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This is small section of tabs for Black by Pearl Jam which I found here

 Intro:
e|-----------
B|-9--9-9-9-9
G|-9--9-9-9-9
D|-x--x-x-x-x
A|-7--7-7-7-7
E|-----------

What is confusing me is the muted D string. How should I approach playing this.

Also, going into theory, why would one construct a chord this way, what will the result be fretting the D string on frets 7, 8 or 9

2

Remember when you were not very good at playing a chord cleanly? You've got to go back to that again, but on purpose this time. The fleshy part of a finger, probably the one pressing the A string, will touch but not press the D string.

The missing of that note gives a different voicing to the chord. There is no 5 in it. If any note can be missed from a chord, the 5 is usually the first to go. If it was there it would be the same chord name (D), pressed on the 9th fret. With chords that have extensions - jazz uses them a lot - on guitar, often a string in the middle has to be muted, as no fitting note can be fingered at that place on the fretboard. Obviously that's the sound they wanted. Unless the player couldn't finger it that well...

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