The 9th Chord

The C9 Chord

We have learned that triads such as major, minor, augmented and diminished chords are 3-note chords. Hence, the word triad. When we add one or more note to a chord, we call them "extended chords." Chords like minor 6ths and 7ths have an extra note that extends beyond the triad. When you get to the 9th chords and beyond, you have 5 or more notes in the same chord.

English: Description of triads
English: Description of triads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All 9th chords (C9, G9, D9, F9, A9, B9, Ab9, Eb9, Db9, Gb9, Bb9, etc.)

Major 9th bass chords.

Ninth chords are five-note chords that span the usual intervals up to a ninth (root-3-5-7-9); and most often, the ninth interval remains major, even in minor 9th chords.

Read what Jermaine Griggs says about ninth chords.

The major 9th chord is basically a major 7th chord with one extra note added - the major 9th.

Playing the major 9th chord is easy. Just play a major 7th chord, and add a note that is an interval of a major 9th from the root note of the chord. Another way to think about it is by using a formula of half steps. Below is the formula for the major 9th chord.

Root + 4HS + 3HS + 4HS + 3HS

You can play the major 9th chord in all twelve keys. Below is a list of all 12 major 9th chords.

Key of C: C, E, G, B, D

Key of G: G, B, D, F#, A

Key of D: D, F#, A, C#, E

Key of A: A, C#, E, G#, B

Key of E: E, G#, B, D#, F#

Key of B: B, D#, F#, A#, C#

Key of Gb: Gb, Bb, Db, F, Ab

Key of Db : Db, F, Ab, C, Eb

Key of Ab: Ab, C, Eb, G, Bb

Key of Eb: Eb, G, Bb, D, F

Key of Bb: Bb, D, F, A, C

Key of F : F, A, C, E, G

Here is an example of a Casting Crowns song, Friend of Sinners.

Intro - G
G                              (C9)            (G)
Jesus Friend of sinners we have strayed so far away
(C9)                                                 (G)    Em    D
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing
G                                     C9               G
Jesus friend of sinners the truth's become so hard to see
C9                        G              Em               D
The world is on their way to You but they're tripping over me
C9                        G                    D
Always looking around but never looking up I'm so double minded
C9                                        G         D
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided

G                    C9 - D
Oh Jesus friend of sinners
Em                     D                                C9
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
G                       C9  - D
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Em                            D        C
Help us reach with open hearts and open
Am                                  C9
Oh Jesus friend of sinners break our hearts for what breaks yours
(Em  C9   G    D) – Instrumental
G                            C9           G
Jesus friend of sinners the one who's writing in the sand
C9                  G                  Em                    D
Make the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
G                                    C9          G
Help us to remember we are all the least of thieves
C9                G                  Em                    D
Let the memory of Your mercy bring your people to their knees
C9                                                        G  -  D
Nobody knows what we're for only what we're against when we  judge the wounded
C9                                                                  G - D
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and love like you did
-Chorus  x1 -
Bridge 1 -
Am                                            C
You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
G                                               D
For the leper and the lame; they're the reason that You came
Am                                        C
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
G                                              D
But you died for sinners just like me a grateful leper at Your feet
Bridge 2--
G            G                       C9            D
You are good, You are good And Your love endures forever   x4

-Chorus x1-
G                                            C9 - D
And I was the lost cause and I was the outcast
Em -  D – C9
Yeah(hold note)
G             C9                    D
You died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

Do you need a refresher course to brush up on your chords? Here's an audio series that I recommend, Chords 101 & 102

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"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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