How to Play Minor Chords in Guitar

minor chords in guitar

Many minor chords on guitar follow a similar structure to major ones; for instance, to change an Am to G minor chord you need only slide all fingerings down one fret.

This method, known as stacking thirds, can be easily learned if you know your basic major chord shapes.

Root note

Root notes are the initial chord note in any minor scale or chord and represent its lowest note in an inversion; therefore they are sometimes known as base notes.

Playing a chord without resorting to an open low E string can be challenging on guitar, particularly for beginning players who have yet to develop dexterity and dexterous fingers. Beginner guitarists in particular may struggle with this technique and their chord may sound dissonant because it cannot produce its full potential sound.

To discover your root note, start by building a major chord and shifting its third fret down one fret – this will produce a minor chord with similar notes.

Minor chords on the guitar are easy yet effective chords to learn, making up the backbone of many songs with somber or upbeat nuances, such as jazz or blues music. While beginners may find them straightforward to pick up quickly due to its position on neck and strings.

Third note

Minor chords can add another level of variety to a song. They sit right beside major ones on the circle of fifths and can help create different moods in music – for instance, songs written using minor keys will tend to sound melancholic while those written using major keys tend to sound brighter.

To play a minor chord, simply move the third note down one fret – also known as “flattening or lowering it.” Add your other two chord notes; for instance C, E and G in major scale create three major chords; moving C to lower octaves will result in minor chord.

Use this technique to easily create minor chords in any key on the chromatic scale. For more information about intervals, click here; however, this is an oversimplification of what separates major and minor chords.

Fifth note

The fifth note is an integral component of any chord, and should be played using either your middle or ring fingers – though either pinky finger can also play it – an octave below its root note in order to avoid accidental fingerings and maintain a clean sound.

A minor chords are one of the most widely played chords and can be found in many songs. Their mournful tone can create an emotive, reflective feeling or give off an upbeat, celebratory vibe depending on its use in different contexts.

The A minor chord is easy to play on guitar, as it only requires three fingers and doesn’t involve any large stretches. It works well in numerous genres from country music to classic rock songs and particularly well when the lyrics require it (such as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Hurt” and R.E.M’s “Losing My Religion.”).


Dependent upon how they’re applied, chords can add a great deal of joy and variation to your playing. Bill Withers famous song Ain’t No Sunshine features extensive use of A minor chord.

Minor chords also follow scale patterns, making it necessary to comprehend how these scales form. Understanding this formation process is beneficial.

Beginner guitarists usually start off learning the A minor chord as one of their first chords to learn, as it requires no large finger stretches like some F major chords do, which may prove too challenging for beginners.

It fits snugly under fingers of players with larger hands. There are various methods of playing this chord – from barre chord shapes and open string voicings, all the way to barre chord shapes – but each has their own distinctive sound; though all contain the same core components: root, minor third and perfect fifth as per steps one, three and five of A minor scale.