• Here’s How Major Sixth Chords Can Be Applied In The Formation Of Major Ninth Chords

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    Our focus in today’s lesson is on the formation of major ninth chords using the major sixth chord.

    I’ve always said it to my students in the past, “if you know your major sixth chord, you know your major ninth chord.” All you have to do is to see how major sixth chords can be turned into sophisticated major ninth chords.

    If you’re told that the C major sixth chord:

    …can be used to form a full-sounding major ninth chord, would you believe?

    Well, I’ll show you step-by-step how this is done.

    Are you ready? Alright, let’s start by reviewing major sixth chords.

    A Quick Review Of The Major Sixth Chord

    The major sixth chord consists of two components:

    The major chord

    The sixth tone of the major scale

    If you take any major chord that you’re familiar with, and add the sixth tone of its corresponding major scale, you have a major sixth chord.

    “Let’s Do This Step-By-Step…”

    Let’s take the C major chord:

    …and the sixth tone of the C major scale:

    …which is A:

    …and add them together:

    C major:

    A (sixth tone of the C major scale):

    …and we’ll have the C major sixth chord:

    “Here Are All The Major Sixth Chords…”

    C major sixth:

    Db major sixth:

    D major sixth:

    Eb major sixth:

    E major sixth:

    F major sixth:

    Gb major sixth:

    G major sixth:

    Ab major sixth:

    A major sixth:

    Bb major sixth:

    B major sixth:

    “Again…”

    If we take the sixth tone of the F major scale:

    …which is D:

    …and add it to the F major chord:

    F major:

    D (sixth tone of the F major scale):

    …altogether, we’ll have the F major sixth chord:

    How To Form Major Ninth Chords Using Major Sixth Chords

    The formation of major ninth chords using the major sixth chord is something you can do in two shakes of a dog’s tail.

    If you can follow these steps, you can form a major ninth chord:

    Step 1.Pick a key.

    Step 2. Determine what the first and fifth tones of the major scale of that key are.

    Step 3. Play the first tone on the left hand and play the fifth tone on the right hand.

    Step 4. Play a major sixth chord off the fifth tone on the right hand over the first tone as the bass note.

    Trust me, it’s simpler than it sounds.

    “Let’s Put It To Work In The Key Of C Major…”

    Step 1. Let’s pick C:

    Step 2. The first and fifth tones of the major scale in the key of C major are C and G (respectively):

    Step 3. Play C on the left hand and G on the right hand:

    Step 4. Play the G major sixth on the right hand over C on bass:

    So, here’s the C major ninth chord:

    …using a right hand major sixth chord played off the fifth tone of the major scale in the right hand.

    “Alright! Can We Try In The Key Of F Major?”

    Step 1. Let’s pick F:

    Step 2. The first and fifth tones of the major scale in the key of C major are C and G (respectively):

    Step 3. Play F on the left hand and C on the right hand:

    Step 4. Play the C major sixth on the right hand over F on bass:

    So, here’s the f major ninth chord:

    …using a right hand major sixth chord played off the fifth tone of the major scale in the right hand.

    Final Words

    Getting to this point lets me know that you’re really interested in learning how major ninth chords are formed using the major sixth chord.

    Using the principle learned, you can form major ninth chords off any tone of the scale. But most importantly, major ninth chords are played off the first and fourth tones of the major scale.

    For example, in the key of C major:

    …here are the two major ninth chords you’ll need:

    C major ninth chord:

    F major ninth chord:

    I deeply appreciate my mentor and role-model, Jermaine Griggs (who’s also our founder), for the opportunity to share these information with you and I hope you’ve learned something.

    All the best and see you in the next lesson.

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku (aka - "Dr. Pokey") is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

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