Dominant Seventh Flat Ninth Chords (7b9) - Diagrams and Voicings for Guitarists
What's a dominant 7b9 chord ?
Dominant seventh flat ninth chords (7b9) are built by lower the ninth of dominant 9 chords by one semitone, giving the harmonic formula : 1 (root), 3 (major third), 5 (perfect fifth), b7 (minor seventh) and b9 (flat nine). They appear in many jazz tunes as Stella by Starlight, Misty and Bossa Nova songs as Black Orpheus, The girl from Ipanema. These chords bring a little bit of tension and sadness because of the b9, making the feeling more intense.
|Dominant 9th chord||1||3||5||b7||9|
|Dominant 7b9 chord||1||3||5||b7||b9|
Dominant 7b9 guitar chord diagrams
Here are the main 7b9 positions to play on the guitar respecting the voicing chart below. Because it is physically difficult to play all the chord tones on the guitar, you will notice that the fifth is omitted. This is not the most important note of this type of chord.
|Dominant 7b9 chord||R||3||b7||b9|
Root on the E string
Root on the A string
Root on the D string
How to use 7b9 chords ?
minor II-V-I sequences
Dominant 7b9 chords come originally from the V in minor keys. Indeed, when you harmonize the V degree of the harmonic minor scale you get a V7b9 chord. Here is a C minor II-V-I sequence, including a 7b9 chord.
But 7b9 can be used as a V (or secondary dominant) for both major and minor keys, here are two examples :
- They can be used to create nice voice leading, like in this example, a I-vi-ii-V turnaround in C major.
Major II-V-I sequences
7b9 chords can also be used in major II-V-I progressions. You see in the three exercises below the use of a rootless D7b9 chord with the fifth in the bass. Notice that these chords are are indentical to diminished 7th chords, so you can move this position at intervals of minor thirds without changing the chord quality.
7b9 and diminished chords relationship
The dominant 7b9 chord functions as a dominant (V7) implying in its upper structure the tones of a symmetrical diminished chord. By taking a dominant 7 (Example with G7 : G, B,D and F) and adding the flattened ninth (Ab for G7), you built a 7b9 chord. Dominant 7b9 contains the same notes as a diminished 7th chord built on any of the chord tones including the flat 9 but without the root. So G7b9 (except the root) has the same notes as Abº, Bº, Dº or Fº.
By now, you have understood that a 7b9 chord can be replaced by a diminished 7th chord (chord substitution technique) starting on the major third (3), the fifth (5), the minor seventh (b7) or the flat ninth (b9) of this 7b9.
Example in a C major II-V-I progression where the V7 is extended with a b9 giving a V7b9. This Dm7 | G7(b9) | CM7 becomes Dm7 | Bdim7 | CM7 | and because of the symmetry of the diminished 7th chord there can be three other possibilities :
- Dm7 | Ddim7 | CM7
- Dm7 | Fdim7 | CM7
- Dm7 | Abdim7 | CM7
In this minor II-V-I chord melody sequence the Vb9 (G7) is replaced by Fdim7 :
This downloadable eBook in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation and analysis both for guitar teachers and students. Learn to play essential jazz patterns to increase your playing skills.
Did you know that there are several pentatonic scales ? This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines built with common and rare pentatonic scales.
The 2-5-1 sequence is the most common chord progression found in jazz music.It's a must know for anyone who wants to learn jazz language.This method is a printable PDF eBook with 20 II-V-I jazz guitar lines both in major and minor keys that will help you expand your improvisation skills over this chord sequence.
A printable PDF eBook with tabs and standard notation containing five guitar studies that will help you to master arpeggios over a jazz blues progression. Many topics are discussed, dominant 7, minor 7, diminished arpeggios.
How to comp a II-V-I chord progression on guitar with drop 2, drop 3 chords, rootless and inverted voicings. This efficient method is a printable PDF eBook that contains 50 exercises with analysis, tabs & standard notation that will help you to play the essential jazz guitar chords over the famous II-V-I progression.
This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music. The purpose of these studies being to hear, play and understand the main jazz-blues changes by using different chord voicings as drop 2, drop, 3, rootless.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to learn to master the altered scale. How to develop the altered scale, how to apply it to the V of a II-V-I sequence.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis and scale charts.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks with tabs and standard notation in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson.These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and some diminished 7th arpeggios.
This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook
Last edited: 11/06/2018