Chords Lesson

A Cool Amaj9 Chord Progression

Difficulty: advanced

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Check out this YouTube video from Ruben Wan in which he quickly goes through a really neatly arranged chord progression, starting and ending with some beautiful Amaj9 shapes. Be sure to check out the diagram collection link below, to see the movement between these shapes, and take the quiz.

In the video, Ruben refers to this progression as Amaj9 - Amin9 - G#min7 - Cdim7 - C#min11. I'd like to make two small amendments. There seems to be an F# present in the Amin9, and no audible B, so let's call it an Amin6. Also, the Cdim7 seems to include a G# in the melody instead of a Gb, so let's call it a Cmin6#5. The amended progression, and the shapes listed below, are:

Amaj9 - Amin6 - G#min7 - Cmin6#5 - C#min11

Amaj9

3142

Amaj9 is made up of the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th notes of the A major scale. This shape leaves out the 5th (E) which is common. Press the notes/tones buttons below this diagram to study the chord construction.

Amin6

314

Amin6 is constructed with the 1st, b3rd, 5th, and 6th notes of the A major scale. This shape leaves out the 5th (E) which is common, as Ruben does in the video, but the open 1st string (E) could easily be added.

G#min7

1314

G#min7 is constructed from the 1st, b3rd, 5th, and b7th notes of the G# major scale. This shape leaves out the 5th (D#), which is common, although this barre skipping the 5th string is atypical but nice sounding.

Cmin6#5

2134

Cmin6#5 is constructed with the 1st, b3rd, #5th, and 6th notes of the C major scale. Ruben refers to this chord as Cdim7 in the video, but the melody presence of the G#, and the apparent absence of the Gb, seems to favor this Cmin6#5.

C#min11

3421

This extremely cool shape leverages the open E string in a clever way. C#min11 is constructed with the 1st, b3rd, 5th, b7, 9th, and 11th notes of the C# major scale. This shape leaves out the 5th (G#) which is common, and cleverly includes the b3rd (E) as an open string.

Amaj9

13

This a Amaj9 shape uses a cool mixture of open strings and notes high on the fretboard. Amaj9 is constructed with the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th notes of the A major scale. This shape contains all of those tones: A, C#, E, G#, and B. The B (9th) and E (5th) are played as open strings.

Please forgive the incorrect rendering of the 13 fret.