A regular dominant chord is composed of 1 3 5 b7. An altered dominant can extend it to include a 9 or 13 and somehow alters (sharps or flats) the 5th and/or the 9th.


Probably the most famous of the altered dominant chords as it includes the Hendrix chord.

  • Composed of 1 3 5 b7 #9
  • Remember not all chord tones have to be used

#9 – Root 6

One of the two Hendrix chords. This fingering is used in Foxy Lady.

#9 – Root 5

The most famous Hendrix chord. This fingering is used in Purple Haze.

#9 – Root 4


The dominant b9 chord in enharmonic to a diminished chord. For now, we’ll just think of it as a dominant chord. Lessons on diminished chords and scales will come later.

  • Composed of 1 3 5 b7 b9

b9 – Root 6

While the root exists on string 6, it isn’t played. It’s shown as a hollow note on the diagram to indicate it’s used only as a guide, but not played.

b9 – Root 5

Start with the Hendrix #9 chord and just move the 2nd string note back two frets.

b9 – Root 5 (another option)

Start with a basic dom 7 chord (5th string root based off CAGED pattern 2) and move the 5th string note up one fret. (Rather than trying to slide up your 1st finger, just use your middle finger since it’s not used in the basic dom 7 chord.) Note the root at the 5th string isn’t played. It’s shown as a hollow note because it’s used only as a guide.

b9 – Root 4


The alter dominant #5 chord is sometimes called an augmented chord. Augmented chords have a #5.

  • Composed of 1 3 #5 b7

#5 – Root 6

#5 – Root 6 (another option)

I usually guide myself off the 1st string rather than the 6th string

#5 – Root 5

Note the root at the 5th string isn’t played. It’s shown as a hollow note because it’s used only as a guide.

You can play the root on the 5th string if you like – but the chord won’t have a b7. That means it won’t be a dominant chord any more but instead just a plain old augmented chord.

#5 – Root 4


These chords sound pretty dark, but are awesome in Latin jazz.

  • Composed of 1 3 b5 b7

b5 – Root 6

b5 – Root 6 (another option)

Same as the previous chord, just move the root from string 6 to string 1.

b5 – Root 5

b5 – Root 4

What to Practice

Try these practice examples:

Wonderful Slippery Thing

Fusion shred by Guthrie Govan. I’ve included only the chords to only the main head section.

Wonderful Slippery Thing – Guthrie Govan

Bm7   | D9 | Gmaj7 | F#7#5 |
Bm7   | D9 | Gmaj7 | F#7#5 |
Bm7   | D9 | Gmaj7 | F#7#5 |
Esus4 | E7 | Gmaj7 | F#7#5 |


This bossanova by Antonia Carlos Jobim is pretty famous. The video below is in a different key than the chords I’ve shown, so don’t try to play along with it! Watch the video just to get a feel for the song. I’ve included only the first section of the song.

Desafinado – Antonio Carlos Jobim

FΔ   | FΔ   | G7b5  | G7b5   |
Gm7  | C9   | Am7b5 | D7b9   |
Gm7  | A7#5 | Dmaj7 | D7b9   |
G7   | G7   | F#Δ   | F#(#5) ||

Virtual Insanity

Great song by Jamiroquai. Lots of fun chords.

Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai

The arrangement is challenging because verse 1 has an extra chord compared to verse 2. Rather than listing the chords below, I’ve included a link to a PDF.


Let’s upgrade the chords in Sunny to include extended and altered chords.

A-7    | C7        | FΔ     | E7#9 E7b9   |
A-7    | C7        | FΔ     | E7#9 E7b9   |
A-7    | G-7  C7b5 | FΔ     | Bb13        |
B-7b5  | E7        | A-7    | B-7b5 E7#9  || (repeat)