Now that you’ve learned two basic major chord patterns, and learned how to move them to different positions on the fretboard, I’m going to show you two minor chord shapes.
What I’m not going to do this time, is show you both the chord book fingerings and my fingerings. I’ll just be showing the fingering I use. You should now understand why I play them the way I do.
Below is the E minor chord, or E min or Em with the root note on the sixth string.
Notice how this chord is the same as the E Major chord, except the second finger is lifted off the third string and it’s now played open.
Using the same principle as before, we can now slide this up the fretboard and press the first finger down across the strings at the third fret to produce the G minor chord below.
Just in case you haven’t yet learned the notes on the sixth string, here they are again:
That’s the first minor chord shape. The second shape below is the A min chord.
There’s a few things to notice with this chord. The root note of this chord is on the fifth string, the A note. This means that, strictly speaking, the open sixth string E note shouldn’t be played. Same with the A major chord, the E note is part of the chord, so you can play it if you want to.
The difference between the A Major chord and the A Minor chord isn’t just a matter of lifting off one finger and playing a string open as with the E Major and E Minor chords.
Funny thing is, the A Minor chord shape and fingering is identical to the E Major chord shape except that the fingers are moved up one string higher. This might help you remember it.
Again, this chord can be moved up the keyboard. Again, at the third fret, below is the C Minor, or C min or Cm, chord.
Here are the fifth string notes again:
You should be getting the idea now. By knowing the notes on your fifth and sixth strings, and by knowing just a couple of different chord shapes, you should be able to play any chord you want.
There’s more chord shapes to learn when you’re ready. I’ve tried to show you the two easiest to remember and use. There are more than just the major and minor chords, they will be in the following articles.