6/9 Guitar Chords

major 6th with an added 9th

6/9 guitar chords are pentad or 5-note chords consisting of a major triad plus an added major 6th and 9th interval above the root ... but no 7th. It has a root, a major 3rd, a perfect 5th, a major 6th and added 9th.

Put simply, a 6/9 chord is a major 6th chord with an added 9th.

The chord formula for a 6/9 chord is 1 - 3 - 5 - 6 - 9

Example: Calculating E6/9
  • 6/9 chords consist of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 9th notes of a Major Scale
  • E chords are built around the E major scale. We need to extend the scale to include 9 notes as we need to add the 9th note which is one octave above the 2nd note.
  • E major scale reads: E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - D# - E - F#
  • Formula for a 6/9 chord = 1 - 3 - 5 - 6 - 9
  • Substitute notes into the formula (1=E, 3=G#, 5=B, 6=C#, 9=F#)
  • The E6/9 chord reads: E - G# - B - C# - F#  👍
6/9 Chord Table
6/9 chord A B♭ B C C# D E♭ E F F# G A♭
Root A B♭ B C C# D E♭ E F F# G A♭
Major 3rd C# D D# E E#(F) F# G G# A A# B C
Perfect 5th E F F# G G# A B♭ B C C# D E♭
Major 6th F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E F
Added 9th B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A B♭

6/9 Chords - Right Handers

Chord Chart Legend Chart Legend

6/9 Chords - Left Handers

Chord Chart Legend Major Guitar Chords for Lefties
Lefties: A6/9 - C6/9
Lefties: C#6/9 - E6/9
Lefties: F6/9 - Ab6/9

Interesting facts about the 6/9 guitar chord:

The 6/9 guitar chord, often referred to as the "six-nine" chord, is a versatile and widely used chord voicing in music. Here are some facts about the chord:

Voicing and Structure: Typically voiced with the root, third, fifth, sixth, and ninth intervals. For example, in a C6/9 chord, the notes might include C, E, A, D, and G. This combination of intervals gives the chord its distinctive and pleasant sound.

Open Chord Possibilities: Well-suited for open chord voicings. Many guitar players enjoy using this chord in open positions due to its relatively comfortable finger placement and its appealing, jazzy sound.

Smooth Transition: Often used as a smooth transition chord in various progressions. Its lack of dissonance and rich tonality make it a great candidate for linking different chords together.

Ambiguous Character: One of the interesting aspects of the 6/9 chord is its ambiguous quality. Due to the inclusion of both the major sixth and the major ninth intervals, it can often function as a major or dominant chord depending on the context.

Jazz and Fusion Music: Particularly popular in jazz and fusion music genres. Its lush and open sound fits well with the harmonies and improvisational nature of these styles.

Chord Extensions: The 6/9 chord is an example of a chord extension, where you go beyond the basic triad (root, third, and fifth) to include additional tones. The sixth and ninth are extensions added to the basic triad.

Chord Progressions: Often used in chord progressions that involve major and dominant chords. It can add color and variation to progressions by replacing or alternating with regular major or dominant chords.

Alternate Voicings: Guitar players have the flexibility to play the 6/9 chord in different voicings and positions on the fretboard. This allows for creative exploration of different sonic textures.

Chord Substitution: The 6/9 chord can be used as a substitution for other chords in certain contexts. For example, it can replace a plain major or dominant chord to add complexity and interest to a progression.

Chord Melodies: The 6/9 chord's harmonically rich nature makes it suitable for creating chord melodies. This involves playing both the melody and harmony simultaneously, often using fingerstyle techniques.

And finally:

6/9 guitar chords are widely used by Jazz guitarists who are always teasing and tantalizing with a wide variety of alternative chords looking for the perfect recipe to satiate the hungriest of enthusiasts! The Jazz Player


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