How to play

How to play the G9 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this jazzy chord, used in hits like "Wonderwall."

The G9 chord

The G9 chord, pronounced "G dominant ninth," is a colorful chord that adds a jazzy, sophisticated flavor to any progression. Notable for its inclusion of both the dominant 7th and 9th notes, the G9 is commonly found in jazz, blues, and funk music. Its unique voicing creates a rich, complex sound that can add depth and interest to a wide variety of musical styles.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common G9 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for G9 chord

The G9 chord is typically played on the 3rd fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a G9 chord on your guitar:

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

To strum the G9 chord, use your pick or thumb to strum down across all six strings in one smooth motion. Make sure to apply even pressure with your fretting fingers to ensure all notes ring out clearly.

How to play an easy G9 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the G9 chord, try playing a regular G chord and adding your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the high E string. This way, you'll still capture the essence of the G9 chord without having to worry about more complex fingerings.

How to play a G9 bar chord

The G9 chord does not have a popular barre chord shape that is commonly used by guitarists. The standard G9 is typically played using an open chord voicing.

Common G9 chord progressions

The G9 chord often serves as a substitute for the V chord in a progression, adding a jazzy and sophisticated flavor to the harmony. These progressions typically evoke a smooth, dreamy, or contemplative emotional atmosphere:

  • I - vi - ii - G9 (G - Em - Am - G9) Used in "Misty" and "The Girl from Ipanema"
  • ii - V7 - I - G9 (Am - D7 - G - G9) Used in "Fly Me to the Moon"
  • iii - vi - ii - G9 (Bm - Em - Am - G9)
  • I - vi - IV - G9 (G - Em - C - G9)
  • vi - ii - V7 - G9 (Em - Am - D7 - G9)

Drills to master the G9 chord

To master the G9 chord, try playing the notes (G, B, D, F, A) in various sequences as arpeggios. Start slow and gradually increase your speed. Focus on clean, even tone and smooth transitions between notes.

Another effective drill is to practice switching between G9 and closely related chords like C, D, and Em. Play each chord for a measure, strumming evenly. As you get comfortable, try switching chords every beat, then every half beat. The goal is to make the changes fluid and seamless.

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Songs that feature the G9 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the G9 chord.

  1. I Want You Back by The Jackson 5 (G9, Dm7, Am7)
  2. Something by The Beatles (G9, Amaj7, C, Cm, Bm, Dm)
  3. Valerie by Amy Winehouse (G9, Em7, Bm7, Am7, D7)
  4. Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder (G9, Cm7, Fm7, Bb7, Ebmaj7)
  5. Just the Two of Us by Grover Washington Jr. (G9, Em7, Am7, D7)
  6. Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (G9, Dm7, C, Em7, Am7, D7)
  7. September by Earth, Wind & Fire (G9, Dm7, Em7, Am7)
  8. I Wish by Stevie Wonder (G9, Dm7, C, Cm7, F7, Bb7, Ebmaj7)
  9. Love on Top by Beyoncé (G9, Am7, Bm7, C9)
  10. Treasure by Bruno Mars (G9, F9, Dm7, Am7)

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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