How to play

How to play the A minor over E chord on guitar

Learn the iconic chord from "Stairway to Heaven" and other popular songs.

The Am/E chord

The Am/E chord, pronounced "A minor over E," is a variation of the standard A minor chord. It features an E note in the bass, adding depth and a unique flavor to the harmony. This chord is commonly used in folk, rock, and country music to create smooth transitions between chords. Its distinctive sound makes it a favorite among guitarists and songwriters alike.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common A minor over E chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Am/E chord

The most popular way to play the A minor over E chord on guitar is to barre the 7th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a A minor over E chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 7th fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to strum down across all six strings in one smooth motion.

How to play an easy Am/E chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the A minor over E chord, try playing an open A minor chord (fret the 1st fret of the B string with your index finger, 2nd fret of the D string with your middle finger, and 2nd fret of the G string with your ring finger) while playing an open low E string.

How to play a Am/E bar chord

Playing the A minor over E chord as a barre chord can be a great way to add variety and fullness to your guitar playing, especially when transitioning between chords.

Here's how to play an A minor over E barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 7th fret, covering all six strings. This is the barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from low to high.

Common Am/E chord progressions

The A minor over E chord, also known as Am/E, adds a melancholic and contemplative feel to chord progressions. It often serves as a transitional chord, creating a sense of movement and emotional depth. Here are some common chord progressions featuring Am/E:

  • vi/III - IV - I - V (Am/E - F - C - G)
  • vi/III - VII - i - VI (Am/E - Bm - Am - F) Used in "Wonderwall" by Oasis
  • vi/III - iv - I - V (Am/E - Dm - C - G)
  • vi/III - III - VII - i (Am/E - E - Bm - Am) Used in "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
  • vi/III - IV - iv - V (Am/E - F - Dm - G)

Drills to master the Am/E chord

To master the A minor over E guitar chord, try strumming the chord and letting it ring out. Focus on getting a clear, clean sound without any buzzing or muted strings. Practice transitioning to and from the chord, as well as switching between different strumming patterns.

Another effective drill is to arpeggiate the chord, playing each note individually in succession. This helps you memorize the notes and fingerings, while also training your picking hand. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the chord shape and transitions.

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Songs that feature the Am/E chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the A minor over E chord:

  1. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica (Em, D, Am/E, Em/B, Am, C, G, B)
  2. Drive by Incubus (Em, Am/E, Em, Cmaj7)
  3. Losing My Religion by R.E.M. (Am, Em, Dm, G, Am/E, Em)
  4. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em7, G, D, Am7, Am/E)
  5. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day (G, C, D, Em, Am/E)
  6. Mad World by Gary Jules (Em, G, D, Am/E, Am)
  7. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)
  8. Iris by Goo Goo Dolls (D, Am/E, Bm, G, D/F#)
  9. Zombie by The Cranberries (Em, C, G, D/F#)
  10. Demons by Imagine Dragons (C, G, Am, Am/E, F)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

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