How to Play Barre Chords Based on E Minor Seventh on the Guitar - dummies

How to Play Barre Chords Based on E Minor Seventh on the Guitar

By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell

Minor 7th chords have a softer, more complex sound than straight minor chords do. To add this jazzier chord to your repertoire you need to learn how to play minor 7th chords based on E on the guitar. You can form a minor 7th E-based barre chord by simply combining the actions you take to change major to minor and major to dominant 7th.

To change an F major barre chord into an Fm7 barre chord:

  1. Play an F major barre chord.


  2. Remove your second finger from the 3rd string and your fourth finger from the 4th string.


    The first-finger barre, which is already pressing down all the strings, frets the new notes on the 3rd and 4th strings.

To help you get accustomed to minor 7th barre chords, try playing the progression shown in the following figure.


You can play this progression in different keys simply by starting from chords other than G and moving the same relative number of frets to make the next chord. After the first chord, simply move up four frets for the second chord and then down two for the third chord; then move down another two for the last chord.

If you’re playing a nylon-string acoustic guitar, you can’t play the Em chord at the twelfth fret — the body of the guitar gets in the way. (Even on a steel-string acoustic, this chord is almost unplayable.) Substitute an open-position Em chord, but play it with fingers 3 and 4 to keep your hand in the barre formation.