Unless you’re a guitar player who plays a lot of funk songs, you may not have encountered an E9 guitar chord in your life. Read on to learn it and start adding it to your repertoire!
What’s the E9 Chord?
A dominant ninth chord (not to be confused with a major ninth chord) builds on a dominant seventh. To build one, you simply take a dominant seventh chord and add the ninth scale degree.
So to figure out what notes are in E dominant ninth, we first need the E major scale. We start with the root note, E, and then include notes at the intervals of whole step-whole step-half step-whole step-whole step-whole step-half step:
E – F# – G# – A – B – C# – D# – E – F# – G# – A – B – C# – D#
The E major chord contains the root, third, and fifth, or E, G#, and B.
To get an E dominant seventh (E7) we add a flattened seventh (minor seventh), or D. Lastly, we need the ninth, or F#. So E dominant ninth contains E, G#, B, D, and F#.
How to Play the E9 Chord
Below are two of the best ways to play this guitar chord, along with the suggested finger positions. You can find the chord diagrams on this page.
E9: Open Version
This version is probably the simplest E9 chord guitar players can learn. Here’s how to play it:
- Place your index finger on the third string at the first fret (G#).
- Place your middle finger on the fifth string at the second fret (B).
- Place your ring finger on the first string at the second fret (F#).
- Play the second string (B), fourth string (D), and sixth string (E) open.
E9: Barre Version
This version lets you use the standard barre shape for a dominant ninth guitar chord:
- Barre your first finger across all strings at the 12th fret (E, D, B).
- Place your middle finger on the third string at the 13th fret (G#).
- Place your ring finger on the fifth string at the 14th fret (B).
- Place your pinky finger on the first string at the 14th fret (F#).
Continuing to Explore the Fretboard
Whether you’re taking guitar lessons or teaching yourself, we wish you the best as you continue to learn new guitar chords. You don’t necessarily need to memorize the music theory behind each one — but knowing which notes on the fretboard make up each chord certainly can’t hurt!
Still, have some questions? These answers may help:
A 9th chord (or dominant 9th chord) includes a major triad (root, third, and fifth), a flattened (minor) seventh, and a ninth.
The chord E9 can be played open while fretting the third string at the first fret, the fifth string at the second fret, and the first string at the second fret. You can also play it using a barre across the 12th fret and then placing your middle, ring, and pinky fingers in the open chord shape behind it.
An E9 chord is an E dominant ninth chord. It includes the notes E, G#, B, D, and F#.
A 9th chord (or add9, maj9, etc.) includes a “ninth,” or the ninth degree of the root note’s major scale. For example, the ninth note on the E major scale is F#. Therefore,E9, Eadd9, and Emaj9 all include the note F#.