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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About 7th Chords And 9th Chords

Aug 8, 2008
In the world of music, there are a lot of different chords which comprise the sonic palette of every musician (unless of course, you're a drummer- but even if you are, keep reading; there's an opportunity to learn here). An open chord is one where none of the notes being played are flats or sharps. An open chord is typically the first, third and fifth notes of a scale. One of the more commonly used chords other than these are 7th chords: among them, D7, C7 and G7 to name a few.

To play a G7 chord on a guitar:
* Finger the third fret of the sixth string using your ring finger.
* Finger the second fret of the fifth string, using your middle finger.
* Finally, finger the first fret of the first string, using your index finger.
* The other three strings will be played open, which is to say unfingered.
With some practice, you'll find it easy to keep your fingers curled to stay on the proper frets. Now, strum the chord. In a G7 cord, there is a difference of only one note from what is played in a G major chord.
Similarly, the C7 chord is played with only a one note difference from those found in a C major chord. When playing a C7 chord, begin by forming a C major chord on your fretboard as follows:
* Ring finger, third fret, fifth string.
* Middle finger, second fret, fourth string.
* Index finger, first fret, second string.

Then add to this:
* Pinky finger, third fret, third string. Now strum the five bottom strings to play the C7 chord.

To play a D7 Chord (much like D major, but with the seventh note added):
* Middle finger on the second fret of the third string.
* Index finger, on the first fret of the second string.
* Ring finger on the second fret of the first string.
* now strum the bottom four strings to play this chord.

When looking at the chord charts for these chords, strings which will not be strummed are represented with an X above them. To make sure that you are playing the chord correctly, first pluck each note on its own. Practice these chords, as well as moving from chord to chord. Try saying the name of the chords as you play them to get accustomed to the name, fingering and sound of each one.

A 9th chord is just like a 7th chord, but with an added ninth (a ninth is one octave higher than the starting note; known as a tonic, plus two frets).

A ninth chord is composed of: 1-3-5-b7-9.
The major 7th minor 9th chord is: 1-3-5-7-9
The minor 7th minor 9th chord is: 1-b3-5-b7-9

The major 9th chords are: -

* A = A-C#-E-G#-B
* B = B-D#-F#-A#-C#
* C = C-E-G-B-D
* D = D-F#-A-C#-E
* E = E-G#-B-D#-F#
* F = F-A-C-E-G
* G = G-B-D-F#-A
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of MusicianHome.com, a site that provides information and articles for musicians at all stages of their development.
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