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Abm6/9 Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of Abm6/9 in Root Position

    Abm6 9 Chord Piano Chart

    The Abm6/9 chord is a minor chord based on the Ab key (Ab, Cb, Eb) but with additional major 6th (F) and major 9th (Bb) intervals. In this article, we will explore the music theory behind this chord in greater detail.


    Structure of Abm6/9


    Ab, Cb, Eb, F, Bb


    R, m3, 5, 6, 9


    Abm6/9 Chord Inversions


    The Abm6/9 chord has a total of 4 inversions:

    Root Position: Ab Cb Eb F Bb
    1st Inversion: Cb Eb F Ab Bb
    2nd Inversion: Eb F Ab Bb Cb
    3rd Inversion: F Ab Bb Cb Eb
    4th Inversion:  Bb Cb Eb F Ab

    Piano Keyboard Diagrams

    Abm6 9 Chord Piano Chart

    Abm6/9 Chord Piano Chart


    Chord Inversion on Piano

    Chord inversions are a fundamental concept in music theory that explains how chords are constructed and fit into progressions. However, when discussing chord inversions on a piano keyboard, it’s essential to note that the diagrams used to show the notes in an inversion may not always be practical for playing.

    In actual practice, pianists use different voicings and fingerings for chords, spreading the notes across various octaves and positions on the keyboard. This means that the basic shape of a chord’s inversions as depicted in diagrams might not always be the most effective way to play the chord on a piano keyboard.


    How to play an Abm6/9

    To play the Abm6/9 chord, you can start by playing the root note Ab with your left hand. Then, using your right hand, play the minor 3rd Cb (equivalent to a natural B), the 6th F, and the 9th note Bb. This simplifies the Abm6/9 chord to include only the root note, minor 3rd, major 6th, and 9th notes.

    Ab + Cb, F, Bb

    Pianists often modify these chords for ease, excluding certain notes like the root or the 5th. Another approach is dividing the chord between hands, playing either full or partial chords in each hand. However, voicing chords on the piano is a nuanced topic that requires more explanation.

    Keep in mind that these suggestions are general and may not suit every musical context.


    Music Theory and Harmony of Abm6/9


    Building the Abm6/9 Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from the Ab Major Scale

    To build a minor 6/9 chord, you would typically include the root note, minor third, fifth, sixth, and ninth from a minor scale. However, when teaching this concept, it can be more effective to demonstrate its construction using a major scale. This is because a major scale better illustrates the relationship between intervals and their respective qualities.

    So let’s take the Ab major scale:


    Ab Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th

    Ab Major Scale


    Ab Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th Keyless Notation

    Ab Major Scale – Keyless Notation


    Apply the formula R, m3, 5, 6, 9 to get an Abm6/9 chord:

    1. Select the Root note, which is Ab.
    2. Pick the 3rd note, which is C, then lower it down by a half step to get the minor 3rd Cb.
    3. Add the 5th note, which is Eb, and include it as well.
    4. Now, add the 6th which is F.
    5. Lastly, include the 9th note of the Ab Major scale, which is a Bb.


    by Combining Intervals

    To build a minor 6/9 chord, one approach is to combine specific intervals, namely a minor 3rd, a major 3rd, a major 2nd (whole-tone), and a perfect 4th.

    m3 + 3 + 2 + 4 = m6/9 Chords

    In an Abm6/9 chord, you can see that:

    • Ab-Cb forms a minor 3rd,
    • Cb-Eb creates a major 3rd,
    • Eb-F makes a whole-tone interval,
    • and F-Bb is a perfect 4th.

    Stacking these intervals together creates an Abm6/9 chord.


    How to Use Abm6/9 in a Chord Progression


    Abm6/9 chords can be used as a variation of minor chords. However, it’s important to understand that the major 6th and/or the 9th interval present in this chord may not always be a part of the scale being used.

    on Natural minor Scales

    Minor Scales i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab Ab min7 ⇒ Abm6/9 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7
    Eb Eb min7 Fm7b5 Gb Maj7 Ab min7 ⇒ Abm6/9 Bb min7 Cb Maj7 Db7
    Db = C# C# min7 D#m7b5 E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 ⇒ G#m6/9 = Abm6/9 A Maj7 B7
    • Non-diatonic Tonic chord in Ab minor
    • Subdominant chord in Eb minor
    • Non-diatonic Dominant chord in C# minor as G#m6/9

    on Major Scales

    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Gb Gb Maj7 Ab min7 ⇒ Abm6/9 Bb min7 Cb Maj7 Db7 Eb min7 Fm7b5
    Fb = E E Maj7 F# min7 G# min7 ⇒ G#m6/9 = Abm6/9 A Maj7 B7 C# min7 D#m7b5
    Cb = B B Maj7 C# min7 D# min7 E Maj7 F#7 G# min7 ⇒ G#m6/9 = Abm6/9 A#m7b5
    • Supertonic chord in Gb Major
    • Non-diatonic Mediant chord in E Major as G#m6/9
    • Non-diatonic Submediant chord in B Major as G#m6/9
    Non-diatonic positions

    In the case of the Ab minor 6/9th chord, the F does not exist in either the Ab natural minor scale or the B major scale. In Db minor and E Major, both, the 6th (F) and the 9th (Bb) are not present in the scales. This is why the Abm6/9 chord (and any other chords with non-scale tones) are called “non-diatonic.”

