How to Build Minor Chords for Guitar

To create a minor chord, just lower the 3rd note in your chosen scale by one tone – also known as flattening the third note.

Click any of the photos/diagrams below for alternate fingerings (barre shapes) and capo positions; these chords can often be seen in songs written in major and minor keys.

A minor chord

The A minor chord is one of the most widely utilized guitar chords. Used across a variety of genres and featuring its characteristic deep sound, this chord often pairs itself with major chords for added contrast.

Like other minor chords, A minor has a somber tone that makes for emotive songs. Additionally, this chord can add tension and excitement when used with fast-paced tunes.

B minor chord

B minor chords are excellent to learn and can easily fit into chord progressions, making them accessible for beginners. But their standard shape can prove challenging: to effectively play this chord you must barre across string five to string one in order to form its basic form.

There are various simpler methods of fingering this chord that make it more accessible for beginners and may help overcome challenges like arthritis or finger dexterity. Furthermore, these shapes can easily move up the fretboard giving you access to multiple chords.

C minor chord

C minor is a popular beginner guitar chord used in songs with somber or melancholic tones. Composed of the notes C, E flat and G, it forms a minor triad and makes up the guitar chord C minor.

Prior to using them in music, it is crucial that you practice different voicings of this chord and commit them to memory in order to avoid sloppy fingerings that could cause fret buzz. Doing this will prevent sloppy playing from leading to bad fret buzz.

D minor chord

The D minor chord is one of the first chords most guitarists learn to play, known for its deep and melancholy sound. Typically associated with more melancholic pieces, D minor is also great at creating dramatic tension in pieces of music.

To play this chord, place your index finger on the 1st fret of the high E string and your middle finger on the 2nd fret of G string. Strum only the top four strings – A and E strings should remain muted during strumming.

E minor chord

Em is a minor chord with a deep and melancholic sound. It is widely used across different genres and music styles.

When practicing the E minor chord, make sure your fingers are in their proper positions. Start slow and focus on making clear chord sounds while increasing dexterity and strength.

One key point when playing this chord is remembering that minor keys are always three half-tones lower than their respective major ones, thus making major chords sound brighter and happier than minor ones.

F minor chord

The F minor chord is an emotive triad chord often used in songs to create a melancholic atmosphere. Although it may be challenging, mastering it will help your fingers dexterity and chord-changing speed develop over time. Play along to songs featuring this chord to increase finger dexterity while practicing your finger placement to ensure each note resonates clearly with every note being played back by your guitar.

Barre chords can be tricky to play on the fretboard when starting out, so try practicing your barre chord shapes with ChordBank for real-time feedback and help master them step by step.

G minor chord

G minor chords boast a distinct sound that can help you craft powerful melodies and harmonies. Discover how different chord progressions and inversions can help create unique sounds for your music.

Chords possess their own individual personalities. Master composer Schubert once declared that G Minor chord was “the sound of discontent, uneasiness, worry about an abandoned scheme, bad temper and gnashing of teeth”.

Listening to Cherry Glazerr’s “Had Ten Dollaz” will allow you to fully experience the G minor chord’s dramatic angst.

Am minor chord

Minor chords can add some subtle jazziness and warmth to guitar music, and this simple voicing is one of the easiest and most widely used minor chords. Use it for adding smooth melodicism or jazzy ambiguity.

This voicing of an A minor chord is easier to play than its basic version, although two fingers will still be needed to finger it correctly. Place your index finger on string B at fret 1 and your ring finger on string D at fret 2, and strum all of its strings except low E until an Am minor chord forms.