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How to play the Ebm9 chord on guitar

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The Ebm9 chord

The Ebm9 chord, pronounced E-flat minor ninth, is a rich and expressive guitar chord that adds a sophisticated flavor to progressions. Notable for its melancholic and jazzy sound, the Ebm9 is often used in genres like jazz, neo-soul, and R&B. Its unique voicing, which includes the minor third, perfect fifth, minor seventh, and major ninth intervals, creates a complex harmony that can evoke deep emotions.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Ebm9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Ebm9 chord

The most popular way to play the Ebm9 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 6th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Ebm9 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, start by placing your fingers in the correct positions. Then, using a pick or your thumb, strum all six strings together in a downward motion.

How to play an easy Ebm9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Ebm9 chord, try playing the basic Ebm chord first. Place your index finger on the 6th fret of the 1st (high E) string, your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 5th (A) string, and your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.

How to play a Ebm9 bar chord

The Ebm9 chord is most commonly played as an open chord, but playing it as a barre chord allows you to easily change positions on the fretboard and play the chord in different keys.

Here's how to play an Ebm9 barre chord:

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

Common Ebm9 chord progressions

The Ebm9 chord adds a dreamy and sophisticated flavor to chord progressions, often evoking a jazzy or contemplative mood. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the Ebm9 chord:

  • i - bVI - bVII - i (Ebm9 - Cm7 - Dm7 - Ebm9)
  • i - iv - V7 (Ebm9 - Abm7 - Bb7)
  • i - bVI - ii - V7 (Ebm9 - Cm7 - Fm7 - Bb7)
  • i - iv - bVII - bVI (Ebm9 - Abm7 - Dm7 - Cm7)
  • i - bIII - bVI - bVII (Ebm9 - Gm7 - Cm7 - Dm7) Used in "Autumn Leaves" and "Cry Me a River"

Drills to master the Ebm9 chord

To master the Ebm9 chord, try playing the notes individually, focusing on clean execution. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed until you can play each note clearly and consistently.

Next, practice transitioning to and from the Ebm9 chord. Choose a simple progression like Ebm9 - Ab - Bb - Ebm9, and work on seamlessly switching between the chords. As you become more comfortable, incorporate the Ebm9 into your favorite songs or create your own progressions to develop your muscle memory and familiarity with the chord.

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Songs that feature the Ebm9 chord

Here are 5 popular songs you can play with the Ebm9 chord.

  1. Hotel California by Eagles (Bm, F#, A, E, G, D, Em, F#7)
  2. Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits (Dm, C, Bb, A, G, Gm, Dm9, Ebm9)
  3. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, C, D, F, Am7, Dsus2, Fm7, G)
  4. All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan (Am, G, F, Am/G)
  5. Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Dm, F, Am, Bbmaj7, Gm7, A7sus4)

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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