Music Theory: Chord Extensions

Icon Instructor Jerry “BigJerr” DiPhillippo takes you into Ableton Live 10 and gives an in-depth lesson on how to improve harmonic progressions with chord extensions.

What Are Chord Extensions?

Extended chords create a richer, more harmonically complex sound than basic major and minor triads. Chord extensions also provide more voice leading possibilities and make chord progressions sound more interesting.

Extended chords have notes that extend further than a three-note triad and the octave. More specifically, an extension occurs when you extend a chord beyond the 7th note of the scale. They are also built by stacking thirds on top of a triad.

The available chord extensions are the 7th, 9th, 11th, and the 13th. The 13th is the farthest extension diatonically possible because it includes all seven tonal degrees. The next extension after the 13th would reach the root of the chord one octave higher.

Working with Chord Extensions

In this music theory tutorial, BigJerr takes you into Ableton Live and gives an in-depth lesson on chord extensions and how to use them. You’ll learn how to build extended chords, identify the different extensions, and how to apply them in your music.

BigJerr then takes the concepts covered in the lesson and applies them to one of his Live projects. He also demonstrates how to layer a chord progressions with notes from extended chords using Live 10’s new multi-clip editing feature.



About Icon Collective

ICON Collective is a Los Angeles and Online music production school that teaches you core technical skills while unlocking your unique creative process. Mentorships with industry professionals let you access real-world insights and help you personalize your music education. Check out our Music Production Programs.





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