C9 Chord Guitar: How to Play the C Dominant 9th Chord


The C9 chord is a dominant 9th chord built on the 5th degree of the F major scale. It adds an extra musical dimension to the standard C7 chord with a jarring but jazzy major 9th interval. Learning this chord is essential for jazz, blues, and funk guitar players. Here’s how to play the C9 chord on guitar.

C9 Chord Theory: The C9 chord contains the notes C, E, G, Bb, and D. It consists of the root (C), major 3rd (E), perfect 5th (G), flat 7th (Bb), and major 9th (D). This combination of intervals creates a dissonant but musically colorful chord perfect for added tension.

How to Play the C9 Chord

There are several chord voicings and fingerings for C9 on the guitar. The most common C9 chord shape uses:

Walk through fingering the chord properly, barring with the index finger, etc. Explain nuances like omitting the 5th, playing rootless C9 voicings, using 7th and 9th embellishments.

Applications of C9:

C9 is commonly used as a dominant 9th resolving to F major. Genres like jazz, funk, and blues rock utilize this dissonant, tension-building chord frequently. Explain progressions and turnaround ideas with C9 -> F.

Summary and Practice: The C9 guitar chord unlocks rich jazz and blues sounds by adding the 9th interval over the 7th. With these fingerings and music theory under your belt, start practicing moving between C9 and its resolution to build the facility. Master this versatile extended chord!