How to Play an Amaj9 Chord on the Piano

Major Ninth Chords

Let’s look at how to play an Amaj9 chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any major ninth chord.

What Are Major Ninth Chords?

Major ninth chords are major chords with two added notes. The added notes are the seventh and ninth notes of the matching major scale.

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

Then we’ll add the seventh note of the matching major scale to the chord.

Finally, we’ll add the ninth note of the scale to the chord. Since scales only have eight notes, 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 chart pdf printable

Chord Types Printable

Learn to play 17 types of piano chords using 12 different root notes with this 35-page PDF! Chords are sorted both by their root note and type.

How to Play an Amaj9 Chord

Now let’s build an Amaj9 chord on the piano. First we’ll build our A major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the A major scale: A – C♯ – E

Then we’ll add the seventh note of the same scale: G♯

Finally, we’ll add the ninth note of the scale by repeating the scale into the next octave: B

So to play an Amaj9 chord, we’ll play:

A – C♯ – E – G♯ – B

amaj9 chord piano

You can use this pattern to build any major ninth chord. First build a major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale. Then add the seventh and ninth notes of the same scale.

Fingering

You probably can’t reach all these notes with your right hand only, so you have a couple options. One option would be to play the A with the left hand and play the C♯ – E – G♯ – B with the right hand using fingers 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 (thumbs are 1’s).

Another option would be to move the B back down to the position of a second, and play the notes in this order: A – B – C♯ – E – G♯ with your thumb at an angle to play the first two notes. 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
Minor Ninth

Conclusion

Now you know how to play an Amaj9 chord on the piano, and you can use that knowledge to build any major ninth chord!

The nice thing about these chords is that even though they are more complex in that they have five notes, the five notes used to build the chord are all part of the matching major scale. So if you play the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth notes of any major scale, you’ve built the corresponding major ninth chord!

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