Add9 Chords

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David Bowie's Quicksand calls for an Am7add9 and Am7add9*

What is THAT?

Interesting thread on Add9 chords for guitar players:

They are standard major triad chords (1-3-5) with the 9th (2nd) tone of the scale added. Using the standard moveable C-A-G-E-D chord forms everyone learns early on, I think these adjustments will give you add9 voicings:

C form - raise 2nd string two frets

A form - drop 2nd string two frets (play open)- I remember this as the Townsend chord due to how it resolves in Behind Blue Eyes (play at end of verses such as "to telling only lies")

G form - raise third string 2 frets

E form - raise 4th string 2 frets - the Prince chord. He actually uses three add9s in Purple Rain. The verse progression is Aadd9-F#m11 (6th-2nd fret ,5th-open, 4th-2fret, 3rd-2nd fret, 2nd -open, 1st-open)-Eadd9-Dadd9 (the one with the 1st string open). FYI, as part of an acoustic set, this is a great tune for getting the bar crowd singing the chorus with you!

D form - Raise 4th string 2 frets, or drop the 1st string two frets (play open), or raise 2nd string 2 frets. You may have to barre across the bottom 3 depending on your reach on the last one.

The add9s also sound great in ii-V-I progressions as the I chords because they resolve so strongly.

Another interesting article:

As the label indicates, the add9 chord is a major chord with a 9th added. It is a four note chord, as opposed to the proper 9-chord, which is a five note chord. An add9 has the notes 1-3-5-9, while the 9-chord has 1-3-5-b7-9. A Cadd9 has C-E-G-D, while a C9 has C-E-G-Bb-D. The b7 note makes a huge difference, as it together with the 3 constitutes the important tritone in the 7th chord. The add9 is a sweet sounding chord, while the 9-chord is dissonant and drives the harmony towards a solution.
You do not need very advanced mathematical skills to see that 8+1=9, and that the D in a C-major scale could be labeled as a 2 rather than as a 9. For a proper 9-chord, the reason is that it is an extended 7th chord. But this is not the case for the add9, and I cannot give any good reasons for why this is the most common way of labeling the chord. And having said that, you might see the chord labeled as either a 2 chord, or add2 chord.

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