Major Chords – 9

Major 9 Chord

The major 9 chord is simply the major 7 chord with the 9th note of the major scale added.

As you can see, the 9th note is the same as the 2nd note. The reason it is called a 9th is because it is 1 octave higher than the 2nd.

Let’s use the C major chord to show this:

C Major 7

C Major 9

Major 9 Chord Formula:

A major 9 chord is made up of notes based on the intervals of the major scale.

The major 9 chord formula is 1-3-5-7-9 (i.e. the Root, 3rd5th7th and 9th notes of the major scale).

Important note for: 

For guitarists especially; extended chords can be more difficult to play as you only have a finite number of fingers and options to position them on the fretboard.

It is general practice to leave out the 5th note because it is not needed for this chord to function harmonically, as the 9th note is more important. 

The chord will also sound less cluttered with the 5th note omitted. 

We recommend that you play maj 9 chords in root position only

(i.e. the root note being the lowest note in the chord).

You can use MusicWheels™ to discover all the other major 9 chords.

Guitar Diagrams

Major 9 Chords - CAGED - Across the Fretboard

The diagrams below show the generic CAGED shapes for major 9 chords.

The red note is the root note of the chord, for example:

– if you wish to play the A major chord then the red root note will be the note of A

– if you wish to play the D major chord then the red root note will be the note of D and so on.

Keyboard Diagrams