How to play

How to play the G minor chord on guitar

Unlock the secrets of songs like "Wonderwall" and "Iris" with this essential chord.

The Gm chord

The Gm chord, pronounced "G minor," is a somber and expressive chord frequently used in various musical genres. Notable for its melancholic sound, the Gm chord adds depth and emotion to compositions. It is commonly found in classical, jazz, and rock music, with famous examples including "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses.

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

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Finger placement for Gm chord

The most common way to play a G minor chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 3rd fret.

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

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 3rd fret, pressing down to create a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the 3rd (G) 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 4th (D) string.

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

How to play an easy Gm chord on guitar

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

How to play a Gm bar chord

The G minor barre chord is a versatile and movable shape that allows you to play the chord up and down the fretboard. It's a great alternative to the standard G minor open chord.

Here's how to play a G minor 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 3rd (G) 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 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum from the 6th (low E) string down to the 1st (high E) string.

Common Gm chord progressions

The G minor chord is often used in progressions that evoke feelings of sadness, melancholy, and introspection. Some common G minor chord progressions include:

  • i - iv - v - i (Gm - Cm - Dm - Gm) Used in "Creep" by Radiohead and "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits
  • i - VII - VI - VII (Gm - F - E♭ - F) Used in "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin
  • i - VI - III - VII (Gm - E♭ - B♭ - F)
  • i - iv - VII - III (Gm - Cm - F - B♭)
  • i - iv - i - V (Gm - Cm - Gm - D)

Drills to master the Gm chord

One effective drill for mastering the G minor guitar chord is to practice transitioning between G minor and other closely related chords, such as C minor and D minor. By focusing on smooth chord changes, you'll develop muscle memory and improve your overall fluidity when playing the G minor chord in various progressions.

Another helpful drill involves playing the individual notes of the G minor chord (G, Bb, and D) in different sequences and rhythmic patterns. This exercise will help you internalize the sound and structure of the chord, making it easier to recognize and play in different musical contexts.

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Songs that feature the Gm chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the G minor chord.

  1. Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye (Gm, Cm, Cm/Eb, Dm/F, Fadd9)
  2. One Day by Matisyahu (Gm, F, Eb, F)
  3. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak (Gm, Bb, Eb, F, Cm)
  4. The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel (Gm, F, Cm, Bb, Eb)
  5. Skinny Love by Bon Iver (Gm, Cm, Bb)
  6. Crazy by Gnarls Barkley (Gm, Cm, Fm, Bb)
  7. Mad World by Tears for Fears (Gm, Bb, Eb, Cm)
  8. Please Don't Go by Barcelona (Gm, Eb, Bb, F)
  9. Pyramids by Frank Ocean (Gm, Cm, Bb, Eb)
  10. Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey (Gm, Bb, Eb, F)

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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