Let’s look at how to play an F9 chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any other ninth chord.
What Are Ninth Chords?
Then we’ll add the ninth note of the scale to the chord. Since a scale only has eight notes, we’ll repeat the scale into the next octave to find the ninth note. This is the same note as the second note of the scale, but one octave up.
How to Play an F9 Chord
Then we’ll find the seventh note of the F major scale, lower it 1/2 step, and add it to the chord: E♭
Then we’ll repeat the F major scale into the next octave to find the ninth note and add it to the chord: G
So to play an F9 chord, we’ll play:
F – A – C – E♭ – G
We can use this pattern to build any other ninth chord! We’ll first build a major chord, then we’ll add the seventh note of the matching major scale, lowered 1/2 step, and then add the ninth note of the scale.
You probably can’t reach all these notes with your right hand, so here are a few options:
You can re-arrange the notes by moving the G back down to the position of a second. Or you can play the F with your left hand and the other notes with your right.
If you move the G down to the position of a second, you’ll play the notes in this order: F – G – A – C – E♭ using fingers 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 (thumbs are 1’s). The thumb can lay at an angle to play both the F and the G.
If you play the F with your left hand and the other notes with your right, you can use fingers 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 to play the G – A – C – E♭.
Now you know how to build an F9 chord on the piano, and you can use that knowledge to build any other ninth chord!
Ninth chords are more complex, but they sound very rich and full!