Sixth chords contain 4 notes played together, or overlapping.
Like triad chords shown in Triad chord, sixth chords have different qualities, with the most common shown in the last column of the table below.
Sixth chords are built on triad chord qualities, but with an extra note, whose name is based on the 6th note of the major scale.
|Based on triad quality||2nd note quality||3rd note quality||4th note quality||6th chord quality|
|minor||minor (m3)||perfect (P5)||major (M6)||minor|
|major||major (M3)||perfect (P5)||major (M6)||major|
The piano diagram above shows the Eb major 6th chord which is the same as the Eb major chord, except that it has one extra note, defined using the Eb-maj-6th note interval as shown in the second row of the table above.
6th chord inversions work in the same way as triad inversions explained in Triad chord, except since there is one more note in the chord, there is one extra inversion that can be done.
Using the 6th chord above, the root position 6th chord has Eb as the first note.
For the 1st inversion, this note is moved to the end leaving note G as the first note.