How to play

How to play the Bbm11 chord on guitar

Unleash the magic of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" and more with this essential chord.

The Bbm11 chord

The Bbm11 chord, pronounced B-flat minor eleventh, is a rich and complex chord that adds depth and intrigue to any musical composition. Notable for its haunting and melancholic sound, the Bbm11 chord is often used in jazz, neo-soul, and R&B genres. Its unique voicing, which includes the minor third, perfect fifth, minor seventh, and eleventh notes, creates a lush and sophisticated harmonic texture.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Bbm11 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Bbm11 chord

The most popular way to play the Bbm11 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 6th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Bbm11 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 6th fret of the 1st (high E), 2nd (B), 3rd (G), 4th (D), and 5th (A) strings, forming a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, start from the 5th (A) string and strum downwards, including all the strings except the 6th (low E) string.

How to play an easy Bbm11 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Bbm11 chord, try playing a Bbm7 chord instead. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the A string, your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the G string, and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the D string. Strum from the A string.

How to play a Bbm11 bar chord

The Bbm11 chord is typically played as an open chord, but learning the barre chord version can be useful for situations where you need to quickly transition to other chords or want a fuller, more resonant sound.

Here's how to play a Bbm11 bar 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 all six strings from the 6th string (low E) downwards.

Common Bbm11 chord progressions

The Bbm11 chord is often used in jazz and neo-soul progressions to add a sophisticated, dreamy, or melancholic feel to the harmony. Here are some common chord progressions featuring the Bbm11 chord:

  • i - iv - V7 - i (Bbm11 - Ebm7 - F7 - Bbm11)
  • i - iv - VII - III7 (Bbm11 - Ebm7 - Ab∆7 - D7)
  • i - V7/iv - iv - V7 (Bbm11 - E7 - Ebm7 - F7)
  • i - bVI - bVII - i (Bbm11 - Gb∆7 - Ab∆7 - Bbm11)
  • i - bIII - bVI - bII (Bbm11 - Db∆7 - Gb∆7 - Cb7)

Drills to master the Bbm11 chord

To master the Bbm11 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clear tone and proper technique. Once comfortable, play the notes in sequence, ascending and descending. This drill helps build familiarity with the chord's structure.

Next, practice transitioning to and from the Bbm11 chord. Choose common chords like Eb, Fm, or Gb, and alternate between them and Bbm11. Start slowly, ensuring smooth transitions, and gradually increase your speed. Incorporating Bbm11 into chord progressions will help you use it effectively in your playing.

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Songs that feature the Bbm11 chord

Here are 5 popular songs you can play with the Bbm11 chord.

  1. The Hills by The Weeknd (Bbm, Db, Ab, Ebm7)
  2. Heartless by The Weeknd (Bbm, Gb, Db)
  3. Earned It by The Weeknd (Bbm, Gb, Db, Ebm)
  4. Wicked Games by The Weeknd (Bbm, Gb, Db, Ebm)
  5. Pretty by The Weeknd (Bbm, Gb, Db, Ab)

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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