The CMaj9 chord (also known as C Major 9 and C9), has a distinctive and unique tone. The chord contains one more note than CMaj7 (D). With the added tension note, it is not as open as the 7th chord, but adds a more unique and beautiful quality.

The notes in CMaj9 are:


Within this chord also contains other chords which you can use to superimpose over a chord progression, particularly useful when soloing.

  • From the Root: C△9
  • From the 3rd: E-7
  • From the 5th: G△




A series of individual notes that form the chord are called an arpeggio. Each note is a chord tone.


The Major Scale

The Major Scale is perfect to use over Cmaj9

CMaj9 Backing Track

Use The Major Scale to play along to CMaj9. Try using your imagination to discover what lines you can play over it. To train your ear, make a sincere effort to internalise the sound.

If you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas, my books are filled with several variations on how to play intervals, scales, melodies, and more.

To create inversions of this chord, the simplest way is to remove the bass note (C) as that will be covered by the bass player. You are then left with 4 notes and the resulting E-7 chord where you can invert like normal. You can’t have inversions with 5 note chords as the voicings would be too close and cause too much tension.

If You'd Like to Know More About Theory...Try My Books!

Other Chord Extensions

Chord NameNotes
Major Chords 
CMaj7C, E, G, B
CMaj9C, E, G, B, D
CMaj#11C, E, G, B, F#
CMaj13C, E, G, B, A
CMaj9(add13)C, E, G, B, D, A
Minor Chords 
Cmin7C, Eb, G, Bb
Cmin9C, Eb, G, Bb, D
Cmin11C, Eb, G, Bb, F
Cmin13C, Eb, G, Bb, A
Dominant Chords 
C7C, E, G, Bb
C9C, E, G, Bb, D
C11C, E, G, Bb, F
C13C, E, G, Bb, A
Half Diminished Chords 
C-7b5C, Eb, Gb, Bb

Read my ultimate guide on how to learn the bass guitar in the link below!

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