominant Scale is perfect to use over C13

The Ionian and Dorian tetrachords, which are separated by a tone, make up the dominant scale (also known as the mixolydian mode).

C13 Backing Track

Practice playing along to C13 using The Dominant Scale.

Explore the lines you can play over the chord by listening to the backing track below. Try to internalise the sound to help you hone your hearing.

If you’re experiencing difficulties coming up with new ideas, my books offer a variety of ways to play intervals, scales, melodies, and more.

This chord cannot be inverted because doing so will result in the creation of whole new chords.

If You'd Like to Know More About Theory...Try My Books!

Other Chord Extensions

Chord NameNotes
Major Chords 
CMaj7C, E, G, B
CMaj9C, E, G, B, D
CMaj#11C, E, G, B, F#
CMaj13C, E, G, B, A
CMaj9(add13)C, E, G, B, D, A
Minor Chords 
Cmin7C, Eb, G, Bb
Cmin9C, Eb, G, Bb, D
Cmin11C, Eb, G, Bb, F
Cmin13C, Eb, G, Bb, A
Dominant Chords 
C7C, E, G, Bb
C9C, E, G, Bb, D
C11C, E, G, Bb, F
C13C, E, G, Bb, A
Half Diminished Chords 
C-7b5C, Eb, Gb, Bb

Read my ultimate guide on how to learn the bass guitar in the link below!

Howard Head

I turn confused bass enthusiasts into bass gods through a simple and logical process.