How to Play a D9 Chord on the Piano

Ninth Chords

Let’s look at how to play a D9 (D ninth) chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any ninth chord.

What Are Ninth Chords?

Ninth chords are major chords with two extra notes. The extra notes are the seventh note of the matching major scale, lowered 1/2 step, and the ninth note of the same scale.

To build a 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.

Then we’ll first find the seventh note of the same scale, and lower it 1/2 step.

Next we’ll add the ninth note of the same scale. Since scales only have eight notes, we’ll repeat the scale into the next octave to find the ninth note.

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 a D9 Chord

Now let’s look at how to play the D9 chord on the piano. First we’ll build a D major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the D major scale: D – F♯ – A.

Then we’ll find the seventh note of the D major scale, a C♯, and lower it 1/2 step: C.

Then we’ll repeat the scale into the next octave to find the ninth note: E.

So to play a D9 chord, we’ll play:

D – F♯ – A – C – E

d9 chord piano

You can use this pattern to build any ninth chord. 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 by repeating the scale into the next octave.

Ninth chords are really beautiful!

Fingering

You probably can’t reach these notes with your right hand only, so you have a couple options.

One option would be to play the D with your left hand, and play the F♯ – A – C – E using fingers 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 of your right hand (thumbs are 1’s).

Another option would be to move the E back down to the position of a second. You would play the notes in this order: D – E – F♯ – A – C, laying your thumb at an angle to play both the D and E. Then F♯ – A – C would be played using fingers 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
Minor Ninth
Major Ninth

Conclusion

Now you know how to build a D9 chord on the piano, and you can use that knowledge to build any ninth chord!

These chords may seem confusing at first, but once you have the patterns memorized, they’re easier to figure out. Ninth chords sound really beautiful at the piano, and provide a nice richness with their added notes.

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