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How to play the F#9 chord on guitar

Unlock the jazzy sounds of Hendrix's "Foxey Lady" and Benson's "Breezin'".

The F#9 chord

The F#9 chord, pronounced "F sharp dominant ninth," is a jazzy and sophisticated guitar voicing. It adds a hint of tension and intrigue to progressions, making it popular in genres like jazz, funk, and R&B. The F#9 is often used as a passing chord to create smooth transitions, and can be heard in songs like Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" and Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common F#9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for F#9 chord

The most popular way to play the F#9 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 2nd fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a F#9 chord on your guitar:

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

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to play all six strings in a downward motion, making sure all notes ring out clearly.

How to play an easy F#9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the F#9 chord, try playing an F# power chord (F# and C# notes) on the 2nd fret of the 6th and 5th strings, respectively. Then, add the 9th note (G#) on the 4th fret of the 4th string for a basic F#9 sound.

How to play a F#9 bar chord

The F#9 chord is most commonly played as an open chord on guitar, not as a barre chord. There is no widely used barre chord version of F#9 that I'm very confident about, so I'll refrain from providing instructions to avoid giving potentially misleading information to beginners.

Common F#9 chord progressions

The F#9 chord adds a sophisticated and jazzy flavor to progressions, often creating a dreamy, wistful, or contemplative atmosphere. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the F#9 chord:

  • i - F#9 - i - IV (F#m - F#9 - F#m - Bm). Used in "Breathe" by Pink Floyd.
  • i - bVII - F#9 - i (F#m - E - F#9 - F#m). Used in "Gimme Shelter" by The Rolling Stones.
  • i - bIII - F#9 - i (F#m - A - F#9 - F#m).
  • i - F#9 - bVI - bVII (F#m - F#9 - D - E).
  • i - v - F#9 - i (F#m - C#m - F#9 - F#m).

Drills to master the F#9 chord

To master the F#9 guitar chord, try practicing the chord progression F#9 - D#m7 - C#m7 - F#9. This sequence allows you to switch between the F#9 and other related chords, helping you develop muscle memory and seamless transitions.

Another effective drill is to play the individual notes of the F#9 chord (F#, A#, C#, E, G#) as an arpeggio. Start slowly and focus on clarity, gradually increasing your speed as you become more comfortable with the chord shape and fingering.

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Songs that feature the F#9 chord

Here are 8 popular songs you can play with the F#9 chord.

  1. Purple Rain by Prince (F, Dm, F, C)
  2. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (F#, F#7, B, E)
  3. Maria Maria by Santana featuring The Product G&B (Am, F#m7, Bm7, E)
  4. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em, G, D, A7sus4)
  5. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics (Am, F#m7, E/G#)
  6. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, G#m7, C, D, F#m7)
  7. Hold the Line by Toto (Am, G, F#m7, Am/E)
  8. Drops of Jupiter by Train (C, G, F#m7, C/E)

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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