24 Ways To Play The Dominant 9th Chord


All of these chords can substitute any of the I, IV, V chord found in blues. For example you can substitute E9 for E major.

It’s common symbol is simply a “9”. For example: E9 is an E dominant 9th chord.

Our first 9th chord looks like this:

The root of the chord is the note on the 5th string (A string). You can use the root to determine where to play the chord form to perform the correct chord. What note the root note falls on gives you the name of the chord. So, if the root note is on the 2nd fret of the 5th string, we know it’s a B9 chord because the 2nd fret is a B.

Here’s all 12 possible variations of this chord form:

Practice playing the chord up and down the fretboard:

Our next chord is another version of the 9th chord. It sounds very similar to the last chord form (same chord type), but this version is a little different. This chord form omits its root note. Normally it would be found on the 6th string, so when forming this chord imagine in your mind where the root is supposed to be to help you locate it around the fretboard.

Here are all 12 different variations of the chord:

It’s a bit of a challenge to remember where to fret it to play certain chords, so a little extra practice will come in handy. It’s a very commonly used form (perfect for song endings), so it’s well worth the effort.