1. What is C9?
C9 guitar chord (or, strictly speaking, its dominant version, that includes minor seventh sound), quite often is used in jazzy arrangements of the pop songs, funky and blues chord progressions. In this post, I’ll show a few examples of using C9 in different styles of music. This approach applies to all ninth chords in different keys.
The simplest version of C9 is based on the C-shape chord (see the diagram below). Let’s take it first, then add the dominant seventh on the third string, and then replace the root C on the second string by D on the same string:
This sequence of chords is asking to be resolved into F. Let’s do that!
2. C9 guitar chord in II-V-I ( Gm7 -> C9 -> F ) progression
In the simplest case, C9 can be used as a replacement for C or C7 in the key of F.
C9-> F is a two-chord progression V-I. Let’s extend it to II-V-I (Gm7 -> C9 -> F) and play it:
I’d say that for experienced musicians, chords above are cluttered with too many notes (especially the last one), but it should be ok for educational purposes and for unexperienced players like me 🙂
3. C9 as a sweet substitute for G in key of D
C9 guitar chord can be used as a temporary substitution for the long running IV (G) chord in key of D.
For example, instead of playing G for two bars in a row in [D -> G -> G -> D] progression, or playing G->Gm in [D -> G -> Gm -> D], you might want to replace the second G (or Gm) by nice sounding C9 and play [D -> G -> C9 -> D] instead. In the example below, I also played Dmaj7 instead of plain D.
Here is a version without C9:
Now, let’s replace Gm by C9:
4. C9 in E Minor Blues
Finally, let’s take a look at one example of using C9 chord in the minor blues. Traditionally, blues forms prefer 7th chords more than 9th, but the latter can easily find its place in the intro / outro or bridge sections. Here we go:
Obviously, rhythm in this example above is very far from the properly syncopated one, so please fix it yourself when you play it.
Please check two chords on the diagrams above: C9 (as usual), and B9(#9). The last one alters B9 by shifting the last 9th note (on the second string) to (#9) – it adds some sort of spiciness to the accompaniment. Do you like it?
5. C9 in real blues
On the video below, I play my cover of the “I am The One You Need” song by a Russian pop star Valery Syutkin. See the link to the chord tabs below. A bridge in this song uses the same progression with C9 chord (and B9(#9) as in the example above.
As usual, I’ll appreciate your feedback about this post and anything else on this site.