Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from What is a 9th?

Our first 9th chord to study is the major 9th. It always makes sense to start with major as you are never altering the scale, just picking notes from it instead. This makes the scale formulas easy to remember and sets us up for the more difficult formulas.

Summary: Major 9th

Whenever you are studying major type chords, the chord construction is pretty simple. In the case of a major 9th chord you simply take your major triad (1st, 3rd, 5th) add the 7th, and then the 9th. It is the addition of the 9th that changes the vibe of the chord to an even more relaxed sounding chord. Here is the formula applied to C major:

In Practice: Major 9th Shape

To put this into practice on the guitar, below is two common Cmaj9 chord shapes. Notice the notes you are playing and try to call each one out in theoretical terms (i.e. the 1st, 5th etc...). Also notice that we don't necessarily include the 5th in the chord, that is something we will explain fully later on.

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Minor 9th Chords

Let's now take a look at the minor 9th chords, which are once again built up from the minor 7th chord base. With minor 9th we have moved a long way from the original minor chord sound, so this chord has a very different usage to the basic minor, as we discover in this lesson.