Minor Chords on Guitar

Playing and using minor chords

barred chordsMinor chords can be used for a variety of reasons. But for the most part, they express a feeling more intimate sounding than the major chords. I tend to gravitate towards the use of minor chords. Some of the feelings I try to get across though this type of chord are sadness, reflectiveness, mystery, longing, desire, and others.

The structure of the chord is also simple. If you haven’t already, go to the Beginner Section and look at the open chord page there. It shows you some great pictures and audio on how to play minor chords.


Minor Family Chord Shapes


The minor chord formula:

1 – b3 – 5

So the root is 1, it tells you what chord letter to assign like A, B, C, D , E, F or G.

The 3 is a minor third above that:
A = C
B = D
C = Eb
D = F
E = G
F = Ab
G = Bb
And the 5 is a perfect fifth above 1:
A = E
B = F#
C = G
D = A
E = B
F = C
G = D
So together the minor Chords are as follows:
A = A – C – E
B = B – D – F#
C = C – Eb – G
D = D – F – A
E = E – G – B
F = F – Ab – C
G = G – Bb – D

Minor chord guitar charts

minor chords
minor chords

The chart below shows the pattern for all of the tonics (1) – the minor 3rds and the 5ths on the fretboard.

minor chords

If you can find the tonic you can find the distance from the minor 3rd and 5th. So any combination of these 3 notes on the fretboard creates a minor chord for that tonic. Look at the chart and try to figure out as many possible fingerings for a minor chord as you can. If you look at the chord charts above, you see them in the chart below.

minor chords

Check out major chords or 7 chords. Learn and Master Guitar is an excellent guitar instructional DVD series that can teach you how to use chords in a comprehensive home study course. Check it out.

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