The Ab9 (A flat 9) chord contains the notes Ab, C, Eb, Gb and Bb. It is produced by taking the 1 (root), 3, 5, b7 and 9 of the Ab Major scale. The 9th note of the scale (Bb) is the same as the 2nd note, but we refer to it as a 9, as this implies that the chord is a dominant 7 chord (1, 3, 5, 7) with a 9 included.

The 9th chord is a very popular guitar chord in Jazz, Funk and Blues. It is in many ways, the go-to ‘funk’ chord. The 9th chord can often be substituted for a dominant 7 chord. Let’s take an example chord progression:

Try playing this chord progression. After a while, try substituting the Ab7 chord for a Ab9 chord. You should hear that the chord progression sounds very similar, but the inclusion of the Ab9 chord gives the chord progression a jazzy sound.

The most common way to play Ab9 is with the root note on the 11th fret of the 5th string (second shape in the pic below).

10 Ways To Play The Ab9 Chord

If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for Ab9, here they are.

Ab9 Chord 10 Shapes

Some Quick Ab9 Chord Theory

  • The Ab9 chord contains the notes Ab, C, Eb, Gb and Bb.
  • The Ab9 chord is produced by taking the 1 (root), 3, 5, b7 and 9 of the Ab Major scale.
  • The 9th note of the Ab Major scale (Bb) is the same as the 2nd note of the scale.
  • The Ab9 can be used as a substitute for the Ab7 chord.
  • The Ab9 is essentially a Ab dominant 7 chord with an added 9.
  • The Ab mixolydian mode can be used when soloing over the Ab9 chord.

Further Reading

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