Minor Ninth Chords
Let’s look at how to play an Am9 chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any minor ninth chord.
What Are Minor Ninth Chords?
Finally, we’ll add the ninth note of the scale to complete the chord. Scales only have eight notes, so to add the ninth note, we’ll repeat the scale into the next octave. The ninth note is the same as the second note of the scale, but one octave up.
How to Play an Am9 Chord
Now let’s build the Am9 chord on the piano. First we’ll build an Am chord using the first, third and fifth notes of an A minor scale. Or we can build an A major chord and lower the middle note 1/2 step: A – C – E
Finally, we’ll add the ninth note of the scale, by repeating the A major scale into the next octave: B
So to play an Am9 chord, we’ll play:
A – C – E – G – B
You can use this pattern to build any minor ninth chord. First build a minor chord by playing the first, third and fifth notes of the matching minor scale (or take the matching major chord and lower it 1/2 step). Then add the seventh note of the matching major scale, lowered 1/2 step. Then add the ninth note of the same scale by repeating the scale into the next octave.
You probably can’t reach all these notes with your right hand only, but 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 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 Am9 chord on the piano, and you can use that knowledge to build any minor ninth chord!
These chords are more complex due to the number of notes, but they sound pretty.