Dominant 9th Chords: Master the Tension and Dissonance

A dominant 9th chord is a chord built on the fifth degree (or dominant) of a major scale, and it includes the ninth scale degree in addition to the basic triad and seventh notes. The dominant 9th chord is an extended chord that adds a dissonant interval, the ninth, to the dominant seventh chord.

The structure of a dominant 9th chord is:

1 – Root note (the fifth degree of the major scale) 3 – Major third 5 – Perfect fifth b7 – Flat seventh 9 – Major ninth

For example, in the key of C major, the dominant 9th chord would be G9, which consists of the notes G, B, D, F, and A.

Dominant 9th chords are commonly used in jazz, blues, and other popular music styles. They create a strong sense of tension and dissonance, which typically resolves to the tonic (I) chord. The ninth interval adds an extra layer of complexity and color to the dominant seventh chord.

These chords are often played and voiced in different ways, with the ninth sometimes omitted or altered (e.g., flat ninth). They can serve as passing chords, embellishments, or as the final dominant chord before resolving to the tonic chord.

C9 C#9D9 Eb9E9 F9
F#9/Gb9G9G#9or Ab9A9A#9 or Bb9B9

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