Let’s look at how to play an A9 chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any ninth chord.
What Are Ninth Chords?
Next we’ll add the seventh note of the scale, lowered 1/2 step.
Then we’ll add the ninth note of the scale to the chord to complete the chord. Since scales only have eight notes, to add the ninth note, we’ll repeat the scale into the next octave, adding the ninth note. The ninth note of a scale is the same as the second note of the scale, but one octave higher.
How to Play an A9 Chord
Next we’ll find the seventh note of the scale and lower it 1/2 step: G.
Then we’ll find the ninth note of the scale by repeating the scale into the next octave: B
So to play an A9 chord, we’ll play:
A – C♯ – E – G – B
You can use this pattern to build any ninth chord on the piano. First build a major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale. Then add the seventh note of the scale, lowered 1/2 step. Then add the ninth note of the scale, by repeating the scale into the next octave.
You probably can’t reach all these notes with your right hand, so here are some options: You could play the A with your left hand, and play the C♯ – E – G – B with your right hand using fingers 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 (thumbs are 1’s).
Another option would be to move the B down to the position of a second, and play the notes in this order: A – B – C♯ – E – G. In order to make this work, you’ll need to play both the A and B with your thumb laying at an angle. So the fingering would be 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5.
Other Chord Types
There are many other chord types you can learn. Here are some others:
Now you know how to build an A9 chord on the piano, and you can use that pattern to build any ninth chord!
Ninth chords are more complex than other chord types because of the added notes, and have a wonderful rich sound.