How to play

How to play the Dmaj9 chord on guitar

Unlock the dreamy sound of "Wonderwall" and "Champagne Supernova" by Oasis.

The Dmaj9 chord

The Dmaj9 chord, pronounced "D major ninth," is a rich and colorful guitar chord that adds a sophisticated touch to any progression. Notable for its dreamy, jazz-influenced sound, the Dmaj9 is often used in genres like neo-soul, R&B, and indie rock. Songs like "Neon" by John Mayer and "Redbone" by Childish Gambino prominently feature this chord, showcasing its unique and captivating qualities.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Dmaj9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Dmaj9 chord

The most standard way to play a Dmaj9 chord on guitar is as a barre chord starting on the 10th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Dmaj9 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 10th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 11th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, use a downward stroke to play all six strings simultaneously, making sure each note rings out clearly.

How to play an easy Dmaj9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Dmaj9 chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st (high E) string.
  3. Leave the other strings open.
  4. Strum strings 1, 2, 3, and 4.

How to play a Dmaj9 bar chord

The Dmaj9 barre chord is a more versatile and movable version of the standard Dmaj9 chord. It allows you to easily transpose the chord to different keys and play it in various positions on the fretboard.

Here's how to play a Dmaj9 barre chord:

  1. Barre your index finger across strings 1-5 on the 10th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 11th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from low to high.

Common Dmaj9 chord progressions

The Dmaj9 chord often serves as a colorful substitution for the regular D major chord, adding a dreamy and sophisticated quality to progressions. It frequently appears in jazz, R&B, and neo-soul music to create lush and smooth harmonic movements. Some common chord progressions featuring Dmaj9 include:

  • I - III7 - VI7 - VII7sus4 (Dmaj9 - F#7 - Bm7 - C#7sus4)
  • II - V7 - I6 - IV (Em7 - A7 - Dmaj9 - Gmaj7)
  • VI - II - V7 - Imaj9 (Bm7 - Em7 - A7 - Dmaj9)
  • Imaj9 - VII7 - III7 - VI7 (Dmaj9 - C#7 - F#7 - Bm7)
  • III7 - VI7 - II7 - V7 (F#7 - Bm7 - Em7 - A7) Used in "Fly Me to the Moon" and "Misty"

Drills to master the Dmaj9 chord

To master the Dmaj9 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Once comfortable, play the notes together as a chord, strumming or plucking to ensure all notes ring out.

Another helpful drill is to practice transitioning to and from the Dmaj9 chord. Choose a simple progression like D-Dmaj9-G-A, and play it slowly at first, gradually increasing speed. This builds muscle memory and helps you smoothly change between chords in various contexts.

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Songs that feature the Dmaj9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Dmaj9 chord.

  1. Wonderwall by Oasis (Dmaj9, Asus4, Em7, G)
  2. Sunny by Bobby Hebb (Dmaj9, Em7, Gm7, C9)
  3. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2 (Dmaj9, G, A, Bm)
  4. I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye (Dmaj9, G13, Em7, Am7)
  5. Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd (Dmaj9, C, Am, G)
  6. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Dmaj9, Am, C, G)
  7. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (Dmaj9, F#m7, G, A7sus4)
  8. Purple Rain by Prince (Dmaj9, G, A, Bm)
  9. The Girl from Ipanema by Antônio Carlos Jobim (Dmaj9, Bm7, Em7, A7)
  10. Here, There and Everywhere by The Beatles (Dmaj9, G, A7, Bm)

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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