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How to play the E minor over G chord on guitar

Unleash the haunting sound of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" and more.

The Em/G chord

The Em/G chord, pronounced "E minor over G," is a simple yet intriguing voicing. It combines the melancholic sound of an E minor chord with the stability of a G bass note. This chord is often used in folk, rock, and pop music to add a subtle twist to progressions. Notable songs featuring the Em/G chord include "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's.

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

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Finger placement for Em/G chord

The E minor over G chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 3rd fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a E minor over G chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 3rd fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 5th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, use a downward motion to play all six strings together. You can also experiment with different strumming patterns to create various rhythms.

How to play an easy Em/G chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the E minor over G chord, try placing your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the low E string, ring finger on the 3rd fret of the B string, and pinky on the 3rd fret of the high E string. Strum the top three strings.

How to play a Em/G bar chord

Playing the E minor chord over G as a barre chord can be a great way to add variety and richness to your guitar playing. It allows you to easily transition between chords and creates a fuller sound compared to the open chord version.

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

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

Common Em/G chord progressions

The E minor over G chord progression is a captivating and emotionally powerful combination, often used to convey a sense of longing, nostalgia, or bittersweet sentiment in various musical genres. Here are some common chord progressions featuring this chord:

  • i - VI - III - VII (Em - C - G - D) - Used in "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "Daughter" by Pearl Jam
  • i - VII - VI - VII (Em - D - C - D) - Used in "Warm Love" by Van Morrison and "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell
  • i - VI - VII - IV (Em - C - D - A) - Used in "Losing My Religion" by R.E.M. and "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman
  • i - VII - i - VII (Em - D - Em - D) - Used in "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan and "Mad World" by Gary Jules
  • i - VI - VII - v (Em - C - D - Bm) - Used in "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town" by Pearl Jam and "The Scientist" by Coldplay

Drills to master the Em/G chord

To master the E minor over G guitar chord, try strumming the chord repeatedly while focusing on clean, crisp sound. Listen closely to ensure each note rings out clearly.

Another effective drill is to arpeggiate the chord, playing each note individually in ascending and descending order. This helps develop finger independence and accuracy. Start slowly and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the chord shape.

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Songs that feature the Em/G chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the E minor over G chord:

  1. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (G, D/F#, C, D, Am, Em/G)
  2. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day (G, C, D, Em/G)
  3. Knockin' On Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan (G, D, Am7, Em/G)
  4. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty (D, Dsus4, Em7, Em/G)
  5. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em7, G, D, Am7sus4, Em/G)
  6. Zombie by The Cranberries (Em, C, G, D/F#)
  7. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman (G, D/F#, Em, C)
  8. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (G/B, Am7, Em/G, D/F#)
  9. The Scientist by Coldplay (Gm7, F, Cm7, Eb/G)
  10. Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (G, Em, C, D, Em/G)

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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