How To Play Em9 On Guitar

How to Play Em9 on Guitar

Learning to play different chord variations on the guitar can greatly enhance your playing skills and repertoire. One such chord is the Em9 chord – a beautiful, melodic chord that can add depth and emotion to your music. In this article, we will break down the steps to play the Em9 chord, making it easy for beginners and intermediate guitar players alike to incorporate this chord into their playing.

What is the Em9 chord?

Before we dive into how to play the Em9 chord, let’s first understand what it is. The Em9 chord is a variation of the E minor chord. It consists of the notes E, B, G, D, and F#.

Finger Placement

To play the Em9 chord, follow these simple steps:

  1. Place your index finger on the 5th fret of the A string (which is the second thickest string).
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the D string (the fourth thickest string).
  3. Use your ring finger to press down on the 7th fret of the G string (the fifth thickest string).
  4. Lastly, place your pinky finger on the 7th fret of the B string (second thinnest string).

Make sure each finger presses down on the respective string firmly and try to avoid muting adjacent strings with your fingers. When done correctly, you will be able to strum all six strings without any issues, producing a rich and full sound.

Strumming the Em9 chord

Now that we have the finger placement down, it’s time to strum the Em9 chord. It’s important to angle your strumming hand slightly downwards towards the floor and aim to strum from the A string (5th string) down to the high E string (1st string). This ensures that you are not accidentally strumming unwanted strings and keeps the chord sounding clean.

When strumming, it’s advisable to start with a gentle downstroke, rather than a forceful strum. This way, you can focus on striking only the desired strings and achieve a balanced sound. Once you are comfortable with the strumming, you can experiment with different strumming patterns and rhythms to create interesting musical sequences.

Using the Em9 chord in songs

Now that you know how to play the Em9 chord, it’s time to incorporate it into your favorite songs. The beauty of the Em9 chord is that it can be used in various genres, like pop, rock, folk, and even jazz.

Beginners can begin by strumming the Em9 chord alongside other basic chords, such as the G and C chords, to create simple chord progressions. As you progress, try adding barre chords or picking individual strings while holding the Em9 chord shape to create more intricate melodies.

Some famous songs that utilize the Em9 chord include “Wonderwall” by Oasis, “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, and “The Scientist” by Coldplay. Listening to these songs and following along with their chord progressions can help you get a sense of how the Em9 chord is used effectively in a musical context.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

As with any new guitar chord, mastering the Em9 chord requires consistent practice. Take some time each day to practice transitioning smoothly into and out of the Em9 chord, and gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable. To build muscle memory, consider incorporating the Em9 chord into your regular warm-up routine.

Remember, don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit of time to get the hang of it. Learning to play the guitar is a journey, and every small achievement is worth celebrating.


The Em9 chord is a valuable addition to your guitar chord arsenal. It adds a touch of complexity and melodic flair to your playing. By following the finger placement and strumming techniques outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to incorporating this beautiful chord into your favorite songs. With consistent practice and patience, you’ll soon master the Em9 chord and amaze your audience with its emotive sound.

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