How to Play an Am9 Chord on the Piano

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?

Minor ninth chords are minor chords with two added notes. The added notes are the seventh note of the matching major scale, lowered 1/2 step, and the ninth note of the scale.

To build a minor ninth chord, we’ll start by building a minor chord. Minor chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching minor scale (learn how to build a minor scale here).

Another way to build a minor chord is to build the matching major chord and lower the middle note 1/2 step.

To add the next note to the chord, we’ll find the seventh note of the matching major scale and lower it 1/2 step (learn how to build a major scale here).

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.

piano chords printable charts

Chord Types Printable

Learn to play 17 types of piano chords using 12 different root notes with this 34-page PDF! Chords are sorted both by their root note (C, D, E, etc.) and type (major, minor, augmented, diminished, etc.).

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

Next we’ll find the seventh note of the A major scale, and lower it 1/2 step: G

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

am9 chord piano

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.

Fingering

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:

Major
Minor
Augmented
Diminished
Second
Minor Second
Suspended
Fifth
Sixth
Minor Sixth
Seventh
Minor Seventh
Major Seventh
Ninth
Major Ninth

Conclusion

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.

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2 Comments

  1. Sri

    how to contact u and talk with u 😭 iam from India

    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      You can use the contact form to reach out to me via email. The link for the form is in the footer of the website. Thanks!

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