How to play

How to play the Bb7b9 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this jazzy chord, featured in "The Girl from Ipanema."

The Bb7b9 chord

The Bb7b9 chord, pronounced B-flat seven flat nine, is a complex and dissonant guitar chord. It's constructed by combining a dominant seventh chord with a flattened ninth, creating a tense, jazzy sound. This chord is commonly used in jazz, funk, and R&B music to add color and tension. Notable examples include Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" and Steely Dan's "Josie."

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Bb7b9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Bb7b9 chord

The most common way to play a Bb7b9 chord on the guitar is as a barre chord on the 6th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Bb7b9 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 6th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd (B) string.

To strum this chord, play all six strings together in a downward motion with your pick or thumb.

How to play an easy Bb7b9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bb7b9 chord, try this:

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

How to play a Bb7b9 bar chord

The Bb7b9 chord is commonly played as a barre chord, which can make it easier to transition to and from other barre chords. Here's how to play a Bb7b9 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 6th fret to form the barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from the low E string.

Common Bb7b9 chord progressions

The Bb7b9 chord is often used in jazz and blues progressions to add tension and a sense of unresolved longing or melancholy. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the Bb7b9 chord:

  • ii-V-i-VI (Cm7-F7-Bbm7-Gb7b9)
  • I-vi-ii-V (Bb-Gm7-Cm7-F7b9) Used in "Autumn Leaves" and "Fly Me to the Moon"
  • vi-ii-V-I (Gm7-Cm7-F7b9-BbMaj7)
  • iii-vi-ii-V (Dm7b5-Gm7b5-Cm7b5-F7b9) Used in "Round Midnight"
  • IV-iv-I-V (EbMaj7-Ebm6-BbMaj7-F7b9)

Drills to master the Bb7b9 chord

To master the Bb7b9 guitar chord, start by practicing the chord progression Bb7b9 - Eb7 - Ab7 - Db7. This will help you develop muscle memory and seamlessly transition between the chords.

Another effective drill is to play the Bb7b9 chord as an arpeggio, playing each note individually in ascending and descending order. This exercise will improve your finger dexterity and help you memorize the chord structure. Incorporate this arpeggio into your practice routine, gradually increasing the tempo as you become more comfortable with the chord.

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Songs that feature the Bb7b9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Bb7b9 chord.

  1. The Girl from Ipanema by Stan Getz & João Gilberto (Chords: F, G7, Gm7, Gb7, F7, Bb7b9, Eb6/9)
  2. Satin Doll by Duke Ellington (Chords: C, Dm7, G7, Eb7, D7, Db7, C6, E7, A7, Ab, G7b9, C7, F7, Bb7b9, A7b9)
  3. Misty by Erroll Garner (Chords: Eb, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7b9, Eb6/9)
  4. All the Things You Are by Jerome Kern (Chords: Ab, Dbm7, Db7, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7b9, Ebmaj7, Abm7, F#m7b5, B7b9, Emaj7, C#m7b5, F#7b9)
  5. Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma (Chords: Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Cmaj7, F#m7b5, B7b9, Em, Em7, Dm7b5, G7b9)
  6. Night and Day by Cole Porter (Chords: F, Gm7, F7, Bbm7, Eb7, D7, G7, Gm7, C7, Am7, D7b9, Gm, Bb7b9, F6/9)
  7. How High the Moon by Morgan Lewis (Chords: G, Am7, D7, Gmaj7, Bm7b5, E7b9, Am7, F#m7b5, B7b9)
  8. Cherokee by Ray Noble (Chords: Bb, G7, Cm7, F7, Bbmaj7, Gm7, C7, Fm7, Bb7b9, Ebmaj7, Am7b5, D7b9)
  9. Stella by Starlight by Victor Young (Chords: Bb, Gm7, C7, Cm7, F7, Dm7, G7, Bbmaj7, Fm7, Bb7b9, Ebmaj7, D7b9)
  10. Body and Soul by Johnny Green (Chords: Db, Bbm7, Eb7, Abm7, Db7, Gbmaj7, Bm7, Bb7b9, A7, Abm7, Fm7, Bb7b9)

How a guitar teacher can help

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