Guitar Lesson – Music Theory Part 6.2 – 2 & 9

We’re continuing our look at the other numbers: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9.  I’m going to try to give you some ideas how you might use these chords.

This is part 6.2 because we’re going to look at the 2 chord.  😛

Disclaimer :- The following tips are purely based on my own experience, reading, and experimentation.  Results may vary.  Check with your ears to see if these chords are right for you.  Side effects may include: more time spent with your guitar, creative ways of holding chords, and creative voicing and dressing up your chords.

2 & 9

To be completely accurate, I guess most guitar chords using the 2 note is actually the 9.  What I mean by that is that most of the time, the 2 note being played in most of these chords are not actually 1 step away from the lowest root note but rather an octave + 1 step.  It’s very rare that you’d play a root note with the 2nd note on the next string.  For the most part, it’s just kind of hard to do.  🙂  And the notes tend to become “mushy”.  So I’m going to talk about the 2 and 9 together (interchangeably).

2 if fun.  I like the 2.  It’s very versatile… kind of like a plain white tee… you can where it out, where it under something, where it like pajamas.  Because the 2 chord doesn’t have the 3rd in it, it’s ambiguous — it’s neither major or minor.  So it can be used to “mask” the major or minor.  For instance, try this progression:

    Em   C   D   Asus9  (a la “Drive” by Incabus)

Now, try substituting the Asus9 with either A or Am.  You might find that the A sounds okay.  But the key should be G which should make it Am.  But if you try Am, you might find that it’s too dark and lack the “driving” (pun intended) characteristic of the song.

I also like using the 2 with the 3rd, both major and minor.  For instance, try this chord: (Emin9)

Notice that the root is E.  The F# is played on the D-string while the G is also played (on the G-string.  In this case, the 7 (D) is also played on the B-string.

Try some arpeggios (allow notes to ring but only play one at a time).

Here’s a fun progression.  Try playing Emin9 followed by the one on the right which I’m calling C-5+9.

And here’s another way to hold the min9 chord which also sounds great.

Another one that I really like is adding the 2 note with the major chord which might look something like this:

Notice in this version of Cadd9 (see previous post for other version), both the D and the E are played.  And in fact, the D and E are only 1 step apart.

I usually like using this chord to create a smooth/gentle end to a song.

This type of chord is fairly common on the piano in pop.

Well, there you have it.  A few different ways to use the 2 (or 9) notes… without 3rd, with minor 3rd, and with major 3rd.

About ckyoungmusic

Guitarist ♪ Songwriter ♪ Instructor ♪ Nice Guy ♪ Music for the Soul | Rock | Country | Blues | Pop | Folk | Funk

Posted on September 12, 2009, in Guitar Lessons, Music Theory. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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