As a guitar player it was that C#m7(add9) chord that got me hooked.
It is basically a C#5 power chord played on the 4th fret on the A string. Add the ninth note (the D#) and then let the open B and E strings resonate. It is a beautiful sounding chord. When you tab it out, it looks like this.
The first time I heard a power chord with the added 9th was in “Message In A Bottle” and then again in “Every Breath You Take” by The Police. Both songs have Sting as the songwriter, however the real credit goes to Andy Summers. He was the one that took a keyboard line or a bass line and made it rock. Even though each song was released in 1979 and 1983, I more or less heard them at the same time in 1984.
That was in the early eighties and with the rise of hard rock and heavy metal it was back to the mighty power chord and pedal point riffs. The smart and beautiful sounding chords sort of got lost.
Then I heard that chord again in 1992. From bands I had no idea about. One band was Dream Theater and the mighty John Petrucci used it in “Take The Time”. The other band was Saigon Kick and their very underrated guitarist/founder/main songwriter/producer/record label owner/studio owner and general music business lifer, Jason Bieler also employed the same sounding chord in the song “Love Is On The Way”.
And that chord has been in my arsenal ever since. If I need to play a C#m chord in a song, that is the one i play. Without fail.
My music listening experience didn’t involve just the song and the melody. In a song there could be just a riff or a lick or a vocal melody that could resonate with me and hook me in. And the sound of that C#m7(add9) chord resonates.
The other chord is this G#m9(#5) that I heard in “Jet City Woman” by Queensryche and again in “Another Day” by Dream Theater.
Hearing “Love Is On The Way” again today, brought back all of those memories.
And that is what music is all about. A soundtrack to our lives. Memories from different times that somehow connect with one another. That is what the C#m7(add9) chord achieved.