How to play

How to play the A9 chord on guitar

Unlock the dreamy sound of "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac and more with this essential chord.

The A9 chord

The A9 chord, pronounced "A dominant ninth," is a colorful and jazzy variation of the A7 chord. It adds a ninth note to the dominant seventh, creating a rich, complex sound. The A9 is commonly used in jazz, blues, and funk music to add harmonic interest and tension. Notable songs featuring this chord include "Red House" by Jimi Hendrix and "Statesboro Blues" by The Allman Brothers Band.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common A9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for A9 chord

The A9 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 5th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a A9 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings on the 5th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 7th fret of the 4th (D) string.

To strum this chord, use a downward motion to play all six strings simultaneously. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to properly fret all the strings in the barre.

How to play an easy A9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the A9 chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th (D) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  4. Strum only the top four strings.

How to play a A9 bar chord

Playing the A9 chord as a barre chord can be helpful for quickly changing to other chords in the same position or for getting a fuller, more resonant sound.

Here's how to play an A9 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 5th fret, covering strings 1 through 5 (E, B, G, D, and A strings).
  2. Place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 7th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from low to high.

Common A9 chord progressions

The A9 chord is often used in progressions to add a dreamy, wistful, or contemplative feel to a song. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the A9 chord:

  • ii9 - V7 - Imaj7 (Bm9 - E7 - Amaj7)
  • I9 - vi7 - ii7 - V7 (A9 - F#m7 - Bm7 - E7)
  • I9 - IV7 - v7 - I7 (A9 - D7 - Em7 - A7)
  • ii9 - V9 - Imaj9 (Bm9 - E9 - Amaj9). Used in "Girl from Ipanema" and "Cry Me a River".
  • I9sus4 - I9 - ii9 - V9 (A9sus4 - A9 - Bm9 - E9)

Drills to master the A9 chord

To master the A9 chord, try practicing arpeggios. Start by playing each note of the chord individually, ascending and descending. Focus on cleanly fretting each note and letting it ring out before moving to the next. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable.

Another helpful drill is to practice transitioning between the A9 chord and other common chords like D, E, and F#m. Play each chord for a measure, strumming on the beat. Concentrate on smooth transitions and maintaining a steady rhythm. With regular practice, you'll be playing the A9 chord with ease!

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Songs that feature the A9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the A9 chord:

  1. Hey Jude by The Beatles (A, A9, D, E, F, C, G)
  2. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty (D, A, E, F#m, A9)
  3. Rude by MAGIC! (F#m, D, A, E, A9)
  4. Santeria by Sublime (D, Bm, G, A, A9)
  5. I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (C, G, Am, F, A9)
  6. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Deep Blue Something (D, A, G, A9)
  7. What I Got by Sublime (D, G, A, A9)
  8. The General by Dispatch (G, A9, D)
  9. Jane Says by Jane's Addiction (A, A9, G, D)
  10. Amber by 311 (D, G, A, A9)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

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