Am9 open position Do you have trouble with this chord?
Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:27 PM
I've been playing (messing is probably a better word) with guitars for 27 years and decided to learn/relearn a lot of the chords I knew before, in order to improve my chord vocabulary. Chords sound a little different when played in different positions on the fretboard. I think its important for a guitar player (particularly those who intend to compose their own songs) to have a good chord (and scale) range. I'm starting at A and for the past few months I have been unable to play the Am9 chord in the open position (1st finger on 2nd sting 1st fret, 2 finger 4th string 2nd fret; 3rd finger 1st string 3rd fret; and 4th finger 3rd string 4th fret ). I have small fingers and just can't seem to get this chord at all. Its not a real problem because there are other easier positions on the fretboard where this chord can be played, but it dents my superstar ego (joke hehe) a bit not to be able to play a basic chord. Does anybody else have trouble playing this chord? I'm sure there are another 100 chord variations that are equally challenging.
Just to clarify what I said, I"m just learning chords to build my chord vocabulary. This is not the way to go for a beginner (i.e. you don't need to know 400 different chord shapes). I think a knowledge of chord progressions, very basic open chords, pentatonic lead positons, basic theory (keys, flats, sharps etc), barre cord variations (A and E shape, incl. minors, 7ths, 6ths etc), strum patterns and picking variations ( for arpeggios) are much more important than chord vocabulary.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:53 PM
Since an Am9 is the same notes as a Cmaj7, try substituting a first position Cmaj7.
5th string - 3rd fret (m or b3rd), 4th string - 2nd fret (5th), two fingers and you're done.
The open low "E" string is another 5th, the open "G" string is your 7th, and the open "B" is your 9th. The high "E" is of course still another 5th
Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:19 PM
For a really easy, root-position Am9 that includes open strings and is much easier to finger than the one you're struggling with, try this:
First and second strings open
Third string, fifth fret
Fourth string, fifth fret
Fifth string open
Sixth string: mute (you can play it open, it's the fifth of the chord)
This fingering includes all the notes of the chord: root, third, fifth, seventh, ninth.
By the way, a Cmaj7 is not the same as an Am9, since it does not include the note A (but it does include everything else).