Major 6/9 Guitar Chord: Diagram, Lesson & Example Progression

The choice for this week's Guitar Chord Of The Week was inspired by the Brazilian World Cup; our featured chord is a major 6/9 (Maj6/9) shape with an open, Latin sound.

Learn the chord, then play it in the Brazilian-style chord progression provided.

Major 6/9 Chord
Major 6/9 Chord Shape (Root Note In Blue)

The major 6/9 chord is a major triad with added sixth and ninth notes.

Therefore, with a root of C, the chord would contain the following notes: C, E, G (the major triad) plus A (the sixth) and D (the ninth).

Notation for a C Major 6/9 chord is shown below:

Major 6/9 Chord Notation
Major 6/9 Chord Notation

Below is the notation and tab for this week's chord shape being used to play a C6/9 chord:

Major 6/9 Guitar Chord Tab
Major 6/9 Guitar Chord Tab

Common chord symbols for major 6/9 chords are: Maj6/9 or just 6/9. This chord could also be called an "add 6 add 9" chord, as it's a standard major triad with added sixth and ninth notes.

Playing 6/9 Chords

At first, this chord can be a little tricky to play, as it requires not one, but two barres!

I find the easiest way to play it is by forming a barre with the index finger across all but the sixth (low E) string. Then I add the second finger onto the fifth string and the "mini-barre" with the third finger.

Once mastered, the 6/9 chord can be slipped around the neck with relative ease, and you can incorporate rhythmic, one-fret slides into your strumming patterns.

The trickiest part of playing this chord is the 'mini-barre' made with the third finger over the top two strings. An alternative way of fingering the chord, without this extra barre, is shown below.

Although it may seem easier at first, it actually takes fractionally longer to finger this chord this way.

Alternative Fingering For Major 6-9 Chord
Alternative Fingering For Major 6-9 Chord

Major 6/9 Chord Progression

As we said, this  week's chord choice was inspired by the World Cup. Therefore we have provided a breezy, Brazilian-style chord progression for you to practice playing the 6/9 chord with.

As well as the major 6/9, this progression contains some other nice jazzy chords. Play the progression slowly at first as you get used to playing them.

Brazilian Bossa Nova Chord Progression
Brazilian Bossa Nova Chord Progression

The C sharp 6/9 chord at the very end acts as a substitution for a G dominant chord, preparing the listener's ear for a return to the tonic chord.

Try giving the chords a bossa-nova rhythm for that authentic Brazilian sound. Here's a little inspiration:

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