Major ninth chord

The major ninth chord (maj9) – construction, intervals, symbols, chord chart and examples.

Major ninth chord chart

Examples of major ninth chords. Chord chart with some examples of major 9th chords for the guitar. Major ninth chord diagrams.

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Major ninth chord intervals

The intervals a major ninth chord are built of.

A major ninth chord consist of the intervals: perfect unison, major third, perfect fifth, major seventh, major ninth.

Chord formula: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9.

Note! The interval ninth (9) represents the same note as the major second (2) interval, but the ninth is an octave – 12 semitones – higher in pitch.

It’s common practice to remove the 5th, the root or both and still call it a major ninth chord:

  • Chord formula 9no5: 1, 3, 7, 9.
  • Chord formula 9noRoot: 3, 5, 7, 9.

Ninth chord symbols

The chord symbol of a major ninth chord.

Symbol: Δ9, maj9.

Examples: Amaj9, Cmaj9, EΔ9.

Major ninth chord construction

How a major ninth chord is constructed.

By adding the interval ninth to a major seventh chord we get a major 9th chord.

A major ninth chord is constructed by adding a minonr third on top of the major seventh of the major seventh chord.

The new interval – major seventh (7) + minor third (b3) – is equal to the interval ninth (9).

The major ninth chord in thirds: major third (3) + minor third (b3) + major third (3) + minor third (b3):

  1. 3 + b3 -> major triad chord.
  2. 3 + b3 + 3 -> major seventh chord.
  3. 3 + b3 + 3 + b3 -> major ninth chord.

The interval ninth (9) represents the same note as the major second (2) interval but the ninth is an octave – 12 semitones – higher in pitch.

Let’s add a ninth to a major seventh chord: Cmaj7 -> Cmaj9!

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Cmaj7 -> Cmaj9
Change the third (3) on string 4 to a ninth (9=2) and Cmaj7 becomes Cmaj9.