How to play

How to play the F#maj9 chord on guitar

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

The F#maj9 chord

The F#maj9 chord, pronounced "F sharp major ninth," is a rich and complex voicing that adds a dreamy, ethereal quality to progressions. Notable for its use in jazz, neo-soul, and R&B, the F#maj9 can be heard in songs like "Never Too Much" by Luther Vandross and "Redbone" by Childish Gambino. Its lush sound makes it a favorite among guitarists and composers alike.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common F#maj9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for F#maj9 chord

The F#maj9 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 2nd fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a F#maj9 chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings at the 2nd fret.
  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 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 4th fret of the 4th (D) string.

To strum this chord, start with a downward strum across all six strings. You can then alternate between downstrokes and upstrokes to create a rhythmic pattern.

How to play an easy F#maj9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the F#maj9 chord, try playing an F# major chord without the barre. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string, middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 6th string, and ring finger on the 4th fret of the 4th string.

How to play a F#maj9 bar chord

Playing the F#maj9 barre chord version can be a great way to add a fuller, richer sound to your guitar playing. It's especially useful when you want to voice the chord higher up the neck or need to transition quickly between chords.

Here's how to play an F#maj9 barre chord:

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

Common F#maj9 chord progressions

The F#maj9 chord is a versatile and emotive chord that can add a dreamy, ethereal quality to progressions. It's often used in jazz, neo-soul, and R&B to create a sophisticated, laid-back vibe. Here are some common F#maj9 chord progressions:

  • I - III - VI - IV (F#maj9 - A#m7 - D#m7 - B7)
  • I - VI - II - V (F#maj9 - D#m7 - G#m7 - C#7)
  • I - IV - V - IV (F#maj9 - Bmaj7 - C#7 - Bmaj7)
  • I - V - VI - IV (F#maj9 - C#7 - D#m7 - Bmaj7) Used in "Ordinary People" by John Legend
  • II - V - I - VI (G#m7 - C#7 - F#maj9 - D#m7)

Drills to master the F#maj9 chord

To master the F#maj9 guitar chord, try playing the notes (F#, A#, C#, E#, G#) in ascending and descending order. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable. This drill helps you memorize the notes and improves your dexterity.

Another effective drill is to practice transitioning between the F#maj9 chord and other common chords, such as D#m7 or C#7. Focus on smooth transitions and maintaining a consistent rhythm. By incorporating the F#maj9 into chord progressions, you'll develop muscle memory and learn how to use the chord in musical contexts.

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Songs that feature the F#maj9 chord

Here are 7 popular songs you can play with the F#maj9 chord.

  1. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (Chords: F#maj9, E, G#m7, F#7sus4)
  2. Knocks Me Off My Feet by Stevie Wonder (Chords: Dmaj7, F#maj9, B7, E)
  3. Summer Soft by Stevie Wonder (Chords: Emaj9, F#maj9, C#m7, F#7)
  4. Ribbon In The Sky by Stevie Wonder (Chords: F#maj9, C#m7, B, A#m7)
  5. Time Out of Mind by Steely Dan (Chords: C#m7, F#maj9, A, B)
  6. Prelude to a Kiss by Duke Ellington (Chords: F#maj9, B7, E6, C#7)
  7. Embers by Gregory Porter (Chords: F#maj9, B7, E, A)

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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