How to Play a Dm9 Chord on the Piano

Minor Ninth Chords

Let’s look at how to play a Dm9 (D minor ninth) 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 same scale.

To build a minor ninth chord, we can 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.

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

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

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 Dm9 Chord

Now let’s build the Dm9 chord on the piano. We’ll start by building a Dm chord, using the first, third and fifth notes of the D minor scale: D – F – A

These are the same notes we get if we start with a D major chord (D – F♯ – A), and lower the middle note 1/2 step.

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

Then we’ll find the ninth note by repeating the scale into the next octave: E.

So to play a Dm9 chord, we’ll play:

D – F – A – C – E

dm9 chord piano

You can use this pattern to build any minor ninth chord on the piano. 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 the middle note 1/2 step).

Then add the seventh note of the matching major scale, lowered 1/2 step.

Then repeat the scale into the next octave, adding the ninth note.

Fingering

You probably can’t reach all these notes with your right hand only, so you have a couple options. One option is to play the D with your left hand, and play the F – A – C – E with fingers 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 (thumbs are 1’s). Another option would be to lower the E back down to the position of a second, and play the notes in this order: D – E – F – A – C. You would play two notes with your thumb at an angle, and use fingers 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 a Dm9 chord on the piano, and you can use that knowledge to build any minor ninth chord.

Patterns can be used again and again to build many different chords, starting on different notes!

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