    As a result, it is possible that the inclusion of this chord could cause dissonance within a melody or harmonic progression. So, just be careful when you use this chord in your music. Make sure it works well with the other chords and notes.


    Abm6/9 in Ab minor (Non-Diatonic)

    The Abm6/9 chord can be used as the tonic chord in the Ab natural minor scale, but it’s non-diatonic due to the presence of the major 6th interval (F), which creates tension and dissonance. While this dissonance can add interest to the chord, it may also make it challenging to use in certain musical contexts.

    i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab min7 ⇒ Abm6/9 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7


    Abm6/9 Chord Progressions as i degree

    Here are some examples of chord progressions where the Abm6/9 chord can serve as the tonic chord (i degree). I have provided a possible chord voicing just as a suggestion.

    i VI VII III
    i VI VII III

    Ab (B, F, Bb)

    Fb Maj7

    Ab (B, Eb, Ab)


    Gb (Bb, Db, E, Gb)

    Cb Maj7

    B (Eb, Gb, Bb)

    You can play the root note with your left hand and the remaining notes within the brackets with your right hand.


    Chromatic modulation
    i iΔ i7 i6
    Ab min

    Ab ( B, Eb, Ab)

    Ab min(Maj7)

    Ab (B, Eb, G)

    Ab min7

    Ab (B, Eb, Gb)


    Ab (Bb, B, F)


    i iv VI VII
    i iv VI VII
    Ab min7 | Abm6/9

    Ab (B, Eb, Gb) | Ab (Bb, B, F)

    Db min7

    Db (B, Db, E)

    Fb Maj7

    E (Ab, B, Eb)


    Gb (E, Bb, Db)


    Abm6/9 in Eb minor

    The Abm6/9 can also appear as a variation of the subdominant chord in the key of Eb minor.

    i ii III iv v VI VII
    Eb min7 Fm7b5 Gb Maj7 Ab min7 ⇒ Abm6/9 Bb min7 Cb Maj7 Db7


    Abm6/9 Chord Progressions as iv degree

    The following chord progressions feature an Abm6/9 chord as the subdominant (iv degree):

    iv III VI VII
    iv III VI VII
    Abm9 | Abm6/9

    Ab (Bb, B, Gb) | Ab (Bb, B, F)

    Gb Maj7

    Gb (Bb, Db, F)

    Cb Maj7

    B (Bb, Eb, Gb)


    Db (Bb, B, F)

    You can play the root note with your left hand and the remaining notes within the brackets with your right hand.


    i iv VI v
    i iv VI v
    Eb min7 Abm6/9 | Abm7 Cb Maj7 Bb min7


    Abm6/9 in Db minor (Non-Diatonic)

    Check G#m6/9 in C# minor


    Abm6/9 in Gb Major

    In the key of Gb major, the Abm6/9 chord can be used as a supertonic chord, which is a chord built on the second degree of the scale. This chord can add color and variety to a progression that already includes an Abm chord on the same degree.

    I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Gb Maj7 Ab min7 ⇒ Abm6/9 Bb min7 Cb Maj7 Db7 Eb min7 Fm7b5


    Abm6/9 Chord Progressions as ii degree

    Try playing the following chord progressions to better understand how the Abm6/9 chord functions as the supertonic (ii) chord in the key of Gb major.

    ii V I
    ii V I
    Abm6/9 Db7 Gb Maj7


    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    Gb Maj7 Cb Maj7 Abm6/9 | Abm7 Db7 Bb min7 Eb min7 Ab min7 Db7


    Abm6/9 in Fb Major (Non-Diatonic)

    Check G#m6/9 in E Major


    Abm6/9 in Cb Major (Non-Diatonic)

    Check G#m6/9 in B Major


    Alternative Names for Abm6/9 Chord

    • Ab -6/9
    • Lab -6/9
    • Ab m6/9
    • Ab m6/9th
    • Ab min 6/9
    • Ab m9(add6)
    • Ab min9 add 6
    • Ab minor 6th 9th
    • Ab minor sixth-ninth



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