Minor 7th Guitar Chord Shape

This week's Guitar Chord Of The Week is a minor 7th chord. This is quite a hard chord to play at first, but, like many guitar chords, it quickly becomes second nature.

I'll go easy on the music theory and concentrate on telling you how to play this useful chord. Here's the shape, read on for playing tips and an example chord progression you can play:

Minor 7th Guitar Chord Diagram
Minor 7th Guitar Chord Diagram

And here's a photograph of the chord being played:

Minor 7th guitar chord with root on 6th string photo
Minor 7th guitar chord with root on 6th string.

(Brief) Theory

Basically, a minor 7th chord is a minor triad with an additional (minor) 7th note added. For example, an A minor 7th chord contains the basic A minor triad: A C and E, together with the note a minor 7th away from the root note, which is a G.

You can learn all about chord theory in this article. If you don't quite understand what the previous paragraph means, it's worth taking a look at the article It should make everything clearer.

How To Play The Minor 7th Chord

If you're used to playing standard barre chords then this week's chord may cause you some slight problems. It's worth persevering, however, as this chord is an extremely useful chord to know in many styles of music.

In fact, most people would consider it quite a basic chord! Don't worry - you will too in a few days!

The problems begin with the funny third-finger barre over the top 4 strings. Then you realise that you've also got to mute the 5th string at the same time!

Keep the 4th finger close to the frets and don't press down too hard. Mute the 5th string with the 2nd finger. It should naturally lie over the 5th string anyway.

As always, it's just a matter of practicing until you can play the chord quickly and cleanly, with all of the notes ringing out.

This chord is often played without the 1st (top) string. Try it with and without the top string and see which you prefer.

Example Chord Progression

Once you have mastered this week's minor 7th chord, practice playing the chord sequence below. Give it a nice, slow feel and get to know what the minor 7th chords sound like.

Minor 7th Chord Progression
Minor 7th Chord Progression - Click To Enlarge


We hope that you have enjoyed learning and playing the minor 7th chord. It is very widely used in both jazz and blues - and also in many other musical styles.

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