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Ninth Chords for Guitar

Let's look now at some additional chord types that are creative substitutes for various triad and seventh chords. These chords will allow us to add some dramatic tension to our chord progressions. These chords are very common in the Jazz style, but also useful as alternative sounds across the range of popular styles. These are moveable chord forms just like our bar chords. The fingerings may be challenging at first, but with practice you will eventually play them effortlessly!

Major Ninth

Now we are going to continue with the stacking thirds concept and extend it past the octave to include the ninth interval note. For simplicity we will start with a C Major Ninth, since the C major scale has no sharps or flats. Now, in accordance with the name of this chord we are building, Major Ninth, we are going to add the Ninth interval notes for a five-note chord. The new extra note will be a D note. So according to the interval relationships we learned previously, the notes of the C major ninth chord are C, E, G, B, and D. In theory it should be the D note one octave above the second interval D note. Since this chord is a major seventh chord with an added ninth interval, it will function as a substitute for major seventh chord. However, the ninth interval has an effect similar to the suspended second tense and unstable. So this chord is best used, for example, as an embellished major seventh chord played after a major seventh.

Important: technically, the ninth interval is one octave above the second interval. In practice, due to inherent fingering limitations, there is some flexibility in application with extended chords. Also, as the chords become more complex, there are numerous possible fingerings, some more practical than others. Here will cover the most common fingerings.

Major Ninth Chords for Guitar

Minor Ninth

For the Minor Ninth we will use flatted third and flatted seventh intervals as with the Minor Seventh chord, then add the ninth. Note that we have had to drop the fifth interval in two of the voicings. d. Use this chord as a substitute for a Minor Seventh chord. You will see this chord labeled as m9 or -9.

Minor Ninth Chords for Guitar

Dominant Ninth

Now let's review the Dominant Ninth Chord. You will see this chord often in blues style songs, and it shows up in other types of common chord progressions as well. It has a tense sound. We construct this chord type by adding the ninth interval note, as the name implies, to a Dominant Seventh chord. Consequently, we use this chord as an alternate for Dominant Seventh chords.

In keeping with the abbreviated labeling of the Dominant Seventh chord as simply the 7th chord, so we refer to this one as simply the 9th Chord. So when there is a reference to a 9th chord with no other information offered, assume it is referring to a Dominant Ninth Chord.

Minor Ninth Chords for Guitar

Minor Seventh Flat Nine

The Minor Seven Flat Nine chord includes flatted third, seventh, and ninth intervals. Use this chord as an alternate for a Minor Seventh chord.You will see this chord labeled as m7b9 or -7b9.

Dominant Seventh Flat Nine

In keeping with the abbreviated labeling of the Dominant Seventh chord as simply the 7th chord, so we refer to this one as simply the 9th Chord. So when there is a reference to a 9th chord with no other information offered, assume it is referring to a Dominant Ninth Chord.

Seven Flat Nine Chords for Guitar

Add Nine

The Add Nine chord includes a major triad (1-3-5) plus the ninth interval. This chord differs from the major ninth or dominant ninth in that it does not include the seventh interval, hence the name ... the ninth interval is added to a major triad. Use this chord as a substitute for a Major chord. You will see this chord labeled as add9.

Dominant Seventh Sharp Nine

The Dominant Seventh Sharp Ninth chord is a dominant seventh chord (1-3-5-b7) plus a sharped ninth interval note. Use this chord as a substitute for a Dominant Seventh. You will see this chord labeled as 7#9 or 7+9.

Add Nine & Sharp Nine Chords for Guitar


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