• Here’s Another Simple Way To Voice Minor Ninth Chords

    in Chords & Progressions,Piano,Theory

    Post image for Here’s Another Simple Way To Voice Minor Ninth Chords

    In this lesson, we’ll be exploring another way to voice minor ninth chords.

    There are diverse ways of voicing the minor ninth chord. We’ve covered some of them in the past and we’ll still study a lot more of them in subsequent lessons.

    There are so many reasons why people shy away from ninth chords. While some people consider them to be harmonically complex, others find them challenging to play because of their width.

    Attention: The width of a chord is determined by the number of notes it encompasses. Ninth chords encompass nine notes of the scale and exceed the compass of an octave. Consequently, they are considered to have a large width that an average human hand may find challenging to play.

    If you belong to the latter school [that find ninth chords challenging due to their size], this lesson is for you. We’ll be making the minor ninth chord easier to play using a technique known to music scholars as the “part-over-root” voicing technique.

    But before we get into all that, let’s do a review on the minor ninth chord.

    A Quick Review On The Minor Ninth Chord

    A chord is a collection of related notes that are played or sounded together.

    Using any scale, you can form a chord in intervals of seconds, thirds, fourths, and fifths.

    Using the A natural minor scale:

    …we can form chords in seconds:

    …thirds:

    …fourths:

    …and even fifths:

    However, the formation of chords is usually done in intervals of thirds, following strict traditional guidelines to chord formation. Chords formed in intervals of thirds are associated with tertian harmony.

    “So, What Are Ninth Chords?”

    Ninth chords are simply chords whose width encompass nine degrees of any given scale.

    For example, using the A natural minor scale:

    …you can form a ninth chord by stacking notes in intervals of thirds until nine degrees of the scale is encompassed.

    Here’s a practical example…

    Starting from A:

    …a third from A is E:

    …a third from A-C:

    …is E:

    ….a third from A-C-E:

    …is G:

    At this point, we’ve encompassed A to G:

    …which is just a seventh. We’ll have to add another third to A-C-E-G:

    A third from A-C-E-G:

    …is B:

    From A to B:

    …encompasses nine degrees of the A natural minor scale, therefore, A-C-E-G-B:

    …is a minor ninth chord:

    If you transpose the minor ninth chord to other keys, you’ll have these minor ninth chords…

    C minor ninth chord:

    C# minor ninth chord:

    D minor ninth chord:

    Eb minor ninth chord:

    Here are the rest of them…


    E minor ninth chord:

    F minor ninth chord:

    F# minor ninth chord:

    G minor ninth chord:

    G# minor ninth chord:

    A minor ninth chord:

    Bb minor ninth chord:

    B minor ninth chord:


    Before we get into the part over root voicing of the minor ninth chord that we just covered, permit me to review the concept of voicing.

    The “Part-Over-Root” Voicing Technique

    The “part-over-root” voicing technique is one of the several voicing techniques that every serious pianist must be acquainted with. But wait a minute! What is voicing?

    A Short Review On The Concept Of Voicing

    Voicing is concerned with the consideration of the notes of a chord as voices or voice parts.

    In a choir, there are usually four voice parts…

    Soprano (the first voice)

    Alto (the second voice)

    Tenor (the third voice)

    Bass (the fourth voice)

    The consideration of chord tones as voices – soprano, alto, tenor, and bass – is called voicing.

    Voicing focuses on the rearrangement of these voices and there are a variety of voicing techniques out there, ranging from the skeleton voicing technique [that we covered in a previous post], to the drop 2 voicing technique, and lots more.

    In today’s lesson we’ll be making the “part-over-root” voicing technique our focus. Here’s what the “part-over-root” voicing technique is all about…

    The part-over-root voicing technique focuses on the isolation of the root of a chord from other chord tones. The remaining chord tones are considered differently as a part.

    Let’s voice [or rearrange] the A minor ninth chord:

    …using the part over root voicing technique.

    Our duty here is to isolate the bass note from the rest of the chord.

    Isolating A:

    …from the A minor ninth chord:

    …produces its part over root voicing, which consists of its root (A):

    …and a part (the C major seventh chord):

    In a nutshell, the C major seventh chord [the part] over A [the root]:

    …produces an overall A minor ninth chord:

    Now that we’ve covered the basics of the “part-over-root” voicing of the minor ninth chord, let’s go on a step further by exploring how the “part-over-root” voicing of minor ninth chords are formed.

    Two Easy Steps To The Formation Of The “Part-Over-Root” Voicing Of The Minor Ninth Chord

    There are so many ways to form the “part-over-root” voicing of the minor ninth chord, ranging from the simplest to the most complicated. But in this lesson, I’ll be showing you how to form the minor ninth chord in two easy steps.

    Check it out…

    Step 1 – Determine the root of the minor ninth chord

    Step 2 – Go to the third degree of the minor scale and form a major seventh chord.

    Let’s put these steps to work in the formation of the minor ninth chord using the part over root voicing technique.

    Formation Of The B Minor Ninth Chord

    Step 1 – Determine the root of the minor ninth chord.

    The root of the chord is B:

    Step 2 – Go to the third degree of the minor scale and form a major seventh chord.

    The third degree of the B minor scale:

    …is D:

    …consequently, the D major seventh chord:

    Altogether, the D major seventh chord over B on the bass:

    …produces the “part-over-root” voicing of the B minor ninth chord.

    Suggested reading: The Major Seventh Chord.

    Formation Of The G Minor Ninth Chord

    Step 1 – Determine the root of the minor ninth chord.

    The root of the chord is G:

    Step 2 – Go to the third degree of the minor scale and form a major seventh chord.

    The third degree of the G minor scale:

    …is Bb:

    …consequently, the Bb major seventh chord:

    Altogether, the Bb major seventh chord over G on the bass:

    …produces the “part-over-root” voicing of the G minor ninth chord.

    Formation of the minor ninth chord using the “part-over-root” voicing technique doesn’t get any easier than this. Following the same procedure, you can form the minor ninth chord on all twelve keys.

    Attention: The major seventh chord is the upper-structure of the minor ninth chord. So, that’s another practical application of the major seventh chord that we’ll cover thoroughly in subsequent lessons.

    Final Words

    A knowledge of the “part-over-root” voicing of the minor ninth chord is essential because the isolation of the bass note from the rest of the chord tones, leaves the right hand with only four notes. This makes it easy for anyone to play the minor ninth chord.

    In addition to the that, you’ll also have an idea of rootless voicings.

    “Here’s How Rootless Voicings Are Formed”

    Playing a chord without its root note produces its rootless voicing.

    Knowing that the C major seventh chord over A on the bass:

    …produces the A minor ninth chord, the C major seventh chord:

    …can be seen as the rootless voicing of the A minor ninth chord:

    We just began our study on the “part-over-root” voicing technique. In a subsequent lesson, we’ll explore how to play the 2-5-1 chord progression using this voicing technique.

    Until then, all the best!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

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




    songtutor600x314-2jpg

    gospelnewbanner3jpg

    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Carl

    Great blog Dr Pokey! I’m benefiting imminensely from this website. My skills are being lifted to a higher level!

    Reply

    2 baris

    a third from A is E ???

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: