Minor Guitar Chords
Minor guitar chords consist of 3 notes: a root, a minor third, and a perfect fifth... also called a minor triad. Other names include mi, -, and min, but we generally refer to them as m chords, e.g., Am instead of A-, A mi or A min. Whenever you see an m chord, it always refers to a minor chord... Am, Bm, Dm, Em etc.
- The chord formula for a minor chord is 1 - ♭3 - 5
- All chords are calculated from the notes of the parent Major Scale, e.g., the notes of an Am chord are derived from the A Major Scale, the notes of a Bm chord are derived from the B Major Scale etc. Consider the following calculation of a Cm chord...
|Chord Name + (other less-common names)||Cm ( C-, Cmi, Cmin)|
|C Major Scale (Parent Scale of Cm)||C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C|
|Chord Formula for all m chords||1 - ♭3 - 5|
|Chord Notes (after applying the formula to the Scale)||C - E♭ - G|
|Chord notes on the Treble Clef
Although this example shows 4 notes, the 1st and 4th notes are the same except they are an octave apart.
Cm is the relative minor of E♭ Major which is the key signature shown here.
The featured song for this session is It Will Rain by Bruno Mars. It includes 3 minor chords, all of which are commonly used in modern music... Em, Bm, and F#m. For beginners that are learning barre chords, this song is a good practice piece.
Minor Chord Table
Minor Chords - Right Handersm chords
Minor Guitar Chords - Part 1
You will notice several chords with a barre line and several 1's on it. This means there are several options for playing the chord. Let's use the Cm chord directly above as an example - 3rd position - frets 8, 9, 10. The chord must contain the notes C-E♭-G.
- The chord can be played from strings 3-6 omitting string 1 and 2 as the notes are C-G-C-E♭(Cm chord)
- The chord can be played using only the first 3 strings as the notes are E♭-G-C (Cm chord)... jazz and alternate styles.
- For a full-bodied sound, the chord would be played using a full 6-string barre on the 8th fret... C-G-C-E♭-G-C