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?
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.
How to Play a D9 Chord
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
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!
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:
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.