The E minor chord on the guitar is a pretty important chord to learn about. You will certainly utilize this specific chord in a great many songs, subsequently learning it well is necessary if you wish to play your favorite songs on the instrument.
In this post, I will show you several ways to play the E minor chord if you're a beginner. You're also going to discover more challenging variations of the E minor guitar chord at the bottom of the lesson, along with the barre chord version.
Let's start out with some simplified music theory concerning the E minor guitar chord.
Chords are made up of three musical notes, meaning that you need to play 3 notes in order to make the E minor chord. These notes are derived from the E minor scale.
You'll discover a number of chord charts in this post. The numbers on the dots will indicate which finger on your fretting hand goes where:
- The 1st finger will be the index finger
- The 2nd finger will be the middle finger
- The 3rd finger will be your ring finger
- The 4th finger will be the pinky
If you are not acquainted with reading chord charts just yet, learn them first.
How To form the E minor chord on guitar
Here are several ways to play the E minor chord on the guitar.
Quick tip: An easy way to master a new guitar chord is to make use of the chord-on/chord-off system. You just play the chord, pick each string, let it go, and repeat.
Play every voicing a lot, and you will definitely learn all of them soon.
Easiest E minor chord for beginner guitar players
Here is the most straightforward way to finger the E minor guitar chord. As you can observe on the chord chart below, you do not need to hold down any strings to play this chord shape.
Easy E minor chord fingering
That is the way to hold down the E minor chord:
- Play the G, B, and high E strings open.
- Do not play the lowest 3 strings.
- Yes, you're not fretting any strings with this one 🙂
Now strum the chord, and make certain all of the notes ring out clearly.
Great job, you can play an E minor chord!
The tone might seem a tad thin, but this is because you are playing just a couple of guitar strings. Fuller sounding voicings of the E minor are coming.
Standard E minor chord
This voicing of the E minor chord is notably trickier, but it sounds significantly nicer. Provided you can finger the easy version mentioned earlier, you need to begin mastering this particular alternative as well.
Complete E minor chord fingering
Here is how to fret the full alternative of the E minor chord:
- Place your first finger onto string A at fret 2.
- Now put the second finger on string D at fret 2.
- Play all of the other strings open.
This is the default chord shape of the Em guitar chord.
There is an alternate fingering for the Em, which is a bit more intuitive, as it starts out from the E major fingering. The difference is that you need to use your middle and ring fingers.
- Place your second finger onto string A at fret 2.
- Now put the third finger below that onto string D at fret 2.
Pluck each string in the chord, and ensure each of the notes are ringing cleanly.
E minor chord variation
Keep reading because I have another variant of the E minor chord, this is a commonly used one also.
E minor chord alternate fingering
Below are the finger positions to this variation of the E minor. This one is actually derived from the E minor barre shape, rooting on the A string.
- Put your index finger on the high E string at fret 7.
- Put the middle finger onto string B at fret 8.
- Now your ring finger will go to string G on fret 9.
- Don't play the other strings.
Now strum the chord, and be sure the chord is ringing clearly.
You now know 3 ways you can fret the E minor, well done!
More voicings of the E minor guitar chord
There are in fact lots of variations of the E minor, you have now taught yourself the most famous voicings.
Below are the chord charts to some other variations to the E minor chord.
Under what circumstances will you use which? Well, it will depend on a few things:
- You should usually choose a voicing which is near where you are playing on the neck already.
- The musical genre may determine the spot where you play the chord. For instance, you play lower pitch variations in metal, whereas in funk music, you play higher ones.
Video guitar lesson for beginners on the E minor chord
Seeing that music is an audible form of art, here's a terrific video guitar tutorial on how to form the E minor on the guitar.
Pay attention to the guitar teacher's fingers and wrist position.
The E minor barre chord
Barre chords are difficult, so if you have just started playing guitar, it's best to stay with the simpler and easier versions for the time being.
If you have been learning guitar for a while and want to learn how to form the barre chord version of the E minor, read on.
We're going to start with the E shape barre chord voicing of the E major, which roots on the 6th string.
This is the way to hold down the E minor barre chord rooting on the 6th string:
- Lay your 1st finger on all of the strings at fret 12.
- Your ring finger moves to fret 14 on string A.
- Lastly your little finger on fret 14 on string D.
And as always, strum the chord, and make sure the chord is ringing nicely. You never want to hear buzzing strings or dead notes.
Barre chords are tricky, you really need to practice them quite a lot.
One other widely used fingering of the E minor chord makes use of the Am shape barre chord.
Here is how to play the E minor barre chord rooting on the A string:
- First off, lay your 1st finger on strings 1-5 at fret 7.
- Now go ahead and line up your other fingers to fret a regular A shape barre chord by putting your middle finger on fret 8 on string B.
- The 3rd finger moves to string D at fret 9.
- And your 4th finger onto fret G on the 9 string.
Now pluck each string in the chord, and make sure the chord rings out nicely. As I said, barre chords are tricky. Don't expect to learn them in 1 day.
Practice a lot, you are going to be able to play the E minor barre chord soon.