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[Video Lesson] Chord of the Week - Minor 9 Chord

Jim Zaroulis

April 2, 2019

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This video is part of Real School's Education Series, where we share quick tips from top Real School instructors to take your playing and musicianship to the next level!

Piano instructor Jim Zaroulis wanted to jump in on our popular Chord of the Week Series and apply it to his instrument! In this video, Jim explains the minor 9 chord, how to play it in various inversions, and how it is used in music!

This week's chord of the week is the minor 9 chord.


You have probably learned from early theory classes that a Major triad is happy sounding and a minor triad is sad sounding. Then you can start adding 7th's to those chords, and various textures are created.

Well, what we are going to do today is go above that 7, and add what is called a "tension," and the first one is called a 9th. Here is how it works:


Here Jim demonstrates using the A natural minor scale. He uses A because it is all the white keys and is the easiest. The chord would be the root (A), third (C), fifth (E), seventh (G), and the nine (B). Not the two! It is called the nine because we're dealing with sevenths, and we have to go above the octave. That's getting more into jazz theory, and we won't get too much into that right now.

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You'll notice that it's a 5-note chord. We are not expected to play this chord with all five fingers, so the easiest way to do that is to drop your root. Play the A with the thumb of your left hand and play the remaining notes of the chord with your right hand. You can also voice this chord differently using inversions. You can hear that it has a more soulful quality than your regular minor 7 chord.


Jim likes to call this chord the "R&B chord" or the "soul chord" because you'll hear it often in that type of music.

And that is the minor 9 chord!

Be sure to tune in for more chord of the week videos from various instruments, coming soon!

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