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Ebm6/9 Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of Ebm6/9 in Root Position

    Ebm6 9 Chord Piano Chart

    The Ebm6/9 chord is a minor chord based on the Eb key (Eb, Gb, Bb) but with additional major 6th (C) and major 9th (F) intervals. In this article, we will explore the music theory behind this chord in greater detail.


    Structure of Ebm6/9


    Eb, Gb, Bb, C, F


    R, m3, 5, 6, 9


    Ebm6/9 Chord Inversions


    The Ebm6/9 chord has a total of 4 inversions:

    Root Position: Eb Gb Bb C F
    1st Inversion: Gb Bb C Eb F
    2nd Inversion: Bb C Eb F Gb
    3rd Inversion: C Eb F Gb Bb
    4th Inversion:  F Gb Bb C Eb

    Piano Keyboard Diagrams

    Ebm6 9 Chord Piano Chart

    Ebm6/9 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 Ebm6/9

    To play the Ebm6/9 chord, you can start by playing the root note Eb with your left hand. Then, using your right hand, play the minor 3rd Gb, the 6th C, and the 9th note F. This simplifies the Ebm6/9 chord to include only the root note, minor 3rd, major 6th, and 9th notes.

    Eb + Gb, C, F

    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 Ebm6/9


    Building the Ebm6/9 Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from the Eb 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 Eb major scale:


    Eb Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th

    Eb Major Scale


    Eb Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th - Keyless Notation

    Eb Major Scale – Keyless notation


    Apply the formula R, m3, 5, 6, 9 to get an Ebm6/9 chord:

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


    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 Ebm6/9 chord, you can see that:

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

    Stacking these intervals together creates an Ebm6/9 chord.


    How to Use Ebm6/9 in a Chord Progression


    Ebm6/9 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
    Eb Eb min7 ⇒ Ebm6/9 Fm7b5 Gb Maj7 Ab min7 Bb min7 Cb Maj7 Db7
    Bb Bb min7 Cm7b5 Db Maj7 Eb min7 ⇒ Ebm6/9 F min7 Gb Maj7 Ab7
    Ab Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 Eb min7 ⇒ Ebm6/9 Fb Maj7 Gb7
    • Non-diatonic Tonic chord in Eb minor
    • Subdominant chord in Bb minor
    • Non-diatonic Dominant chord in Ab minor

    on Major Scales

    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Db Db Maj7 Eb min7 ⇒ Ebm6/9 F min7 Gb Maj7 Ab7 Bb min7 Cm7b5
    Cb = B B Maj7 C# min7 D# min7 ⇒ D#m6/9 = Ebm6/9 E Maj7 F#7 G# min7 A#m7b5
    Gb Gb Maj7 Ab min7 Bb min7 Cb Maj7 Db7 Eb min7 ⇒ Ebm6/9 Fm7b5
    • Supertonic chord in Db Major
    • Non-diatonic Mediant chord in B Major as D#m6/9
    • Non-diatonic Submediant chord in Gb Major
    Non-diatonic positions

    In the case of the Eb minor 6/9th chord, the C does not exist in either the Eb natural minor scale or the Gb major scale.

    In Ab minor and B Major, both, the 6th (C) and the 9th (F) are not present in the scales. This is why the Ebm6/9 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.


    Ebm6/9 Function in Major and Minor Keys

    Understanding Scale Degrees

    Scale degrees are essential for understanding the relationship between the notes in a scale and how they function within chords. The diatonic major scale consists of seven degrees, each with its unique role in creating the overall harmony of the scale.

    1. The first degree of the scale is known as the Tonic, which serves as the anchor for the music. It establishes a stable tonal center that acts as the foundation for the scale.
    2. The second degree is called the Supertonic, often used as a transitional note between the Tonic and other notes in the scale. It creates a sense of motion within the melody or harmony.
    3. The third degree of the scale is the Mediant, which sits halfway between the Tonic and Dominant notes. It helps establish whether the scale is major or minor.
    4. The fourth degree is called the Subdominant, used to complement the Dominant and add tension and resolution to the music.
    5. The fifth degree is the Dominant, which creates tension and anticipation within the melody or harmony, typically resolved by returning to the Tonic.
    6. The sixth degree is the Submediant, often employed as a transitional note between the Dominant and Tonic, adding a sense of stability and restfulness to the music.
    7. The seventh degree is the Leading tone, located one half-step below the Tonic. It creates a strong sense of tension and a desire to resolve to the Tonic, frequently used to create a sense of resolution and finality in the melody or harmony.


