How to play

How to play the Bb minor chord on guitar

Unlock the somber sound of Bb minor, featured in hits like "Creep" by Radiohead.

The Bbm chord

The Bbm chord, pronounced B-flat minor, is a somber and introspective chord that adds depth to many musical genres. Commonly used in jazz, blues, and rock, the Bbm chord creates a melancholic atmosphere, making it a popular choice for slower, emotional songs. Notable examples include "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "My Immortal" by Evanescence, where Bbm plays a crucial role in evoking powerful emotions.

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

Bb minor guitar chord diagram

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Finger placement for Bbm chord

The most standard way to play a B♭ minor chord on the guitar is as a barre chord on the 6th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a B♭ minor chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings on the 6th fret, forming a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.

Strum all six strings together to play the B♭ minor chord. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to properly fret all the strings.

Bb minor guitar chord with finger positions

How to play an easy Bbm chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bb minor chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st (high E) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  4. Strum only the top three strings.

How to play a Bbm bar chord

The Bb minor barre chord is a great alternative to the standard Bb minor chord, as it allows for more versatility and can be easily moved up and down the fretboard to play other minor chords.

Here's how to play a Bb minor barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 6th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Bbm chord progressions

The Bb minor chord is often used in progressions that evoke a sense of melancholy, introspection, and emotional depth. Here are some common Bb minor chord progressions:

  • i - iv - i - v (Bbm - Ebm - Bbm - Fm) Used in "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
  • i - iv - VII - III (Bbm - Ebm - Ab - Db)
  • i - VI - III - VII (Bbm - Gb - Db - Ab)
  • i - iv - v - i (Bbm - Ebm - Fm - Bbm)
  • i - iv - VII - iv (Bbm - Ebm - Ab - Ebm) Used in "Creep" by Radiohead

Drills to master the Bbm chord

To master the Bb minor guitar chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, focusing on clarity and tone. Strum the notes together slowly at first, gradually increasing your speed until you can transition smoothly between chords.

Another effective drill is to practice the Bb minor chord in the context of a progression. Try playing Bb minor alongside related chords like Eb major and F major. This will help you develop muscle memory and understand how the chord functions within a musical context.

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Songs that feature the Bbm chord

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

  1. Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses (Bb, F, Ab, Eb)
  2. Numb by Linkin Park (Bbm, Gb, Db, Ab)
  3. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)
  4. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana (F, Bb, Ab, Db)
  5. Back in Black by AC/DC (E, D, A, Bb)
  6. Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple (G, Bb, C, Eb)
  7. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, G, C, D, Fm, Am7, Dsus4)
  8. Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix (C, G, D, A, E)
  9. Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes (E, B, A, E)
  10. Paranoid by Black Sabbath (Em, G, D, C, B)

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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