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How to play the Fmaj9 chord on guitar

Learn the dreamy Fmaj9 heard in "Wonderwall" and "Fast Car" in just minutes.

The Fmaj9 chord

The Fmaj9 chord, pronounced "F major ninth," is a rich and colorful variation of the standard F major chord. It adds a dreamy, sophisticated flavor to progressions in various musical styles, from jazz and neo-soul to indie rock. Notable songs featuring Fmaj9 include "Neo Soul" by Haitus Kaiyote and "Pyramids" by Frank Ocean. Learning Fmaj9 can add an exciting new color to your guitar playing.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Fmaj9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Fmaj9 chord

The most standard way to play the Fmaj9 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 1st fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Fmaj9 chord on your guitar:

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

Strum all six strings together in a downward motion to play the Fmaj9 chord.

How to play an easy Fmaj9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Fmaj9 chord, try this:

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

How to play a Fmaj9 bar chord

The Fmaj9 barre chord is a great alternative to the standard open chord voicing, as it allows you to easily change positions and play the chord anywhere on the fretboard.

Here's how to play a Fmaj9 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 1st fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum from the 6th (low E) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Fmaj9 chord progressions

The Fmaj9 chord is often used in progressions to add a dreamy, nostalgic, or bittersweet feeling to a song. Some common chord progressions featuring Fmaj9 include:

  • I - IVmaj9 - I - IVmaj9 (F - Bbmaj9 - F - Bbmaj9)
  • I - vi - IVmaj9 - V (F - Dm - Bbmaj9 - C)
  • ii - V7 - Imaj9 (Gm7 - C7 - Fmaj9)
  • vi - IVmaj9 - I - V7 (Dm - Bbmaj9 - F - C7)
  • iii - vi - ii - Vmaj9 (Am - Dm - Gm - Cmaj9) Used in "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman

Drills to master the Fmaj9 chord

To master the Fmaj9 chord, try playing the notes individually, focusing on each one's sound. Strum the chord slowly, ensuring all notes ring clearly. Practice transitioning to and from Fmaj9, using common chord progressions like Fmaj9 - Am7 - Dm7 - G7.

Alternatively, arpeggiate the chord by plucking each note separately in ascending or descending order. This exercise helps you memorize the chord shape and improves finger dexterity. Experiment with different rhythmic patterns while arpeggiating to make the drill more engaging and musical.

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Songs that feature the Fmaj9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Fmaj9 chord:

  1. All of Me by John Legend (Cmaj7, Fmaj7, Am7, Fmaj7)
  2. Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars (Fmaj7, Dm7, F6, Fmaj7)
  3. Hey Soul Sister by Train (C, G, Am7, F)
  4. I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (C, G, Am7, F)
  5. Sunday Morning by Maroon 5 (Fmaj7, Am7, Gm7, Fmaj7)
  6. Bubbly by Colbie Caillat (C, G, F, C)
  7. Teenage Dream by Katy Perry (C, G, Am, F)
  8. Viva la Vida by Coldplay (C, D, G, Em)
  9. You and Me by Lifehouse (C, G, Am7, F)
  10. Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat (C, Dm7, F, C)

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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