How to Play the D9 Chord on Guitar?

Published Categorized as Chords

Not all chord charts include D9, a distinctive-sounding guitar chord. But if you’re looking to move past your typical guitar chords, the D9 chord is a new and exciting one to learn!

What’s a D9 Chord?

The D9 chord is pronounced as the “D dominant ninth” or “D9” chord. A dominant ninth chord includes the first, third, fifth, flattened seventh, and ninth degrees of a scale. To get a D9, you first need to look at the D major scale (two octaves):

D – E – F# – G – A – B – C# – D – E – F# – G – A – B – C#

To get the D major scale the chord D9 is based around, you start with your root note (D) and add notes following the intervals WWHWWWH, where W is a whole step and H is a half step.

To build this chord, take your first, third, and fifth degrees for your major triad. Those notes are D, F#, and A, or the notes in a D major guitar chord.

Now we need to add the flat seventh (minor seventh). So we find the seventh degree of the scale (C#) and lower it by a half step to get C.

The last note is the ninth degree of the scale. As we can see above, that is E. So the D9 chord contains the notes D, F#, A, C, and E.

As a side note, a dominant ninth guitar chord is different from a major ninth. Make sure you don’t confuse the two!

How Do You Play a D9 Chord?

In this section, we will show you two ways to play D9 (with suggested finger positions):

D9: Two Versions

This video shows you what’s perhaps the most common way to play D9. Here’s how to do it:

  • Place your first finger on the fourth string at the fourth fret (F#).
  • Place your middle finger on the fifth string at the fifth fret (D).
  • At the fifth fret, use your ring finger to bar the first string (A), second string (E), and third string (C).
  • Mute or skip the sixth string.

That ring-finger barre can be painful and more difficult than your standard barre chords, so here’s another way to play it higher up on the fretboard:

  • At the 10th fret, bar all strings with your index finger (D, C, A).
  • Place your middle finger on the third string at the 11th fret (F#).
  • Place your ring finger on the fifth string at the 12th fret (A).
  • Place your pinky finger on the first string at the 12th fret (E).

Keep Learning the Fretboard!

If you’re just venturing past basic majors and minors into blues, funk, and jazz chords and beyond, newer guitar chords with unfamiliar names can be intimidating. But as you dive into different chords and voicings, you’ll almost certainly gain a new appreciation and understanding of the guitar.

FAQs D9 Chords

Still have some questions? Here are some answers:

What is a D9 chord?

A D9 chord is a guitar chord made of the notes D, F#, A, C, and E. Dominant ninth chords include the root, third, fifth, flat seventh, and ninth.

Why is it called an add9 chord?

An add9 chord is just a major chord with the ninth scale degree added. So a Dadd9 includes D, F#, A, and E.

What is a major 9th chord?

Major 9th guitar chords are different. A major ninth includes a root, third, fifth, major seventh, and major ninth. A Dmaj9 includes D, F#, A, C#, and E.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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