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Funk Guitar Chords: 9th Chords
funk guitar ninth chords

Ninth Chords

If you're coming from the world of rock and roll, the chords used in funk music may be a bit foreign to you. Power chords, one of the staples of rock music, are very rarely used by funk guitarists. In fact, funk guitarists tend to focus on the upper strings of the instrument, rather than playing the lower (deeper sounding) strings. Additionally, they'll often play only partial chords - a few notes at a time, rather than full chord shapes. Although far from complete, the following represents a few of the favored chord shapes used in funk music.

The 9th Chord

The 9th chord (shown above) is a funk guitar staple used constantly by funk guitarists. Especially the chord on the left, with the root (notated by the red dot) on the fifth string. Be careful about playing the sixth string root 9th chord on the lower frets - it can sound very muddy.

The 9th chord is a 7th chord with one extra note, added for color. Try replacing 7th chords in songs you know with 9th chords. There are some situations where this substitution doesn't work - use your ear to tell you what sounds right.

It is also EXTREMELY common for funk guitarists to only play the top three strings when playing the fifth string root 9th chord. Sometimes, they'll even only play the top two strings.

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