The C9 chord contains the notes C, E, G, Bb and D. It is produced by taking the 1 (root), 3, 5, b7 and 9 of the C Major scale. The 9th note of the scale (D) 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 C7 chord for a C9 chord. You should hear that the chord progression sounds very similar, but the inclusion of the C9 chord gives the chord progression a jazzy sound.

Because the C7 chord is a very popular guitar chord, the C9 chord is also very popular. It is most commonly played with the root note on the 3rd fret of the 5th string (2nd shape in the picture below).

10 Ways To Play The C9 Chord

If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for C9, here they are.

C9 Chord 10 Shapes

Some Quick C9 Chord Theory

  • The C9 chord contains the notes C, E, G, Bb and D.
  • The C9 chord is produced by taking the 1 (root), 3, 5, b7 and 9 of the C Major scale.
  • The 9th note of the C Major scale (D) is the same as the 2nd note of the scale.
  • The C9 can be used as a substitute for the C7 chord.
  • The C9 is essentially a C dominant 7 chord with an added 9.
  • The C mixolydian mode can be used when soloing over the C9 chord.

Further Reading

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