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. The interval pattern is :

  • root (1),
  • major third (3) 
  • perfect fifth (5) 
  • sixth (6)  
  • 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) giving a C6/9 chord.

Chord Symbols and Notation

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

Differences Between maj6, maj13, maj9 and 6/9 Chords

Some type of chords can be confusing. Here is a summary chart :

  • maj6 chords are built with 1 3 5 6
  • maj13 chords are built with 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 
  • maj7add13 are built with 1 3 5 7 13
  • maj9 are built with 1 3 5 7 9
  • 6/9 chords are built with 1 3 5 6 9
Cmaj6 C E G A      
Interval Pattern 1 3 5 6      
Cmaj13 C E G B D F A
Interval Pattern 1 3 5 7 9 11 13
Cmaj7add13 C E G B     A
Intervale Pattern 1 3 5 7     13
Cmaj9 C E G B D    
Interval Pattern 1 3 5 7 9    
C 6/9  C E G A D    
Interval Pattern 1 3 5 6 9    

How to Play 6/9 Chords on Guitar?

Here are six guitar diagrams to play 6/9 chords. The first two shapes have roots on the 6th string. The next two shapes have roots on the fifth string and the last two ones have roots on the fourth string.

Comparison With m11 Chords

As you can see that 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, you get a m11 chord. This chart below shows 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


How to Use 6/9 Chords?

Here are two 69 chord applications. 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

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

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Last edited: 05/14/2020

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  • Tim
    • 1. Tim On 08/12/2019
    If you're going to use a triangle to denote a major note, that's fine for the 3 and 6, but why not use it also for the 9th?
    • Stef Ramin
      • Stef RaminOn 08/13/2019
      Good question, because the 9 is an extension, the octave of the 2nd. This one can be noted 2▲