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Gb9sus4 Piano Chord

    Piano Diagram of Gb9sus4 in Root Position

    Gb 9sus4 Chord - Root Position - Piano Diagram

    The Gb9sus4 chord is a suspended dominant 9th chord built upon the key of Gb. It’s made by the root note Gb, the perfect 4th Cb (B), the perfect 5th Db, the minor 7th Fb (E), and the major 9th Ab. Keep reading to gain a deeper understanding of the music theory behind this chord.


    Structure of Gb9sus4


    Gb, Cb, Db, Fb, Ab


    R, 4, 5, m7, 9

     How to play a Gb9sus4

    You can start by playing the root note Gb with your left hand. Then, with your right hand, you can play the 4th Cb, the minor 7th Fb, and the 9th note Ab. You can add the 5th, Db, to get a little bit of dissonance.

    Gb + (Cb, Fb, Ab)

    This will result in a simplified Gb9sus4 chord that consists of the root note, perfect 4th, minor 7th, and the 9th notes only.

    Another simple way to voice this chord is to play the root note with your left hand and a Db min7 chord with your right hand.

    Gb + Dbm7 =

    Gb + (Db, Fb, Ab, Cb) =


    This voicing is essentially the second inversion of a 9sus4 chord without the root note, which is equivalent in sound to a minor 7th chord built on the 5th note from the root.


    Gb9sus4 Chord Inversions


    The Gb9sus4 chord has a total of 4 inversions:

    Root Position: Gb Cb Db Fb Ab
    1st Inversion: Cb Db Fb Gb Ab
    2nd Inversion: Db Fb Gb Ab Cb
    3rd Inversion: Fb Gb Ab Cb Db
    4th Inversion: Ab Cb Db Fb Gb

    Piano Keyboard Diagrams

    Gb9sus4 Chord - Root Position - Piano Diagram

    Gb9sus4 Chord – Root Position

    Chord Inversions on Piano

    While chord inversions are a fundamental concept in music theory, the diagrams that show the sequence of notes in a complex chord on a piano keyboard may not necessarily be practical for playing. This is because proper chord voicings involve distributing the notes of the chord across different octaves and positions on the keyboard. This can be very different from the basic shape of the chord’s inversions. Therefore, the diagrams of chord inversions are mainly intended to show the sequence of notes on the piano keyboard for music theory purposes, rather than for practical playing.

    Music Theory and Harmony of Gb9sus4

    What are Suspended  Chords?

    Suspended chords are a type of chord where the third note is replaced by either a major second or a perfect fourth. This creates sus2 and sus4 chords, which have a unique and sometimes unresolved sound that adds tension and interest to music. These chords can be used as substitutes for major and minor chords because of their neutral nature.

    The 9sus4 chord is a more intricate version of the sus4 chord, featuring a minor 7th and 9th note in addition to the perfect fourth. This chord is commonly used in jazz and blues music to add complexity and interest to chord progressions. It is often used as a substitute for dominant 7th chords. Read on to learn how to build a Gb9sus4 chord, or scroll down to see where it can be used in different keys and degrees.


    Building the Gb9sus4 Chord: Different Approaches

    Starting from a Major Scale

    To create a 9sus4 chord, you can use the Major scale as a reference by combining a Root, a 4th, a 5th, a minor 7th, and a 9th.

    In this case, to build a Gb9sus4 let’s start from the Gb Major scale, which includes the notes Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, and F.


    Gb Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th

    Gb Major Scale


    Gb Major Diatonic Scale up to 13th Keyless Notation

    Gb Major Scale – Keyless Notation


    Apply the formula R, 4°, 5°, m7°, 9° to get a Gb9sus4 chord.

    1. Select the Root note, Gb.
    2. Pick the 4th note, Cb (B).
    3. Add the 5th note, which is Db.
    4. To add the 7th note, we need to use a minor 7th interval, which means we must use a minor seventh. In the Gb Major scale, the 7th note is F, so the minor 7th is natural E, which we’ll call Fb to preserve the basic intervals structure of the chord.
    5. Lastly, include the 9th note of the Gb Major scale, which is Ab.


    by Combining Intervals

    To build a 9sus4 chord, you can stack together a perfect 4th, a whole-tone (or major 2nd), a minor 3rd, and a major 3rd.

    4 + 2 + m3 + 3 = 9sus4 Chords

    In fact, when building a Gb9sus4 chord, you can see that Gb-Cb (B) is a perfect 4th, Cb-Db is a major 2nd, Db-Fb (E) is a minor 3rd, and Fb-Ab is a major 3rd.


    How to Use Gb9sus4 in a Chord Progression


    Suspended chords have a unique quality that sets them apart from major and minor chords. They are neither major nor minor, which makes them a useful tool for creating tension and suspense in a musical composition before resolving to a stable major or minor chord.

    To use a Gb9sus4 chord in a chord progression, you can refer to the following tables, which show the most common positions where the chord can be found or used. However, it’s important to note that, since this chord features a minor 7th, it cannot be used with Maj7 chords, such as sus2 or sus4 chords. Nonetheless, it can be used on dominant chords and in all positions where a Gb min7 is present.

