A major 9 guitar chords

A - C# - E - G# - B

Amaj9 chords consist of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th notes of the A Major Scale.

  • Construction: root, major third, perfect fifth, major seventh, and ninth.
  • A Major Scale: A - B - C# - D - E - F# - G# - A - B
  • We need to extend the A Major Scale to accommodate the 9th note of the scale.
  • Chord: Amaj9 (AM9 or A∆9)
  • Formula: 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 9
  • Notes: A - C# - E - G# - B

Amaj9 (A ⃤  9 ) - A major ninth (1-3-5-7-9)

Spelling: 1st(A), 3rd(C#), 5th(E), 7th(G#), 9th(B)

Chart Legend Numbered Circles: number inside circle indicates which finger to use
X: Don't play string
White Numbered Circles: Optional Notes
X on string with optional note: if you omit the note, don't play string
Unmarked strings: Play open
Barre Line: One finger holds down multiple strings
R: Root Note

TAB: Numbers represent frets - not finger positions
Blank Strings: Do not Play
0: play string open

Written: x02100
Notes: x-A-E-G#-B-E

e |-0-|
B |-0-|
G |-1-|
D |-2-|
A |-0-|
E |---|

Written: 54645x
Notes: A-C#-G#-B-E-x

e |---|
B |-5-|
G |-4-|
D |-6-|
A |-4-|
E |-5-|


Written: x-12-11-13-12-0
Notes: x-A-C#-G#-B-E

e |-0--|
B |-12-|
G |-13-|
D |-11-|
A |-12-|
E |----|

↓ A major 9 guitar chords


  • A major 9th chord implies the preceding 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, before the added 9th.
  • This could also be written as an Amaj7 chord with an added 9th.
  • In the 1st position chord, the 3rd (C#) is omitted... this is a particular voicing of the major 9th chord. This could also be classed as a maj7sus2 chord, in this case Amaj7sus2. The chord formula is 1-2-5-7 = A-B-E-G# (notes in the first position). Amaj9 is almost identical to Amaj7sus2 except the 9th is played an octave lower (9 - 7 = 2), and the 3rd is omitted. This voicing is quite common with 9th chords.
  • You tend to find all types of 9th chords in alternative styles of music, especially jazz music where the use of extended chords and compound intervals are prevalent.
  • Standard keys using the A major 9 chord: A/F#m and E/C#m. Both sets of scales share the same notes, i.e., A Major and F# minor share the same notes, as do E major and C#minor (F#m is the relative minor of A major, and C#m is the relative minor of E major).
  • Amaj9 can therefore be used as a usable chord in any of the above chord progressions which means in this example, chords that utilize notes belonging to the A Major Scale (A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#), and E Major Scale (E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D#). Amaj9 meets the criteria (A - C# - E - G# - B)... this also includes the relative minor keys of F#m and C#m.
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