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How to play the Ebmaj9 chord on guitar

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

The Ebmaj9 chord

The Ebmaj9 chord, pronounced E-flat major ninth, is a rich and complex guitar voicing that adds a dreamy, jazzy flavor to progressions. Notable for its lush, open sound, the Ebmaj9 is favored in jazz, neo-soul, and R&B music. It can be heard in songs like "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder and "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" by John Mayer.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Ebmaj9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Ebmaj9 chord

The Ebmaj9 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 6th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Ebmaj9 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 6th fret, barring all six strings.
  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.

To strum this chord, simply play all six strings together in a downward motion. You can also experiment with different strumming patterns to add variety to your playing.

How to play an easy Ebmaj9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Ebmaj9 chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Strum only the top three strings (G, B, and high E).

How to play a Ebmaj9 bar chord

The Ebmaj9 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 to other chords or want a fuller sound.

Here's how to play an Ebmaj9 barre chord:

  1. Barre your index finger across the 6th fret, covering all six strings.
  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 low to high.

Common Ebmaj9 chord progressions

The Ebmaj9 chord adds a dreamy, ethereal quality to chord progressions, creating a sense of emotional depth and sophistication. Some common Ebmaj9 chord progressions include:

  • I - vi - ii - V (Ebmaj9 - Cm7 - Fm7 - Bb7) Used in "Misty" and "Girl from Ipanema"
  • ii - V - I (Fm7 - Bb7 - Ebmaj9) Used in "Satin Doll" and "Fly Me to the Moon"
  • iii - vi - ii - V (Gm7 - Cm7 - Fm7 - Bb7)
  • I - vi - IV - V (Ebmaj9 - Cm7 - Abmaj7 - Bb7)
  • I - iii - IV - V (Ebmaj9 - Gm7 - Abmaj7 - Bb7)

Drills to master the Ebmaj9 chord

To master the Ebmaj9 guitar chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, starting with the lowest note and ascending to the highest. Focus on clarity and precision as you pluck each string. Once you've played all the notes, strum the full chord, letting each note ring out harmoniously.

Another effective drill is to practice transitioning to and from Ebmaj9. Choose a chord progression that includes Ebmaj9, and play it slowly at first, ensuring smooth transitions between chords. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the changes.

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Songs that feature the Ebmaj9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Ebmaj9 chord.

  1. Riders on the Storm by The Doors (Dm7, Ebmaj9, Bbmaj7)
  2. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper (Ebmaj9, Abmaj7, Fm7, Bb7sus4)
  3. What's Going On by Marvin Gaye (Ebmaj9, Dm7, Cm7, Fm7)
  4. Peg by Steely Dan (Ebmaj9, Dm7, Cm7, F7)
  5. Careless Whisper by George Michael (Ebmaj9, Dm7, Gm7, C7)
  6. Autumn Leaves by Joseph Kosma (Ebmaj9, Cm7, Fm7, Bbmaj7)
  7. Misty by Erroll Garner (Ebmaj9, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7)
  8. All the Things You Are by Jerome Kern (Ebmaj9, Am7, D7, Gmaj7)
  9. Girl from Ipanema by Antonio Carlos Jobim (Ebmaj9, Dm7, Gm7, C7)
  10. My Favorite Things by Richard Rodgers (Ebmaj9, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7)

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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