How to Play Minor Chords on the Guitar

minor chords guitar

Minor chords are some of the most frequently-used chords on guitar, lending songs a melancholic atmosphere or cheering them up depending on its usage.

To create a minor chord, start at its root note and move down by one major third. A minor chord consists of its 1st note along with its flattened 3rd, flattened 5th notes of the major scale.

Root note

Root notes of chords are the lowest note in each chord and also known as bass notes. Typically they correspond with the initial letter of their namesake chord, for instance C minor has an E root note.

Major and minor chords differ in their roots: major chords feature the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes from a major scale as their foundation, while minor chords utilize these same notes with one semitone lowered for their third note.

The A minor chord is one of the easiest chords to play on guitar as it only requires three fingers and no complex finger movements or finger stretching techniques. You can use this basic chord as the basis for creating various variations such as A minor seventh.

Major third

A major third in music refers to an interval that contains four semitones, often abbreviated as M3. It serves as the cornerstone of both major and minor chords.

Once you understand its concept, the major third is relatively straightforward to apply to any chord or scale/arpeggio combination.

Music theory can seem intimidating at first, but with patience and regular practice it will soon become second nature. Try adding music theory practice into your everyday activities for dramatic results!

Some classic songs feature both major and minor keys in their composition, like The Beach Boys’ “California Girls”. This track utilizes both minor chords as well as major ones to produce an unique soundscape.

Minor third

A minor third in chord theory refers to an interval between two notes that is one half note lower than a major third; also known as a diminished second, this interval can be found in scales like minor pentatonic. You’ll likely come across it when listening to popular songs, such as Greensleeves (ascending) and “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” (descending).

Though minor chords might appear less significant or significant at first glance, they’re an integral component of every song and often used for key changes and creating unexpected moods or key changes. Plus, playing minor chords on guitar doesn’t require extensive stretches or finger bends!

Major triad

If you want to create a major triad, start from the root note of the scale and add 1st, 3rd and 5th notes from this chord – creating an augmented or diminished major triad depending on its distance between the root note and third and fifth notes.

Major triads tend to have an upbeat sound and are frequently employed in popular music. Furthermore, they’re easy to improvise over.

Triad shapes on the fretboard repeat up and down string sets, such as shape 1 beginning on the thinnest string with a G root note. By moving it up or down fretboard you can change its root note as needed – this process is known as voicing; their names don’t matter so long as their note placement does.

Minor triad

Minor triads are one of the easiest chord types to learn and are widely utilized across styles of music. Like major triads, minor triads consist of three notes from any scale and can be played across genres with equal ease; furthermore they’ve long been associated with musical consonance and resolution.

Root note of minor triad of C and flat third of E; flat third is one fret lower than major third and sounds less harmonically complete.

Below is the second inversion of this triad, shown with the number 6 in figured bass diagram form. Sometimes only 6 is shown, as root position for this particular triad is assumed.