How to play

How to play the D minor chord on guitar

Unleash the emotion in "Stairway to Heaven" and "Zombie" by mastering this chord.

The Dm chord

The Dm chord, pronounced "D minor," is a melancholic and emotive guitar chord. It's played by placing your first finger on the first fret of the high E string, your second finger on the second fret of the G string, and your third finger on the third fret of the B string. The Dm chord is commonly used in rock, folk, and blues music.

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

Hero Image

Unlock your playing potential in online guitar lessons with experts on Til. Start today and achieve your guitar goals quickly. Find a top-rated teacher.

Finger placement for Dm chord

The standard way to play the D minor chord is in the first position, starting on the first fret.

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

  1. Place your index finger on the first fret of the first (high E) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the second fret of the third (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the third fret of the second (B) string.

To strum the D minor chord, use a downward stroke to play all six strings together. You can also use alternating down and up strokes for a more rhythmic sound.

How to play an easy Dm chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the D minor chord, try placing your index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st (high E) string, your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string, and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd (B) string. Strum only these three strings.

How to play a Dm bar chord

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

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

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

Common Dm chord progressions

The D minor chord is often used in progressions that evoke feelings of sadness, melancholy, and introspection. Here are some common D minor chord progressions:

  • i - iv - i - v (Dm - Gm - Dm - Am) Used in "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley and "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M.
  • i - III - VII - iv (Dm - F - C - Gm) Used in "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
  • i - iv - VII - III (Dm - Gm - C - F)
  • i - v - i - iv (Dm - Am - Dm - Gm)
  • i - VII - VI - VII (Dm - C - Bb - C)

Drills to master the Dm chord

To master the D minor guitar chord, try playing the chord repeatedly while strumming different rhythms. Focus on maintaining a consistent sound and pressure on the strings. Gradually increase your speed until you can switch to and from the chord seamlessly.

Another effective drill is to practice transitioning between D minor and other common chords, such as A major or G major. Start slowly and concentrate on precise finger placement. As you become more comfortable, work on increasing your transition speed for smoother chord changes.

Unlock your playing potential in online guitar lessons with experts on Til. Start today and achieve your guitar goals quickly. Find a top-rated teacher.

Ryan G.

"Arianna's class is amazing. Every class was extremely well thought out, always engaging, and had great cohesion of concepts throughout every class. It’s more reminiscent of a Music Conservatory Masterclass than your typical basic online class!"

Songs that feature the Dm chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the D minor chord:

  1. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, C, D, F, G)
  2. Losing My Religion by R.E.M. (Am, C, D, Dm, Em, G)
  3. Wonderwall by Oasis (Am, C, Dm, Em, F, G)
  4. Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple (Am, C, Dm, F, G)
  5. All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan (Am, C, Dm, F, G)
  6. The Scientist by Coldplay (Am, C, Dm, Em, F, G)
  7. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (Am, C, Dm, F, G)
  8. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (Am, C, D, Dm, Em, G)
  9. Creep by Radiohead (Am, C, D, Dm, Em, G)
  10. One by U2 (Am, C, D, Dm, Em)

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.

Learn guitar all over the world