The E9 chord contains the notes E, G#, B, D and F#. It is produced by taking the 1 (root), 3, 5, b7 and 9 of the E Major scale. The 9th note of the scale (E) 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 E7 chord for a E9 chord. You should hear that the chord progression sounds very similar, but the inclusion of the E9 chord gives the chord progression a jazzy sound.
The most common way to play E9 is with the root note on the 7th fret of the 6th string (second shape in the pic below). That particular shape is in a way the ‘default 9th chord’ on the guitar. It is very popular for a number of reasons. Firstly, as just mentioned, it can be used as a substitute for E7, which is a very popular guitar chord. Secondly, it can be played with the open 5th string (E), which fattens up the sound of the chord. Lastly, that particular E9 shape is played in roughly the middle of the fretboard, making it a relatively comfortable shape.
10 Ways To Play The E9 Chord
If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for E9, here they are.
Some Quick E9 Chord Theory
- The E9 chord contains the notes E, G#, B, D and F#.
- The E9 chord is produced by taking the 1 (root), 3, 5, b7 and 9 of the E Major scale.
- The 9th note of the E Major scale (E) is the same as the 2nd note of the scale.
- The E9 can be used as a substitute for the E7 chord.
- The E9 is essentially a E dominant 7 chord with an added 9.
- The E mixolydian mode can be used when soloing over the E9 chord.