Chord Alterations

Scared of chord alterations? You should be - they're just describing what's going on :)

View the full lesson at Chord Alterations | JustinGuitar

Continuing the discussion from Chord Alterations:

… He knows all the chords.

Question on the best way to learn alterations: Is it better to learn to fluently do the alterations by knowing where the altered notes are, or is is better to map out a selection of them (in your chord book-that I’m sure we are all working on).

This has always been a very intimidating point of transition for me. I’ve gotten to relative familiarity with these chords before, but never truly incorporated them into my “chord vocabulary.”

I’m guessing a combination is the way forward–writing out a few examples to solidify understanding combined with lots of practice. Also, putting the new chords into sequence to create context.

And that’s called playing a song. :smiley:

1 Like

Absolutely, it’s always the best thing to look for the chord sequence in a song and play the h311 out of the and then move on to the next when it’s sunk in!

1 Like

@sairfingers I’m thinking along the lines of embellishments and smoothing the jumps from one chord to another. Or tension and release. Not really songs. But I do see your point.

I would think of these as stylistic tools.

Hello nice People of the internet!

Quick question: Why is the Hendrix Chord called a Flat 7 Sharp 9?

I would call it “Dominant Sharp 9”, so “C#9”. I understood that it being dominant already implies the flat 7 and the third? Did i get it wrong? I am confused…


I’ve always been under the impression that E7#9 (or any other root note) was the Hendrix chord, i.e. it’s not a flat 7th chord.

1 Like

Hi, thanks for replying!
But doesn’t the 7 in E7 mean, that it is a dominant chord, thus resulting in a minor or flat 7?
Being a dominant chord, it has the 1-3-5-b7. Adding a #9th (to make the Hendrix chord) makes it an 1-3-5-b7-#9.

I understood that a Dom 9th, also has the flattened 7, meaning it would be 1-3-5-b7-9. So this is why i dont understand, why is it necessary to add the “7” in the Chord description…? :confounded:

Sorry, I misunderstood “flat” in your original post. I’ve never hear “dominant seventh” chords called “flat seventh”, only “seven” as Justin calls them in the lessons.

As for why the name of the chord includes “7”, I think it’s to show that the chord is the extension of a dominant 7th chord.

From my understanding, with C7#9 and similar, because you are modifying the quality of the 9 by sharpening it, you need to denote the 7th.

So you have C E G Bb D#, a C triad with a b7 and #9.

C#9, would be a C# triad with b7 and a 9th.

ie. C# E# G# B D#

Cheers, Shane

1 Like

Hi guys,
just for my understanding. I C9 Chord does exist, right? So then i guess a C#9 would also exist?
What would the notes of a C#9 Chord be, and in what way would they be different from a C7#9 Chord?

Thanks for your pacience, it seems i just can’t get my head around this…


@GreenRider Kevin, did you read @sclay’s reply? Unless I am misunderstanding something (quite possible as my eyes were glazing over as I read this conversation), it seems to answer your question?

1 Like

Didn’t saw this comment. Thanks guys!

Where have you seen it given that name?
It is normally just called (if thinking of an E chord say) E7#9.

Noting that, as already established, E7, a dominant 7 chord, contains a b7.

Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide, Approved Teacher & Moderator

Hi Richard, maybe taken from this wikipedia or from the likes of fender, guitartricks, guitarworld etc.

I meant the other name, not the Hendrix name. I have edited ny post for clarity.

1 Like

Thank you everybody for explaining it so well and for your patience :smile:

1 Like


I’m glad you asked this question as I learned something as well. As Justin says don’t just take whatever you read… ask gospel as why and all will become clear with the help of this great community :smiley: