How to play

How to play the Cm6 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this jazzy chord, featured in hits like "Lullaby of Birdland."

The Cm6 chord

The Cm6 chord, pronounced C minor sixth, is a rich and expressive chord that adds a melancholic touch to music. Notable for its somber yet sweet sound, the Cm6 is formed by combining the notes C, Eb, G, and A. This chord is often used in jazz, R&B, and neo-soul genres to create emotional progressions and add depth to chord sequences.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Cm6 chord. We've also included other versions below.

Cm6 guitar chord diagram

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Finger placement for Cm6 chord

The most common way to play a Cm6 chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 8th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play a Cm6 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 8th fret of all six strings, forming a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 9th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 10th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 10th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum the Cm6 chord, use your pick or thumb to play a downward stroke, hitting all six strings. Alternatively, you can fingerpick the chord by plucking each string individually.

Cm6 guitar chord with finger positions

How to play an easy Cm6 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Cm6 chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Leave the other strings open.

How to play a Cm6 bar chord

Playing the barre chord version of Cm6 can be beneficial when you need a fuller, more resonant sound or when transitioning between other barre chords.

Here's how to play a Cm6 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all strings at the 8th fret, forming a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 9th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 10th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 10th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum from the 5th (A) string downwards.

Common Cm6 chord progressions

The Cm6 chord is often used in progressions to add a melancholic and contemplative feel, creating a sense of emotional depth and introspection. Some common Cm6 chord progressions include:

  • i6 - iv6 - V7 - i6 (Cm6 - Fm6 - G7 - Cm6)
  • i6 - iv6 - VII7 - III7 (Cm6 - Fm6 - Bb7 - Eb7) Used in "Moonlight Serenade" and "Misty"
  • i6 - iv6 - v6 - i6 (Cm6 - Fm6 - Gm6 - Cm6)
  • i6 - ii°7 - V7 - i6 (Cm6 - D°7 - G7 - Cm6)
  • i6 - bVI7 - bVII7 - i6 (Cm6 - Ab7 - Bb7 - Cm6)

Drills to master the Cm6 chord

To master the Cm6 chord, try practicing transitions between Cm6 and other common chords like Fm, Ab, and Bb. Focus on smoothly changing your fingering while maintaining a steady rhythm. Strum each chord for a few beats before switching to the next.

Another effective drill is to arpeggiate the Cm6 chord, playing each note individually in ascending and descending order. This helps develop finger dexterity and familiarizes you with the chord's composition. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the pattern.

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Songs that feature the Cm6 chord

Here are 9 popular songs you can play with the Cm6 chord.

  1. All of Me by John Legend (Cm6, Fm7, Ab, Eb)
  2. Say You Won't Let Go by James Arthur (Cm6, Fm, Ab, G#)
  3. Love on the Brain by Rihanna (Cm6, Fm7, Ab, Eb)
  4. When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars (Cm6, Fm7, Ab, Eb)
  5. Stay With Me by Sam Smith (Cm6, Fm, Ab, Eb)
  6. The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra (Cm6, Fm7, Bb7, Eb)
  7. Hello by Adele (Cm6, Fm7, Ab, Eb)
  8. Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars (Cm6, Fm7, Ab, Eb)
  9. Ordinary People by John Legend (Cm6, Fm7, Ab, Eb)

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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