6/9 Chords aka 6add9 | Guitar Diagrams and Voicing Charts

What are 6/9 chords ?

A 6/9 chord is a major chord with a 6 and a 9 added. It is built with a root (1), major third (3), perfect fifth (5), sixth (6) and ninth (9). 6/9 voicings are very cool because they have a somewhat more interesting, ambiguous and rich sound. They are great for substituting major chords. This type of chord also can embody a fourth-stack. For example, with C6/9, we got C in the bass and three notes stacked in fourth from the third of C (EAD) gives you C6/9. You can see the post about quartal harmony for more information regarding to chords in fourths.

In the chart below, the notes of the major triad are shown in yellow and the two notes added (6 and 9) are in orange. The difference between a major 6 chord and a 6/9 chord is in the addition of a 9th.

C 6/9 chord C E G A D
Intervals 1 2 3 6 9 (2)

 

Chord symbols and notation

6/9 chords can be written 6-9, 69, 6/9 or 6add9.

6/9 chord voicings

As you can see, 6/9 chords are built with a root (R) and four notes stacked in fourths (3,6,9 and 5). Starting from the major third of a 6/9 chord, we get a m11 chord. This chart below shows you the relationship between C 6/9 and Em11. 

C6/9 C E A D G
Intervals 1 3 6 9 5
Em11   E A D G
Intervals   1 4 (11) b7 b3

 

6/9 guitar chord diagrams - Root on sixth string

6/9 guitar chord shape - Roots on sixth and first string.

6/9 guitar chord diagram 6

6/9 guitar chord diagram - Root on sixth string.

6/9 guitar chord diagram

6/9 guitar chord diagrams - Root on fifth string

6/9 guitar chord shape - Root on fifth string.

6 9 guitar chord diagram 5

6/9 guitar chord shape - Root on fifth string - No fifth.

6 9 guitar chord diagram 8

6/9 guitar chord diagrams - Root on fourth string

6/9 guitar chord shape - Root on fourth string - No third.

6/9 guitar chord diagram 4

6/9 guitar chord shape - Root on fourth string - No fifth.

6/9 guitar chord diagram 7

II-V-I compings - How to use 6/9 chords

In this first II-V-I in C major, we will use three chords.

  • Dm11 with no root (rootless).
  • G13 with no root.
  • C69 with no root. If you have read right the previous explanations, this chord can be considered as Em11. 

So the original progression which was Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj7 has become Dm11 | G13 | C69

II V I guitar comping 6 chords

In this example, G7 is replaced by G6. Then two chords, C6/9 and Cmaj6 are played instead of Cmaj7.

II-V-I guitar comping 6-9 chords

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Last edited: 26/05/2018