    Ebm6/9 in Eb minor (Non-Diatonic)

    The Ebm6/9 chord can be used as the tonic chord in the Eb natural minor scale, but it’s non-diatonic due to the presence of the major 6th interval (C), 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
    Eb min7 ⇒ Ebm6/9 Fm7b5 Gb Maj7 Ab min7 Bb min7 Cb Maj7 Db7


    Ebm6/9 Chord Progressions as i degree

    Here are some examples of chord progressions where the Ebm6/9 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

    Eb (Gb, C, F)

    Cb Maj7

    Eb (Gb, Bb, Eb)


    Db (F, Ab, B, Db)

    Gb Maj7

    Gb (Bb, Db, F)

    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
    Eb min

    Eb ( Gb, Bb, Eb)

    Eb min(Maj7)

    Eb (Gb, Bb, D)

    Eb min7

    Eb (Gb, Bb, Db)


    Eb (F, Gb, C)


    i iv VI VII
    i iv VI VII
    Eb min7 | Ebm6/9

    Eb (Gb, Bb, Db) | Eb (F, Gb, C)

    Ab min7

    Ab (Gb, Ab, B)

    Cb Maj7

    B (Eb, Gb, Bb)


    Db (B, F, Ab)


    Ebm6/9 in Bb minor

    The Ebm6/9 can also appear as a variation of the subdominant chord in the key of Bb minor.

    i ii III iv v VI VII
    Bb min7 Cm7b5 Db Maj7 Eb min7 ⇒ Ebm6/9 F min7 Gb Maj7 Ab7


    Ebm6/9 Chord Progressions as iv degree

    The following chord progressions feature an Ebm6/9 chord as the subdominant (iv degree):

    iv III VI VII
    iv III VI VII
    Ebm9 | Ebm6/9

    Eb (F, Gb, Db) | Eb (F, Gb, C)

    Db Maj7

    Db (F, Ab, C)

    Gb Maj7

    Gb (F, Bb, Db)


    Ab (F, Gb, C)

    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
    Bb min7 Ebm6/9 | Ebm7 Gb Maj7 F min7


    Ebm6/9 in Ab minor (Non-Diatonic)

    Typically, it’s best to avoid playing an Ebm6/9 chord in the key of Ab minor since it contains two notes that aren’t part of the Ab minor scale. However, it’s also helpful to experiment with different chord positions, including those that may seem “impossible,” to gain a better understanding of when and where to use certain chords. This hands-on experience can serve as a valuable learning tool and guide, rather than solely relying on guidelines that tell you where not to use a chord.

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


    Ebm6/9 as v degree – Chord Progressions

    If you want to hear how the Ebm6/9 chord sounds as the dominant (V) chord in the Ab natural minor scale, try playing the following chord progressions. It may sound slightly dissonant due to the absence of the 6th (C) and 9th (F) in the Ab minor scale. Consider adding chromaticism to your chord voicings, and the Ebm6/9 chord can be particularly useful for this purpose in this key.

    i iv VI v
    i iv VI v
    Ab min7 Db min7 Fb Maj7 Ebm7 | Ebm6/9


    i v VI VII
    i v VI VII
    Ab min7 Ebm7 | Ebm6/9 Fb Maj7 Gb7


    i VI v iv
    i VI v iv
    Ab min7 Fb Maj7 Ebm7 | Ebm6/9 Db min7


    Ebm6/9 in Db Major

    In the key of Db major, the Ebm6/9 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 Ebm chord on the same degree.

    I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Db Maj7 Eb min7 ⇒ Ebm6/9 F min7 Gb Maj7 Ab7 Bb min7 Cm7b5


    Ebm6/9 Chord Progressions as ii degree

    Try playing the following chord progressions to better understand how the Ebm6/9 chord functions as the supertonic (ii) chord in the key of Db major.

    ii V I
    ii V I
    Ebm6/9 Ab7 Db Maj7


    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    Db Maj7 Gb Maj7 Ebm6/9 | Ebm7 Ab7 F min7 Bb min7 Eb min7 Ab7


    Ebm6/9 in Cb Major (Non-Diatonic)

    Check D#m6/9 in B Major


    Ebm6/9 in Gb Major (Non-Diatonic)

    The Ebm6/9 chord may not be a good fit for the Gb major key because it includes a C note which is not part of the Gb major scale. However, it’s still worth experimenting with this chord in this key to see how it sounds to you.

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


    Ebm6/9 as vi degree – Chord Progressions

    You can explore the sound of Ebm6/9 as the submediant chord in the key of Gb major by playing the following chord progressions:

    I iii vi V
    I iii vi V
    Gb Maj7 Bb min7 Eb min7 | Ebm6/9 Db7


    I vi ii V
    I vi ii V
    Gb Maj7 Ebm6/9 Ab min7 Db7


    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    I IV ii V iii vi ii V
    Gb Maj7 Cb Maj7 Ab min7 Db7 Bb min7 Ebm6/9 | Ebm Ab min7 Db7


    Alternative Names for Ebm6/9 Chord

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



    The chord progressions and examples presented in this post provide a comprehensive overview of the most common uses of the Ebm6/9 chord. It’s important to note, however, that many advanced harmony-related topics could not be included due to space constraints. These topics include chord progressions built on harmonic and melodic scales, modal scales, hidden tonality, secondary dominants and other chord substitutions, non-functional harmony and atonal music, modal interchange and borrowed chords, voice leading and counterpoint, chromatisms, jazz harmony…I mean, music theory is a huge topic!

    Although I couldn’t cover all of these topics in my post, I encourage readers to continue exploring these areas in their own study and research. By expanding your knowledge in these advanced areas of music theory, you can gain a deeper understanding of the harmonic possibilities that exist beyond the basics presented here.



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