Minor Ninth Chords
Let’s look at how to play a Gm9 (G minor ninth) chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any minor ninth chord.
What Are Minor Ninth Chords?
This means to build a minor ninth chord, we’ll 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).
Finally, we’ll add the ninth note of the scale. Since scales only have eight notes, we can repeat the scale into the next octave to find the ninth note. The ninth note is the same as the second note of the scale, just one octave up.
How to Play a Gm9 Chord
To play a Gm9 chord on the piano, we’ll start by building a G minor chord, using the first, third and fifth notes of a G minor scale: G – B♭ – D
Then we’ll repeat the scale into the next octave to add the ninth note, A.
So to play a Gm9 chord, we’ll play:
G – B♭ – D – F – A
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. Then find the seventh note of the matching major scale and lower it 1/2 step. Then repeat the scale into the next octave to add the ninth note.
You probably can’t reach all these notes with your right hand only, so you have a couple options. One option would be to play the G note with your left hand and the other notes with your right hand. Another option would be to move the A down to the position of a second.
If you play the G with your left hand, then B♭ – D – F – A can be played with fingers 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 of the right hand (thumbs are 1’s).
If you move the A down to the position of a second, then G and A can both be played using your thumb (your thumb will lay at an angle), and B♭ – D – F will be played with fingers 2 – 3 – 5.
Other Chord Types
There are many other types of chords you can build. Here are some others:
Now you know how to build a Gm9 chord on the piano, and you can use this pattern to build any minor ninth chord.
These chords are more advanced, but as you build on your piano chord repertoire, you’ll find yourself enjoying the piano more and more. Using piano chords to play the piano is a wonderful way to create and express music!