Here’s How To Play The 6/9 Piano Chord In Your Songs
How To Use a Stack of 4ths on the piano in the 6/9 chord
Good morning. This is Duane, and today I’d like to talk about the fabulous 6/9 piano chord. A lot of people don’t know what that is, and if you don’t, you’re in for a treat. First of all, make sure you know what 6 chord is. For example, there’s a 6. There’s a C chord, and if I add a 6, the 6 would be there. If I add a 9th, that would be there, because that’s 6 notes above the root C, and this is 9 notes above the root. So a 6/9 chord would involve those two notes.
But we’re going to voice it in a different kind of way. By the way, if you don’t know those chords, then look up a Youtube video or something, and find out what a 6 chord is and what a 9 chord is, ’cause you need to know that first, okay? But we’re going to voice a 6/9 chord in a way that will get you a very contemporary sound. Here’s what we do. We create an open feeling down low, by playing the root and the 5th of whatever the chord is. I’ll start with a C chord, but then I’ll go to some other ones too.
Here’s the C chord, the root and the 5th, the root and the 5th of the C chord. We’re leaving the 3rd out, or we’re going to get that right now. The chord we’re going to play includes the 3rd, the 6th, and the 9th. So here’s how … We play that low root 5th, and just use our sustain pedal to keep that sound going. Then we come up and we play the 3rd note of the chord, which is E, the 6th note, which is A, and the 9th note, which is D.
So we connect those two. This is the sound we’re going to get. See, it gives an open sound. That’s called voicing in 4ths, because it’s a 4th from there to there, and a 4th from there to there. So we’re voicing it in open 4ths. Now, played alone, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? We have to have that root feeling to establish what it is. If I just play that chord out of context, you wouldn’t even know what chord it was, what was going on, okay? But you need that root 5th to give it context.
Now let’s go up a half step, and see what we get. So the Db chord would just be a half step higher. If you’re sitting at your piano, try that. Just play a low C, and then a low Db. Just creep up without playing the low note, first of all. Go up another half step, back down, just get the feeling of that open 4th. Those are all 6/9 chords. That’s C 6/9, obviously. That’s Db 6/9. That’s D 6/9, and then come back down.
I kind of forgot how that went, but you get the idea, okay? That’s the sound we’re after, okay? Now let’s do it to the F chord. If we play a low root and 5th on F, that would be F and C, wouldn’t it? Then we come up and play A, the 3rd, and a 4th above that is D, and a 4th above that is G, okay? If we go up a half step from that, that would be F# or Gb. If we go up a half step above that, that would be G, wouldn’t it? Okay?
So that’s the F chord. Let’s go up to the G and do that, root 5th and G, then the 3rd, 6th, and 9th, okay? Now let me show you something else. If you’re playing the blues, or any kind of song where you toggle back and forth between C and G, there’s lots of songs that do that, between C and G7, so what you can do is just move your hand up one whole white note. Not a half step. The bottom note is a half step, but the top notes are just white notes, okay?
When you get to G … See that? Okay? That’s up to G. Now if you want to go to F, all you do is you take that chord, the C 6/9 chord, and keep the two top notes, but just move the bottom note down from E to Eb. Then you have a low F, or a low F and C, and you got that sound. So in other words, with that one setting, I can play C, G, and F, just without barely moving my fingers at all. You see that? That’s very useful if you’re playing the blues. See that? On F, I was going … See that voicing? It’s just a half step, bottom note goes down a half step, okay?
So the 6/9 chord is very, very useful in lots of ways. So if you don’t already know the chord, I hope that you will take the time to learn it. If you enjoy this kind of thing, come on over to PlayPiano.com, and sign up for our free piano tips. We have something like this most every day. They’re usually short little tips like this. But you can learn a lot if you just watch them every day. So, they’re all free, all at Youtube. So, thanks. Bye bye for now.
Here is the YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I90PNk5s2I4&feature=youtu.be