Minor Ninth Chords
Let’s look at how to play a Bm9 (B minor ninth) chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any other 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. We can build a minor chord by taking the matching major chord and lowering the middle note 1/2 step.
The last note of the chord is the ninth note of the matching major scale. Since scales only have eight notes, to find the ninth, we can 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 a Bm9 Chord
Then we’ll find the seventh note of the B major scale, lower it 1/2 step, and add it to the chord: A
Then we’ll repeat the scale into the next octave to find the ninth note: C♯
So to play a Bm9 chord, we’ll play:
B – D – F♯ – A – C♯
We can use this pattern to build any other minor ninth chord! First build a minor chord, then add the seventh note of the matching major scale, lowered 1/2 step, and then repeat the scale into the next octave to find the ninth note.
You probably can’t reach all these notes in that order with your right hand, so one option would be to play the B with your left hand, and the other notes with your right. You would use fingers 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 to play the D – F♯ – A – C♯ (thumbs are 1’s).
Other Chord Types
Some other chord types you can learn are:
Now you know how to build a Bm9 chord, and you can use this pattern to build any other minor ninth chord!
Using chords to learn and enjoy the piano is so much fun, and provides lots of room for creativity!