Dominant 9th Guitar Chord Diagram

Dominant 9th Guitar Chord Diagram Root On 5th String

This week's Guitar Chord Of The Week is a dominant 9th shape with the root note on the fifth string. Find out how to play this chord, then use it in a sample progression.

Dominant 9th Guitar Chord Diagram
Guitar Chord Of The Week - Dominant 9th With Root On 5th String

This is one of, if not the most common ways of playing a dominant 9th, or '9' guitar chord. It can take a bit of getting used to at first, but in actual fact it is quite a simple chord to play. This 9th shape is very popular with jazz guitarists.

How To Play This Chord

Dominant 9th Guitar Chord Played At 5th Fret (D9)

First, position the second finger on the fifth string. This is the root note of the chord, and is marked with a red circle on the diagram above.

Next, place the first finger on the fourth (D) string, a fret lower than the root note. This is the third of the chord.

The awkward part is to play a kind of barre over the top three strings with the third finger. Don't worry - it's not as hard as it sounds. This chord is actually one of the easier chords to play, particularly on an electric guitar.

The 6th (low E) string is not played.

Check that all of the notes are sounding clearly by playing each of the notes separately while holding down the chord.

Continue reading to find out how the chord is constructed, then try playing it in an example chord progression.

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Dominant 9 Chord Music Theory

The dominant 9 chord contains the same notes as a dominant 7th chord, plus an additional note: the ninth. This means that the notes in a C9 chord are: C, E, G, Bb (the notes in a 7 chord) PLUS the D (the ninth).

Dominant 9th Guitar Notation & TAB
Dominant 9th Guitar Notation & TAB

Using The Dominant 9th Guitar Chord

This dominant 9th guitar chord shape works well when combined with a minor 7th chord played with a similar 'jazzy' voicing (see diagram below). Combine the two shapes in a bluesy prog rock (think Pink Floyd) sequence such as the one below:

Dominant 9th Chord Progression
Example Chord Progression

9th Chords In Jazz

You can substitute any dominant 7th (7) chord with a dominant 9th (9) chord. The added ninth note in the 9 chord adds a little more interest to the sound. Therefore, whenever you come across a ii V I progression, you can play a 9 chord in the place of the V chord.

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