Shapes of things... M9/maj7th

A Stairway To Heaven chord that likes company

Led Zep's Jimmy Page circa 1960 © JazzSign/Lebrecht Music & Arts/Corbis

The chord: M9/maj7th

Used by: Led Zeppelin

Song: Stairway To Heaven

Context: Am9/maj7 as the second chord in the intro and verses. Low to high strings: X X 6 5 5 7

Did you know?

The m9/maj7 is simply a minor chord with added 9th and major 7th notes. Often found as the middle chord in a rundown, as in the legendary Zeppelin number, it's one of those chords that doesn't sit comfortably on its own.

Also spotted in:

The simpler version without the 9th can be spotted in: The Beatles' Michelle (Fm/maj7 as the intro's second chord). Low to high strings: X X X 9 9 8

Bread's Guitar Man (Dm/maj7 as second chord in the bridge - "so you listen to the 'music' and you like to sing along"). Low to high strings: X X 0 2 2 1

Tom Petty's Into The Great Wide Open (Em/maj7 as the second chord to each verse). Low to high strings: 0 2 1 0 0 0

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