How to play

How to play the Cm9 chord on guitar

Unlock the rich sound of Cm9, featured in hits like "Creep" and "Wonderwall."

The Cm9 chord

The Cm9 chord, pronounced "C minor ninth," is a rich and expressive chord that adds a sophisticated touch to any musical composition. It's commonly used in jazz, R&B, and neo-soul genres, thanks to its smooth and slightly melancholic sound. Notable songs featuring the Cm9 chord include "Neo Soul Is Here" by Moonchild and "Didn't Cha Know" by Erykah Badu.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Cm9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

Hero Image

Unlock your playing potential in online guitar lessons with experts on Til. Start today and achieve your guitar goals quickly. Find a top-rated teacher.

Finger placement for Cm9 chord

The Cm9 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 3rd fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Cm9 chord on your guitar:

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

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to play all six strings in a downward motion, ensuring that each string rings out clearly.

How to play an easy Cm9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Cm9 chord, try playing an open position C minor chord (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 3rd fret of the A string) and add your pinky on the 3rd fret of the high E string.

How to play a Cm9 bar chord

Playing a Cm9 chord as a barre chord can be a great way to add a fuller, richer sound to your playing, especially when playing with other musicians or in a band setting.

Here's how to play a Cm9 bar chord:

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

Common Cm9 chord progressions

The Cm9 chord often serves as a somber, introspective starting point in chord progressions, creating a melancholic and reflective emotional atmosphere. Some common chord progressions featuring Cm9 include:

  • i-iv-VII-III (Cm9-Fm9-B♭maj9-E♭maj9)
  • i-iv-v-i (Cm9-Fm9-Gm9-Cm9)
  • i-VI-III-VII (Cm9-A♭maj9-E♭maj9-B♭maj9) - Used in "Blue in Green" by Miles Davis
  • i-♭VII-♭VI-♭VII (Cm9-B♭maj9-A♭maj9-B♭maj9)
  • i-♭III-♭VII-IV (Cm9-E♭m9-B♭maj9-Fmaj9)

Drills to master the Cm9 chord

To master the Cm9 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clean execution. Once comfortable, play the notes in ascending and descending order, ensuring smooth transitions between each note.

Another effective drill is to practice playing the Cm9 chord as an arpeggio. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed while maintaining accuracy. This exercise will help develop muscle memory and improve your ability to switch between the notes fluidly.

Unlock your playing potential in online guitar lessons with experts on Til. Start today and achieve your guitar goals quickly. Find a top-rated teacher.

Marco M.

"This is as great as it gets! Lessons are extremely informative, fun, at a fantastic pace, and I cannot say enough about Caitlin...so knowledgeable!"

Songs that feature the Cm9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Cm9 chord.

  1. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)
  2. The Scientist by Coldplay (Dm7, Cm9, Fm7, B♭)
  3. Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey (Cm, A♯, B♭, B, Gm)
  4. Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake (Cm9, Fm9, B♭maj7, A♭maj7)
  5. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer (Cm9, Fm9, B♭maj7, A♭maj7)
  6. The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra (Cm9, Fm9, B♭maj7, A♭maj7)
  7. Heartbeats by José González (Cm9, Fm9, B♭maj7, A♭maj7)
  8. All of Me by John Legend (Cm9, Fm9, B♭maj7, A♭maj7)
  9. Gravity by John Mayer (Cm9, Fm9, B♭maj7, A♭maj7)
  10. Eternal Flame by The Bangles (Cm9, Fm9, B♭maj7, A♭maj7)

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.

Learn guitar all over the world