    Gb9sus4 as Substitute of Gb7

    Gb9sus4 can be used as a substitute for Gb7 in major and minor keys. In Cb (B) major, Gb7 can be replaced with Gb9sus4 in the V position. Similarly, in the Ab minor scale, the Gb7 chord can be substituted with Gb9sus4 in the VII position.

    However, since Cb major is a theoretical key, it’s more practical to refer to its enharmonic equivalent key, B major, and use the equivalent chord of Gb9sus4, which is F#9sus4. The same principle applies to Fb, Ebb, Bbb major keys and Gb, Db, Cb minor keys.

    on Major Scales

    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Cb = B B Maj7 C# min7 D# min7 E Maj7 F#7 ⇒ F#9sus4 = Gb9sus4 G# min7 A#m7b5
    • Dominant chord in B Major as F#9sus4


    on Natural minor Scales

    Minor Scales i ii III iv v VI VII
    Ab Ab min7 Bbm7b5 Cb Maj7 Db min7 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7 ⇒ Gb9sus4
    • Leading tone chord in Ab minor


    Gb9sus4 as Substitute of Gb min7

    Gb9sus4 chord can be used as a substitute for Gb minor chords in various major and minor keys. Note that in the key of Ebb (D) Major and Cb (B) minor, Ab can clash with the natural A that is present in those keys. While this doesn’t prevent you from using the Gb9sus4 chord in those positions, it’s important to be aware that it can create a strong dissonance with the melody or other elements of the composition.


    on Major Scales

    Major Scales I ii iii IV V vi vii
    Fb = E E Maj7 F#m7 ⇒ F#9sus4 = Gb9sus4 G# min7 A Maj7 B7 C# min7 D#m7b5
    Ebb = D D Maj7 E min7 F#m7 ⇒ F#9sus4 = Gb9sus4 G Maj7 A7 B min7 C#m7b5
    Bbb = A A Maj7 B min7 C# min7 D Maj7 E7 F#m7 ⇒ F#9sus4 = Gb9sus4 G#m7b5
    • Supertonic chord in E Major as F#9sus4
    • Non Diatonic Mediant chord in D Major as F#9sus4
    • Submediant chord in A Major as F#9sus4


    on Natural minor Scales

    Minor Scales i ii III iv v VI VII
    Gb = F# F#m7 ⇒ F#9sus4 = Gb9sus4 G#m7b5 A Maj7 B min7 C# min7 D Maj7 E7
    Db = C# C# min7 D#m7b5 E Maj7 F#m7 ⇒ F#9sus4 = Gb9sus4 G# min7 A Maj7 B7
    Cb = B B min7 C#m7b5 D Maj7 E min7 F#m7 ⇒ F#9sus4 = Gb9sus4 G Maj7 A7
    • Tonic chord in F# minor as F#9sus4
    • Subdominant chord in C# minor as F#9sus4
    • Non Diatonic Dominant chord in B minor as F#9sus4


    Gb9sus4 in Cb Major

    Check F#9sus4 in B Major


    Gb9sus4 in Ab Minor

    In the Ab minor key, the seventh degree of the scale features a Gb7 chord. By incorporating a Gb9sus4 chord in this position, you can generate a feeling of expectation and tension, which prepares the listener for the eventual resolution to the tonic chord. You can experiment with playing just the Gb9sus4 chord or combining it with the Gb7 chord.

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


    Gb9sus4 as VII degree – Chord Progressions
    i VI VII
    i V VII
    Ab min7 Eb min7 Gb9sus4 | Gb7


    i v VI VII
    i v VI VII
    Ab min7 Eb min7 Fb Maj7 Gb7 | Gb9sus4


    i III VII VI
    i III VII VI
    Ab min7 Cb Maj7 Gb9sus4 | Gb7 Fb Maj7


    Circle Progression
    i iv VII III VI ii V7 i
    Ab min7 Db min7 Gb9sus4 | Gb7 Cb Maj7 Fb Maj7 Bbm7b5 Eb7 Ab min7


    Gb9sus4 in Fb Major

    Check F#9sus4 in E Major


    Gb9sus4 in Ebb Major (Non Diatonic)

    Check F#9sus4 in D Major


    Gb9sus4 in Bbb Major

    Check F#9sus4 in A Major


    Gb9sus4 in Gb Minor

    Check F#9sus4 in F# minor


    Gb9sus4 in Db Minor

    Check F#9sus4 in C# minor


    Gb9sus4 in Cb Minor (Non Diatonic)

    Check F#9sus4 in B minor


    9sus4 and 11th Chords: Similarities and Differences

    9sus4 chords share almost the same notes as 11th chords. The only difference is the presence of the 3rd in 11th chords.

    Gb9sus4 = Gb, B, Db, E, Ab

    Gb11 = Gb, Bb, Db, E, Ab, B

    However, it is important to note that a 4th is not the same as an 11th, even if they are the same note. There is an octave of difference between them. This distinction may not matter when playing an inversion of the chord, but it is still important to be aware of.



    Alternative Gb9sus4 Chord Nomenclature

    • Gb9 sus4
    • Gb7(9sus4)
    • Gb9sus 4th
    • Gb nine suspended 4th
    • Gb ninth suspended fourth
    • Gb Dominant ninth suspended 4


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