My Favorite Chord: add9 with 3rd in the Bass

My Favorite Chord: add9 with 3rd in the Bass

Before we get into the add9 chords:

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Ok… Back to the add9 chord…

We all know Jimi Hendrix had his favorite chord, that he used ALL the time: the 7#9 chord.

The Jimi Hendrix Chord

I have my favorite chord too.
I can’t even begin to tell you how unbelievably many songs I have written using that chord.

It’s the add9/3rd chord.
For example: Gadd9/B

Here’s how the chord looks like:

Notes from low to high: B G A D

When you rearrange these notes starting from G, you get


Or in other words indeed: a first inversion G major triad with an added 9th.

There is another way you can name that chord (depending on context)
Looking at the notes B G A D

You could also call this a Bm7#5 chord.

This makes more sense when I spell out these notes like this: B D F## A

One of the really interesting features of this particular chord is that you can randomly move it anywhere.
No matter where you move it to, the chord progression that happens as a result of strumming that chord in random locations, will always end up sounding like a really cool fusion tune you’re making up on the spot.

Try that with any other type of chord, and you’ll just sound like an idiot who is playing a ton of “wrong” chords”, or “crappy chord progressions” 🙂

In other words: this is the ONE chord that can easily make you sound like an incredibly advanced fusion guitarist.

In hindsight: maybe I should have titled this blog “How to sound like an incredibly advanced fusion guitarist only knowing ONE chord”.

The add9/3rd Chord In The Major Scale

As turns out, the add9/3rd chord appears in 3 locations in the major scale: on I, IV, and V

You just want to make sure you don’t forget to position the chord on the 3rd of the I, IV, and V chords.

As an example: in the key of C, you would position the above fingering (in the chord diagram), with the bar positioned on

  1. The 7th fret = Cadd9/E
  2. The 12th fret = Fadd9/A
  3. The 14th (or 2nd) fret = Gadd9/B

Here’s a video where you can hear that chord:


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