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How to play the Bm11 chord on guitar

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The Bm11 chord

The Bm11 chord, pronounced B minor eleventh, is a complex and intriguing guitar chord. It adds the 11th note to the standard B minor triad, creating a rich, jazzy sound. This chord is often used in progressive rock, fusion, and neo-soul music to add depth and sophistication. Mastering the Bm11 can open up new creative possibilities for guitarists looking to expand their harmonic palette.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Bm11 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Bm11 chord

The Bm11 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 7th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Bm11 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 7th fret, barring all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.

To strum this chord, place your fingers in the correct positions and strum all six strings together in a downward motion.

How to play an easy Bm11 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bm11 chord, try playing a regular Bm chord (barre your index finger across the 2nd fret, place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the B string, and your ring finger on the 4th fret of the D string) and add your pinky to the 4th fret of the G string.

How to play a Bm11 bar chord

Playing the Bm11 chord as a barre chord can be a great way to add a fuller, richer sound to your guitar playing.

Here's how to play a Bm11 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 7th fret, covering all six strings (barre).
  2. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Strum from the 5th (A) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Bm11 chord progressions

The Bm11 chord is often used in jazz and neo-soul progressions to add a sophisticated, dreamy, and slightly melancholic feel to the music. Here are some common Bm11 chord progressions:

  • i - iv - VII - III (Bm11 - Em7 - A7 - D6/9) Used in "Maiden Voyage" by Herbie Hancock
  • i - VII - v - IV (Bm11 - A13 - F#m9 - E7#9)
  • i - ii - v - i (Bm11 - C#m9 - F#7 - Bm11)
  • i - iv - v - VI (Bm11 - Em9 - F#7 - G6/9) Used in "Central Park West" by John Coltrane
  • i - VI - ii - V (Bm11 - G13 - C#m9 - F#7)

Drills to master the Bm11 chord

Mastering the Bm11 chord on guitar can be achieved through targeted drills. One effective exercise is to play each note of the chord individually, focusing on clarity and precision. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable.

Another beneficial drill is to practice transitioning smoothly between Bm11 and other common chords, such as G, D, and A. Begin with slow, deliberate changes and work towards seamless transitions. Incorporating Bm11 into chord progressions will help develop muscle memory and improve your overall fluidity on the fretboard.

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Songs that feature the Bm11 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Bm11 chord.

  1. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)
  2. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em, G, D, A7sus4)
  3. Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers (D, F#m, Bm11, A)
  4. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman (C, G, Em, D)
  5. No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley & The Wailers (C, G, Am, F)
  6. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (C, Am, C/G, F, G, C/E, Am/E)
  7. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (G, D, Am, C)
  8. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, C, D, F, G)
  9. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (A, E, F#m, Dmaj7, Bm7)
  10. Hello by Adele (Fm, Ab, Eb, Db)

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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