Dominant ninth arpeggio
Here are some of the standard fingering patterns for playing dominant ninth chord arpeggios. As usual, the root note is emphasized. The patterns are not named because they generally span more than one type of chord pattern.
I was stumped on what this pattern was. That was because I started using it as a variation on the Major Pentatonic scale. The notes are the major pentatonic, with the 6th replaced by a flatted 7th. I took me a while to realize that it was an arpeggiated ninth.
There are four things that can help you remember how to play these patterns:
- They are dominant seventh arpeggios with an added note.
- They are the same notes as dominant ninth chords. Use the chord forms to help you get started.
- They are the same as the major pentatonic scales, except for the note described above.
- They are minor seventh flatted 5 arpeggios with an added note, however the root note of the arpeggio is not the root of the ninth chord.
The same chords and patterns are shown in both a vertical and a horizontal display because some people have trouble with one form or the other.
Starting on the chord's root
This root pattern is fairly easy to remember. The E, A and D strings form an "H-shaped" pattern. The second version has two notes per string on the higher string, while the first keeps more of a fixed location.
This expanded "H-shape" highlights the interesting pattern the notes make on the first three strings (E, A and D). Think about how this pattern could be used to help you remember the scale in other positions, or to transition from one pattern to another.
This ascending pattern has the same 3-note and 2-note per sting pattern repeated up the neck.
Starting on the chord's nine
The familiar H-shape starts on the A string, but is harder to see because of the smaller interval between the G and B strings.
Starting on the chord's third
I found this to be one of the easiest shapes to remember, and very useful. It wraps around a C-shape C7 chord.
Starting on the chord's fifth
Look for the ninth chord form that most people use when they first learn a ninth chord. Typically it is learned with the root on the A string being played with the middle finger; the third on the D string is played with the index finger, and the G, B and E strings are covered with the ring finger.
In the first two patterns, the low 7th note is played on either the E or A string. These are very useful patterns, with the low notes around the C form and the higher notes around the A form. The first pattern highlights how similar this physical pattern-shape is to a major or minor pentatonic.
This first pattern uses the 7th note from the E string.
This second pattern uses the 7th on the A string.
The main ascending pattern. This is a repeating pattern that climbs the fretboard.
The H-shape is an easy to remember clue to these patterns. It's easy to see in the first pattern on the A, D and G strings. Once you're on a root, an arpeggiated 9th can be built by making the H-shape. Of course, the interval change between the G and B string will modify the spacing.
The first of these two is easier to remember because of its repeating shapes. The second climbs the fretboard a bit more, and ends on the root.
Starting on the chord's seventh
Compare the the first pattern below to the G-form of the major pentatonic.
Using the patterns
The notes in these patterns make ninth chords. If you consider the patterns the 9th cords you know are related to in the list above, you'll get some hints of ways to use them. How about using it over a dom seven chord?