How to play

How to play the Am9 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this jazzy chord, heard in hits like "Wonderwall."

The Am9 chord

The Am9 chord, pronounced "A minor ninth," is a rich and versatile chord that adds a sophisticated flavor to any musical composition. Notable for its melancholic yet dreamy sound, the Am9 is often used in jazz, neo-soul, and R&B genres. This chord can be heard in songs like "Redbone" by Childish Gambino and "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder, adding depth and emotional complexity.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Am9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Am9 chord

The Am9 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 5th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play an Am9 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings at the 5th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 6th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, play all six strings together in a downward motion starting from the lowest (thickest) string. You can also try alternating between downward and upward strums for a more dynamic sound.

How to play an easy Am9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Am9 chord, try playing an Am7 chord instead. Place your first finger on the 1st fret of the B string, second finger on the 2nd fret of the D string, and third finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. Strum from the A string.

How to play a Am9 bar chord

The Am9 chord is typically played as an open chord, but playing it as a barre chord can be useful for adding variety to your sound or for changing positions on the fretboard more easily.

Here's how to play an Am9 barre chord:

  1. Barre your index finger across the first five strings on the 5th fret.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 7th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  4. Strum from the 5th (A) string down.

Common Am9 chord progressions

The Am9 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 Am9 chord:

  • i - bVII - bVI - bVII (Am9 - G - F - G) - Used in "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis
  • i - bVI - bVII - IV (Am9 - F - G - C)
  • i - bVI - bIII - bVII (Am9 - F - C - G)
  • i - bIII - bVI - bVII (Am9 - C - F - G) - Used in "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
  • i - bVI - iv - V (Am9 - F - Dm - E)

Drills to master the Am9 chord

To master the Am9 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clean fretting and consistent tone. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between each note in a steady rhythm, gradually increasing your speed.

Another effective drill is to play the Am9 chord as an arpeggio, plucking each string one at a time from lowest to highest pitch. This exercise helps develop finger independence and accuracy. Experiment with different rhythmic patterns and tempos to keep the drill engaging and challenging.

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Songs that feature the Am9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Am9 chord:

  1. Daughters by John Mayer (Am9, Cmaj7/G, Fmaj7, G)
  2. Neon by John Mayer (Am9, Dmaj9, Em7, Gmaj7)
  3. Gravity by John Mayer (Am9, G, D/F#, Em7)
  4. 3x5 by John Mayer (Am9, Cadd9, Cmaj7, Dadd9, Dmaj7, Em7, Fmaj7, G6)
  5. Why Georgia by John Mayer (Am9, Cadd9, D9, Em7, Fmaj7, G6)
  6. In Your Atmosphere by John Mayer (Am9, Cmaj7, Dmaj7, Em7, Fmaj7, G6)
  7. Stop This Train by John Mayer (Am9, Cmaj7, Dmaj7, Em7, Fmaj7, G6)
  8. Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream (Am9, D9, Em7)
  9. Bold As Love by Jimi Hendrix (Am9, Cmaj7, D9, Em7, G6)
  10. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) by Jimi Hendrix (Am9, D9, Em7, G6)

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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