PDA

View Full Version : 9th Chords on the Ukulele



wrestlingmatt51
08-06-2017, 11:45 AM
I have a question about 9 chords. If you try to play full 9 chords on the uke, you run into a problem. 9 chords have 5 notes and the ukulele has only 4 strings. Being self-taught, I never really was told the most common or conventional way to play 9 chords on the ukulele and that's what I'm wondering about. I've seen people drop the root, therefore essentially playing a m7b5 chord. I've seen people drop the 7th, so technically it'd be an add9. I've also seen the 5th dropped.

Now, all of these approaches have their advantages in different contexts. What I'm wondering is, if you were to teach one method as the basic way to play a 9 chord on the uke, what would it be? 9 chords aren't all that uncommon or only found in jazz music, so I think they're not just for advanced players. I teach lessons now and so I'm trying to figure out the best way to introduce 9 chords at a basic level. Thanks!

SailingUke
08-06-2017, 01:12 PM
Good question, 5 notes and four strings. Drop the root, it is implied in the chord. If you have a bass player the root will be covered.
You can also play a 7th and toggle on and off the 9th giving the impression you are playing a five note chord. When I play with my partner she plays 7ths and I play 9ths so we are covered for all the notes as well.

Jim Hanks
08-06-2017, 01:15 PM
You've covered the options - leave out the root, 5th, or 7th, depending on which "color" is least important in context. How to introduce? Hmm, I guess I'd say the add9 approach as it can give a lot of spice to many plain major and minor chords. Second favorite would be to drop the 5th since that's more typical context I think - if you see a C9 on a jazz chart it's really assumed that dominant 7th is in there.

Booli
08-06-2017, 01:18 PM
Good question, 5 notes and four strings. Drop the root, it is implied in the chord. If you have a bass player the root will be covered.
You can also play a 7th and toggle on and off the 9th giving the impression you are playing a five note chord. When I play with my partner she plays 7ths and I play 9ths so we are covered for all the notes as well.

I admit that I am not an expert in chord theory, but this sounds like how I would approach it, as it can work in various scenarios, from solo playing, to duets, to ensembles...

Musical perception is a funny thing, in that your brain can kind of 'fill-in' certain notes, even if not actually played (like as suggested to drop the root note)...

Kimosabe
08-06-2017, 02:40 PM
F9 2333 A Eb G C 3rd Flat7 9 5 No root Moveable chord Sounds nice, contrast with F7

Choirguy
08-06-2017, 05:13 PM
If you just drop the root, you actually build a different 7th chord.

Regular 9th: 1 3 5 7 9

Dropped root 9th: 3 5 7 9

Which is actually a 7th.

There isn't going to be a perfect solution..so play what sounds best to your ear. That's what matters anyway.

wrestlingmatt51
08-11-2017, 05:22 AM
Thanks everyone. A lot of good thoughts.