12/9/22

Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9


Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9

Learn how to use relaxing and restful Major 9 chords...

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Meet the Major 9 chord  - one of the most popular substitutes (embellishments) for a major 7 (or for the I or IV chord). The major 9 has a relaxing restful sound...

Listen to how it sounds compared to the major 7:
Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9

Listen to the difference - what do you think?



About major 9 chords


Like the major 6 chords - these are based on drop 2 jazz chord forms. Take a look at the forms...

Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9
They look familiar don't they? The root note is not played, it is raised up 1 step so that it becomes the 9th tone. This is the most popular and most efficient way to play the major 9 on the ukulele (there are other ways). 

Root notes and (or) 5ths are typically left out when we get into extended chord forms to get the best sounding version of the chord with 4 notes..

These are the same forms we saw with the major 6 chords - they are minor 7 forms, for example: An Em7 is the same chord as a C major 9. 

A rule to remember: A major 9 chord is the same chord as a minor 7 a 3rd higher... (so, if you want a C major 9 play an Em7 and you'll have it).

A C major 9 chord is built with 5 tones, the root note (1), a major third (3), a perfect fifth (5), a major seventh (7), and the 9th tone (9). To play it on the ukulele - in this examples - we play it as a drop 2 form without the root note (1). This form is also popular with jazz guitarists who could play a form with all the tones if they wanted to... 


How to use the major 9


Wherever we find a major 7 in a harmonized scale, a major 9 can be used (See more on harmonized scales here).  It can not be substituted for the V chord because the V chord is a dominant chord and it has a b7. There are many dominant substitutes that can be used for the V chord... Stick with those.

The major 9 chord may be substituted (used as an embellishment) for the I or the IV chord.

For the progressions that follow try strumming each chord slowly (1 slow strum for each chord) and then go on to the next chord. Listen to the beauty of each chord - also play the with two strums per chord as indicated, repeat each progression a number of times.

Let's take a look at a ii V I progression...

PROGRESSION 1 - ii V I harmonized with 7 chords:
Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9

In this progression we can substitute a major 9 for the I chord (which is C major 7); take a look:

PROGRESSION 2 - ii V I with the major 9 for the I chord:

Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9

Play progression 1 a number of times (repeating it etc...)

Then play progression 2 - listen closely to the difference... What do you think?

Now lets take a look at a I VI ii V progression, we changed the quality of the VI like we did in the previous lesson.

PROGRESSION 3 - I VI ii V  harmonized with 7 chords:

Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9

Now we substitute the major 9 for the I chord  (the C major 7)

PROGRESSION 4 - I VI ii V with the major 9 substituted for the I chord:

Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9
We can use the major 9 for the IV chord as well...

PROGRESSION 5 -  I VI IV V Harmonized with 7 chords:

Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9
PROGRESSION 6 - I VI IV V with the major 9 substituted for I & IV:

Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9
Beautiful isn't it - almost like you're on a beach somewhere in the warm sun! The major 9's will do that to you...


"Pin me" you 'Ukulele Friends' will want to see this"

Ukulele Chords and How to Use Them: Major 9

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