Major & Minor 9th Chords Drill
Welcome to this practice plan lesson for the course on Extended Chords & Voicings. After watching the lessons in this course, you will now have a basic understanding of where extensions come from, and you should also be familiar with some useful extended chord voicings such as the So What Voicing, The Herbie Hancock Voicing, and the Kenny Barron Voicing.
In these 3 lessons, we will run over 6 exercises that will help you visualize and memorise the upper extensions for major, minor, and dominant chords.
The 9th Chord Extension & How To Practice It!
The 9th is the first of the upper extensions 9, 11, & 13 and so it makes sense for us to isolate and work on this one first. For this practice slot, we are just going to cover major and minor chords, and then in the next exercises, we will also introduce dominant chords and the full 251 progression.
For the first drill, we are going to build the major and minor 9th chord. We’ll stack 3rds from the root up to the 9th and move around the circle of 5ths.
Right Hand: Open & Closed Position
There are 2 very useful right-hand inversions of this chord. What we just covered is the ‘open position’, and we can also create a ‘closed position’ right-hand voicings containing the 3, 5, 7, & 9.
There’s a couple of different ways to find this inversion, the first is to take the sequentially stacked voicing we had in the last drill, and now put the bottom 2 notes in our right hand on top.
The second method – which I actually prefer – is to memorise the scale degree construction. We always play the root in our left hand, and then from bottom to top, our right-hand plays 7-9-3-5.
Circle Of 5ths Drills
The final 2 exercises mix these open and closed position RH voicings together and incorporate voice leading when moving around the circle.
Starting with major 9 stacked thirds, and then alternating. Now let’s reverse that pattern, and start with the closed position right-hand.
And then let’s repeat the same for minor chords – first starting with the minor 9th stacked 3rds and then start in the other inversion.
Chord Extensions Practice Plan File Type: pdf
Learn both inversions of the 9th chord in all 12 keys by taking it around the circle of firths.
Listen to the difference between the 7th chord, and the added 9th chord. It creates a richer 'colour' and 'texture'.
Once you are comfortable with both inversions, then put them together in the alternating circle of fifths drill. Do this for both major and minor chords.
- There are other inversions for these chords, but those are the most important for you to visualize so learn and memorise these voicings first.
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