9th Guitar Chords

dom 7th with an added 9th

There are 3 types of commonly used 9th guitar chords:

Dominant 9th (9), Major 9th (maj9), and Minor 9th (m9) - they are all derived from the dominant 7th, major 7th and minor 7th chords respectively.

Chord Description Formula
Dom 9th     A dominant 7th chord with an added 9th (C7/9 or C9)  1 - 3 - 5 - ♭7 - 9
Major 9th A major 7th chord with an added 9th (Cmaj7/9 or Cmaj9) 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 9
Minor 9th A minor 7th chord with an added 9th (Cm7/9 or Cm9) 1 - ♭3 - 5 - ♭7 - 9

If a chord with a symbol 9 is not preceded by the words maj or M, e.g., C9 & Cm9 as opposed to Cmaj9 or CM9, the 7th is always a dominant 7th (♭7).

This session features Dominant 9th chords.

  • 9th / 9 chord - musical interval spanning 14 semitones - octave plus a major second or 2 semitones.
  • Intervals: root, major 3rd, perfect fifth, minor 7th and a major 9th.
  • Formula: 1 - 3 - 5 - ♭7 - 9
  • It is considered a compound interval as it spans more than one octave.
  • The featured song using 9th chords is Someone Like You by Adele.
Example... Calculating an E9 chord
  • Dominant 9th Chords consist of the 1st, 3rd, 5th ♭7th and 9th notes of a Major Scale
  • E chords, are based on the E major scale which has 4 sharps. The scale reads: E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - D#
  • Formula for a 9th chord: 1 - 3 - 5 - ♭7 - 9. For calculating the 9, simply go back to the start of the Scale and count upwards so that the 8th note is E (octave above the tonic) and F# is the 9th note.

    If you find this confusing, simply write the scale so that it contains 9 notes, i.e.,
    E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - D# - E - F#
  • Substitute the notes into the formula (1=E, 3=G#, 5=B, ♭7=D, 9=F#)
  • E9 reads as follows: E - G# - B - D - F#
Dominant 9th (9) Chord Table
9th 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♭
Minor 7th G A♭ A B♭ B C D♭ D E♭ E F G♭
Major 9th B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A B♭

9th Chords - Right Handers

Ninth Chords: A9 - C9

🡇 9th Guitar Chords - Part 1

9th Guitar Chords: Please note that with chords like A9 (first position), although it shows a barre over strings 2, 3, and 4 with the first finger, you will naturally barre strings 1, 2, 3 & 4 with the first finger... and that's OK. It is simply illustrated like this so that you don't see 2 dots (fingers) on the same string. The second finger on the 3rd fret (first string) overides the first finger on the second fret (first string)... much easier.

9th Chords - Left Handers

9th Lefty Chords - Part 1
9th Lefty Chords - Part 2
9th Lefty Chords - Part 3

Outro

I hope you enjoyed this session on 9th guitar chords. They are not used very often due to their dissonant quality, however in the right places they can be very effective.

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