How to play

How to play the Abmaj9 chord on guitar

Unlock the dreamy sound heard in "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova."

The Abmaj9 chord

The Abmaj9 chord, pronounced "A flat major ninth", is a rich and colorful voicing that adds a sophisticated touch to any musical arrangement. Notable for its dreamy and slightly jazzy sound, the Abmaj9 is often used in genres like neo-soul, R&B, and indie rock. Its lush tones can be heard in songs by artists like Tom Misch, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Rex Orange County.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Abmaj9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Abmaj9 chord

The most common way to play the Abmaj9 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 4th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Abmaj9 chord on your guitar:

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

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to play all six strings in a downward motion. Alternatively, you can fingerpick the individual strings for a more delicate sound.

How to play an easy Abmaj9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Abmaj9 chord, try playing an Ab major triad on the top three strings. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 3rd (G) string, middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 2nd (B) string, and ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st (high E) string.

How to play a Abmaj9 bar chord

The Abmaj9 chord is typically played as an open chord, but learning the barre chord version can be useful for situations where you need to quickly transition between chords or want a different voicing.

Here's how to play an Abmaj9 barre chord:

  1. Barre your index finger across the 6th fret, covering strings 1 through 5 (high E through A).
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down.

Common Abmaj9 chord progressions

The Abmaj9 chord adds a dreamy and ethereal quality to chord progressions, often evoking a sense of floating or yearning. Some common chord progressions featuring Abmaj9 include:

  • I - IV - Abmaj9 - IV (Ab - Db - Abmaj9 - Db)
  • VI - IV - I - Abmaj9 (F - Db - Ab - Abmaj9) Used in "The Thrill is Gone" by B.B. King
  • Abmaj9 - VI - II - V (Abmaj9 - F - Bbm - Eb)
  • I - Abmaj9 - VI - IV (Ab - Abmaj9 - F - Db)
  • II - V - I - Abmaj9 (Bbm - Eb - Ab - Abmaj9)

Drills to master the Abmaj9 chord

To master the Abmaj9 guitar chord, start by playing each note individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Once comfortable, practice transitioning smoothly between the notes in various patterns, such as ascending or descending order.

Next, incorporate the Abmaj9 chord into progressions alongside other chords you already know. Experiment with different rhythms and strumming patterns to create interesting variations. As you gain confidence, try using the Abmaj9 in different musical contexts, like jazz or funk, to expand your versatility and creativity.

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Songs that feature the Abmaj9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Abmaj9 chord.

  1. Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers (Am7, Em7, Dm7, Am7, Abmaj9, Dm7, Cm7, Bm7b5, Esus4, E7)
  2. Clocks by Coldplay (Abmaj9, Ebm7, Bbm7, Fm7)
  3. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em7, G, Dsus4, A7sus4, Cadd9, Abmaj9)
  4. Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars (Abmaj9, Gm7, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7)
  5. Ordinary People by John Legend (Abmaj9, Db/Ab, Bbm7, Ebm7)
  6. The Scientist by Coldplay (Abmaj9, Fm7, Db/F, Bbm7, Eb)
  7. Hey Soul Sister by Train (Abmaj9, Eb, Bbsus2, Fm7)
  8. I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (Abmaj9, Dadd9, E7, Fm7)
  9. Sunday Morning by Maroon 5 (Abmaj9, Fm7, Db/F, Bbm7, Eb)
  10. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman (Abmaj9, Dbmaj7, Bbm7, Fm7)

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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