The A minor guitar chord is a fundamental chord to master. You will certainly work with this chord a number of songs, so perfecting it is important if you wish to play your favorite songs on the guitar.
In this post, I will illustrate a few ways to play the Am chord in case you're a newbie. You're also going to discover more complicated variations of the A minor guitar chord at the bottom of the lesson, including the barre chord version.
We should start off with some music theory concerning the A minor guitar chord.
Chords are comprised of 3 notes, meaning you'll need to play 3 notes to make the A minor chord. These notes are derived from the A minor scale.
You'll discover a number of chord charts on this page. The numbers on the dots will indicate which finger on your hand goes where:
- The 1st finger will be your index finger
- The 2nd finger will be your middle finger
- The 3rd finger is your ring finger
- The 4th finger will be your pinky
In case you're not acquainted with reading chord charts yet, learn about them first.
Quickly learn how to hold down the A minor chord on guitar
Here are several ways to play the A minor chord on the guitar.
Quick tip: a simple method to learn a new chord is to utilize the chord-on/chord-off system. You simply need to hold-down the chord, strum, release, and do it again.
Play each variation a lot, and you will definitely master all of them quickly.
Easiest A minor chord for newbies
This is basically the most straightforward way to form the A minor guitar chord. As you can see from the chord chart below, you only need 2 fingers to play this particular chord.
Simple A minor chord fingering
That is the way to form the A minor chord:
- Put your 1st finger onto string B at fret 1.
- Your 2nd finger goes to string G, fret 2.
- The high E string is played open.
- The rest of the strings are not played.
Now pick each string in the chord, and make sure all of the notes are clear.
Well done, you now know the A minor chord!
The sound may seem just a little thin, but that is because you are playing only a few strings. Fuller sounding voicings of the A minor are next.
Full sounding A minor chord
This variant of the A minor chord is slightly tougher, but it sounds a lot nicer. If you are able to finger the simple voicing above, you need to start discovering this specific voicing also.
Complete A minor chord fingering
This is how to fret the full voicing of the A minor chord:
- Place your first finger on string B at fret 1.
- Place your second finger onto string D at fret 2.
- Your third finger goes to string G on fret 2.
- The low E string is not played.
- Strings A and high E are played open.
Strum the chord, and ensure all of the notes are ringing cleanly.
This is the most common chord shape of the Am chord on the guitar.
When you hear somebody say "Play the A minor chord", this is most likely the shape they are pertaining to.
Am guitar chord variation
The following is an additional variant of the A minor chord, this is a popular one also, especially in funk music.
This is actually a chord inversion, which means it is played with the E note as the lowest note in the chord. Regardless, it's still an A minor.
Am chord alternate variation
Below are the finger positions to this voicing of the A minor.
- Place your first finger on string 1 at fret 8.
- Put your second finger onto string 3 on fret 9.
- Your third finger goes onto string 2 on fret 10.
And as always, strum the chord, and ensure the chord rings out nicely.
So now you know three ways to form the A minor, great job!
More variants of the A minor guitar chord
There are actually countless variations of this chord, you have now learned the most common voicings.
Here are the chord charts to multiple other variations to the A minor chord.
Under what circumstances can you use which? It depends on a couple of things:
- You would mostly choose a voicing which is close to where you are playing on the neck already.
- The musical genre may also influence the place where you play the chord. For instance, you play lower variations in heavy metal, while in funk music, you use higher ones.
Beginner video guitar tutorial on the A minor chord
Given that music is an audible art, here's an outstanding video guitar tutorial on just how to fret the A minor guitar chord.
Take notice of the teacher's fingers and wrist placement.
The A minor barre chord
Barre chords are hard, so if you just started learning to play the guitar, it might be better to stay with the less difficult variations until you get better.
If you've been playing for a while already and want to learn the right way to play the barre chord version of the A minor, read on.
We are going to begin with the E minor shape barre chord voicing of the Am, rooting on the 6th string.
This is how to fret the A minor barre chord rooting on the low E string:
- Use your index finger to form a barre over every string at fret 5.
- Now line up your other fingers to form a regular E minor shape barre chord. This starts with putting your 3rd finger onto fret Z on the A string.
- The 4th finger goes to string D at fret 7.
And remember, strum the chord and be sure the chord is ringing nicely. You don't want to hear any buzzing strings or muted notes.
Bar chords are challenging, you will want to practice them quite a lot.
An additional popular fingering of the A minor chord is derived from the chord shape above, but uses just the highest 3 strings.
This is another chord inversion, since the lowest note in the chord is the C.
This is how to fret the A minor barre chord rooting on the 5th string:
- To start off, lay your 1st finger over strings 1-3 at fret 5.
- And that's about it.
And of course, pluck each string in the chord and ensure the chord is ringing nicely.
As I mentioned, barre chords are challenging. You should not expect to get good at them in a day.
Practice loads, you will definitely be able to hold down the A minor barre chord very soon.