Em7 chord is an elegant way to provide a rich sound. It works particularly well as a lead chord and works especially well as an accompaniment before or after another major or minor chord.
Harmonising chords are one of the cornerstones of guitar learning, so mastering them should be one of your top priorities.
1. Open Position
Open guitar chords are often the first ones learned, offering an expansive sound with minimal finger stretching needed.
The Open Em7 Chord in F Major is a diatonic chord and contains all seven notes in that key: I, II, III, IV V VI VII
The open Em7 shape involves fretting three strings with your index finger while using your thumb to mute the fifth string if preferred, or blocking both E and D strings using your index finger instead. It’s similar to open Cm7 chord formation but with more tension-building potential due to the #9 note present; perfect for adding drama and spice into chord progressions!
2. Barre Position
This chord lesson introduces a barred version of Em7 chord. Barred chords typically feature an additional note two frets below their name to add tension and make the sound more dominant; making this chord ideal for beginner musicians as it is easy to learn, yet challenging enough for advanced musicians as well.
This chord uses the ubiquitous movable barre chord shape found across all genres of music. Although more advanced than its open position counterpart, this chord provides an opportunity to practice fingerings and gain experience using this type of barre chord.
To play this chord, use your index finger as the barre and then add additional fingers to form the chord beneath it. Make sure all fingers are secure in their places and ring out clearly – if not, ensure that your thumb is in its proper spot behind your neck.
3. Seventh Fret
There are multiple voicings of Em7 available to beginner guitarists using standard tuning. Most are accessible without too much stretching and all sound great! Em7 chords are particularly beautiful because they include both minor key (E – G – B) and flat 7 from E major scale (D), adding depth to them – perfect for songs with flowing melodies or fast transitions!
As with other chords, ii chords can also be used as secondary chords in many other genres of music. Bass lines may benefit particularly from using this chord because you can octave down or up while still maintaining the melody line of your bass part’s melody line while playing this chord and still creating color and texture in breaks.
4. Third Fret
This alternative approach to playing an Em7 chord sounds slightly different than using the barre technique. Here, your index finger rests on the second fret of the fifth string while your ring finger lands on its third fret on the second string; leaving all other strings free-ringing open.
This chord also adds a minor seventh note for extra flavor – perfect for bridge scenes such as Elliott Smith’s song, “Say Yes”.
Add this chord to your repertoire for increased versatility when playing in different musical styles. Experimenting with it in songs you know to get an understanding of its versatility and sound in different situations; the more you explore its nuances, the better your guitar playing will sound – an excellent place to begin would be Oasis’ “Live Forever”, where its fullness provides a solid base for its rest of the elements such as its bass line and horns.