Guitar Lesson – Basics Part 3 – Am, Em, Dm
So far, we’ve gone over some of the major, open string chords. Now, we’re going to look at some open string minor chords.
As we look at each minor chords, you may want to look at the major chords of the same root (ie A major vs A minor, etc.)
Make a note of which notes is different. This will help you gain a better understanding of these shapes and what notes are being played.
We’ll also go over these differences again when we talk about music theory (don’t fall asleep on me yet!!).
We’ll start with Am (A minor). You can look at this chord as the same shape as the E major except shift by 1 string. The Am is very similar to A except for 1 note. Instead of playing the C# on the B-string on the 2nd fret, play the C on the B-string on the 1st fret.
Use your index finger on the B-string, your middle finger on the D-string 2nd fret to play the E, and your ring finger on the G-string 2nd fret to play the A.
Next, let’s look at Em (E minor). Again, there’s just 1 note different from the major. Instead of playing the G# on the G-string at the 1st fret, let go over your index finger and allow the G-string to be played open. Use your middle finger on the A-string at the 2nd fret to play the B and your finger finger on the D-string at the 2nd fret to play the E.
And finally, we get to Dm (D minor). This time, the note that’s different from D (major) is on the high E-string. Instead of playing F# on the 2nd fret, play F on the 1st fret using your index finger. Use your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the G-string to play A and ring finger on the 3rd fret of the B-string to play D.
TIP :- Try playing the majors and minor chords back-to-back and see if you can hear the differences. You may notice that major chords seem “brighter”, “happier”, “more energetic” while minor chords are “darker” and “sad” (“mean” even?).