Cm Guitar Chord – 3 Great Ways Of Playing C Minor Chord On Guitar

A Cm guitar chord is usually played as a barre chord, and, as is the case with most chords, there are several different ways of playing a C minor chord on guitar. The C minor chord contains three notes: C, E flat and G. In most Cm guitar chord shapes, at least one of these notes is repeated in a different octave.

On this page you’ll find the three most common ways of playing a Cm guitar chord, with diagrams and photos of the chords being played. You’ll also find useful information on the notes in a C minor guitar chord.


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The symbol for a C minor chord is Cm, so if you see that symbol written on sheet music, any of the Cm chords on this page can be used.

Unfortunately, there is no useful C minor open chord. We have included one at the bottom of the page, but it’s awkward to play and in most cases you’d be better off playing the C minor chord barre chord at the 3rd fret.

This means that you’ll have to master barre chords if you want to play a C minor guitar chord! You can find out more about barre chords (also known as bar chords) on this page: Guitar Bar Chords.


Cm Guitar Chord at the 3rd Fret

This is probably the most common way of playing a C minor chord on guitar. Like most barre chords, it’s quite tricky at first, but if you persevere it will soon become second nature.

C minor guitar chord
C minor guitar chord

The above chord is simply the open Am chord shape played with a barre at the third fret. You can see it being played in the photo below:

Cm guitar chord
Cm guitar chord played at the 3rd fret

The “X” above the low E string on the chord diagram tells you that this string should not be played, so try to avoid this string when you strum the chord.


C minor Guitar Chord at the 8th Fret

If you’re playing quite high up the neck then this C minor guitar chord might be a good choice. It’s based on the open position Em chord shape, but played with a barre at the 8th fret.

C Minor Chord Guitar
C Minor Chord Guitar

You can see the above chord being played in the photo below:

c m guitar chord bar chord 2 photo
C m guitar chord played at the 8th fret

In this chord, the index finger forms a barre over all six strings, and four of the six notes in the chord are fretted by this one finger.

When learning this shape, you should play each of the notes in the chord individually, to make sure that all are fretted correctly and able to ring out.


C m Chord at the 10th Fret

The C m chord below might come in handy if you’re playing very high up the neck. Avoid playing the bottom 2 strings, as indicated by the two X’s on the diagram:

C minor barre chord fret 10

You can see the above chord being played in the photo below:

C minor chord guitar barre fret 10


Open C Minor Chord

You could play an open C minor chord below, but it’s very awkward and in most cases the C minor bar chord at the 3rd fret would be a better choice.

Cm open guitar chord
This is quite a tricky chord to play, and in most circumstances a barre chord would be the better choice.

(Any open C minor chord on guitar is restricted by the two open E strings: accidentally playing either would clash with the E flat in the C major chord.)


C Minor Chord Guitar Notes

A C minor chord contains three notes: C, E flat and G.

Notes in C minor triad
Notes in C minor triad

As with most chords, when played on the guitar at least one of the notes is usually “doubled up” in a different octave.

(A guitar chord containing just the three notes without any doubling up would sound relatively weak.)

For example, the C minor guitar chord at the top of this page contains five notes: C, G, C (an octave higher), E flat, and G (an octave higher). You can see the notes in this chord in the diagram below.

Notes in Cm Guitar Chord
Notes in Cm Guitar Chord

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