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How to play the E minor over D# chord on guitar

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The Em/D# chord

The Em/D# chord, pronounced "E minor over D sharp," is a rich and intriguing voicing. It features a D# bass note beneath an E minor triad, creating a tense, dramatic sound. This chord is notably used in classical and jazz music to add harmonic depth and color. While less common in popular genres, it can provide a striking and sophisticated twist to any progression.

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

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Finger placement for Em/D# chord

The most common way to play an E minor chord shape over the D# chord is by using a barre chord on the 6th fret.

Follow these finger positions to play an E minor over D# chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings on the 6th fret.
  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 E minor over D# chord. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to cleanly barre all the strings.

How to play an easy Em/D# chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the E minor over D# chord, try playing an E minor chord shape starting on the 6th string, 11th fret. Place your index finger on the 11th fret of the 6th string, middle finger on the 12th fret of the 5th string, and ring finger on the 12th fret of the 4th string.

How to play a Em/D# bar chord

The E minor chord played as a D# barre chord allows for easier transitions to other chords and adds a fuller sound compared to the open chord version.

Here's how to play an E minor barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all strings at the 11th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 12th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 13th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 13th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum from the 6th (low E) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Em/D# chord progressions

The E minor over D# chord, also known as the Emaj7/D# or D#7sus4(b9), adds a haunting and mysterious feel to chord progressions. It often serves as a transitional chord, creating tension and resolution. Here are some common chord progressions featuring this chord:

  • i - VII7/VII - i (Em - D#7sus4(b9) - Em)
  • i - VII7/VII - VI - VII (Em - D#7sus4(b9) - C - D). Used in "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
  • i - VII7/VII - iv - i (Em - D#7sus4(b9) - Am - Em)
  • i - VII7/VII - III - VII (Em - D#7sus4(b9) - G - D)
  • i - VII7/VII - iv - VII (Em - D#7sus4(b9) - Am - D)

Drills to master the Em/D# chord

To master the E minor over D# guitar chord, try practicing the following drills:

Strum the chord repeatedly, focusing on maintaining a consistent rhythm and pressure on the strings. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the chord shape.

Alternate between playing the E minor over D# chord and other chords in the key of D#, such as G# major and A# minor. This will help you develop muscle memory for switching between chords smoothly and efficiently.

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Songs that feature the Em/D# chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the E minor over D# chord.

  1. Creep by Radiohead (G, B, C, Cm)
  2. The Unforgiven by Metallica (Em, G, D, C)
  3. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (A, E, C#m, F#m)
  4. Hotel California by Eagles (Bm, F#, A, E, G, D, Em)
  5. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Am, C, D, F, G)
  6. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica (Em, D, C, G, B)
  7. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (Em, G, A)
  8. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em, G, D, A)
  9. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana (F, Bb, Ab, Db)
  10. Sweet Child o' Mine by Guns N' Roses (D, C, G)

How a guitar teacher can help

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