How to Play B Minor Chord on Guitar

On this page I am going to show you 5 ways for how to play the B minor chord on guitar. 
I'll show you the easiest way to play the bm chord in open  position as well as a few ways to play the bm bar chord. We'll also get into popular chords that go with Bm, popular songs that use the Bm chord, and what notes are used to make up the chord. 

Why is the Bm chord so hard?

The Bm chord is a bit harder than other chords because there isn't an "open position" for this chord. So usually players who are still at the beginner level try to play the Bm chord as a bar chord which is a bit tricky. However, there some easy ways to play the Bm chord without doing a bar chord! 

Bm Guitar Chord Easy

Here is an easy way to play the B minor chord.  

First place your 2nd finger (middle) on 4th string 4th fret.
Place your 3rd finger (ring) on 3rd string 4th fret,
Place your 1st finger (index) on 2nd string 3rd fret.

Wait! Isn't this just like the Am chord??
Yes! So you probably already know this chord shape, all we did was move it up 2 fret! Cool right?

Now, be sure you thumb is lined up with fingers 2 & 3. If you thumb is curled or on the outside of your 1st finger your fingers wont stretch!

Not sure on how to read a chord diagram? Click here

How To Strum The Bm chord

To strum the Bm guitar chord without strumming strings 1, 5 or 6 you can do a few things. 

For strings 5 & 6 you're going to need to get really good at missing these strings when you strum. This comes with practice but sometimes I lightly rest my wrist of my strumming hand just before the first strum to feel where I am. It's very quick and most people don't realize I am doing this. 
For the 1st string you can mute it either by letting your fret hand hang down so if you play the string it wont ring out or sometimes I even hold it with my picking hand (this wont work if you are strumming it up and down)

B Minor Guitar Chord Easy

Here is a another way to fret the Bm chord in this position with slightly different fingers 

In this fingering place your 3rd finger on 4th string 4th fret
4th finger on 3rd string 4th fret
2nd finger on 2nd string 3rd fret

Why would you use this fingering? Later when we learn the bar chord version it will be an extension of this position and these will be the fingers you use. 

It should also be noted that if you play the B minor chord in this position (regardless of which fingers you use) you are playing a Bm/F# which is a slash chord. All that means is you play a Bm but have an F# notes as the bass note (lowest sounding note). 

Who said music theory was hard? It's easy!!

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Bm Chord Tips

The 1st tip to learning the Bm chord is to not, I repeat NOT to learn the bar chord first!

The 2nd tip is to to make sure your thumb is behind your first and second fingers. You don't want your thumb on the outside of your index finger as this will cause your hand to not be able to stretch or work properly.

The 3rd tip is for bar chords. When playing bar chords and your index finger (1st finger) needs to do execute the bar you want to apply pressure to the side of your finger. If you squeeze directly in your finger will bend and the strings on your knuckles wont ring out!

Guitar Bm Chord

Without the barring!

This next position for the Bm chord will move you one step closer to playing a B minor bar chord. 
Use the same fingerings as above but now use your 1st finger (index) on the 5th string 2nd fret 

To avoid strumming string 1 & 6 you can have your index finger slightly higher on the finger tip so that the finger tip touches the 6th string. 
For the 1st string, if you have good technique and are not jutting our your wrist your hand may mute the 1st string without you needing to do anything. 

Bm Bar Chord 

Now we are going to move on to bar chords and you are going to learn how to play the Bm bar chord properly. I am going to guide you through different variations of the Bm bar chord with easy variation getting progressively harder. 

Just so we are clear, when you use one finger to press multiple strings this is called a  bar chord or sometimes spelled barre chord. 

Lets get started!

This bm chord is just like the variation you learned but now we are going to bar using your 1st finger. Fret it just the same as above but have your index finger lining FLAT and pressing to the side so the 5th and 1st string can ring out. 

** Note, even though I break down the fingerings 1 by 1, to play chords properly and make smooth transitions this all must be done with ONE motion. 

Here we have another B minor bar chord. To fret this chord do the following:
Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string 9th fret
then place your 1st finger across strings 1, 2, & 3 on the 7th fret. 

Have your thumb splitting the difference between your hands and press your first finger to the side so that all the strings ring out. 

When strumming this be sure to not strum strings 5 & 6!

The last variation of the Bm bar chord that we are going to cover here is sometimes called the "Em" shape in reference to how the Em chord looks in open position. 

If this is confusing don't worry about it. I don't want you to become a "shape" player but it's a common reference so I thought I'd mention it here. 
To fret this place your 1st finger on the 6th string 7th fret your 3rd finger on 5th string 9th fret
your 4th finger on 4th string 9th fret 
and then lay your 1st finger down across all the strings.

To help leverage I recommend using your 2nd finger to help your 1st finger push down. 

Now you know how to play the Bm chord! 👊
Scratch that, you are a Bm chord pro as you know a lot of ways to play the Bm guitar chord!

Easy Songs That Use The Bm Guitar Chord

3 Doors Down - Kryptonite  
Bryan Adams - Summer of 69
Four Non Blondes - What's Up

Bm Guitar Chord Progression

Here's a few chord progressions that sound great that use the Bm chord. Feel free to change up the orders and experiment with the sounds!

Bm - A - G - A
D - Bm - A 

A - E - Bm - A 

Em - D  - Bm - G
F#m - Bm - A - G
A - G - F#- Bm

If you need help learning these other chords, click here

What Keys Have A Bm Major Chord? 

Major keys that use a Bm chord:
Key of G Major
Key of D Major
Key of A Major

Minor keys that use a Bm chord:
Key of Em Minor
Key of Bm Minor
Key of F#m Minor

What Are The Notes Of A Bm Chord?

A Bm chord or B minor chord consists of 3 notes that are derived from the Bm major scale.
  B   C#   D      F#   G   A

When you number the notes of a scale they are called SCALE DEGREES. So to make a B minor chord we need the 1st, 3rd and 5th "degrees."

1       2      b3     4     5       b6     b7 
     C#    D      E     F#     G      A 

All minor chords use the 1, b3, and 5 notes of a their corresponding scale. 

When these 3 notes are being played harmonically (played at the same time) you are playing a Bm chord.

Now you may be wondering, why did you add a "b" (flat) to the 3, 6, and 7? This is beyond the scope of this lesson but for simplicity sake, all minor scales have the 3rd, 6th, and 7th notes lowered down a half step.  We'll have other lessons where we'll go in-depth on this. For now lets just stick to learn the B minor chord. 

Now, notice from the chord diagrams, ONLY the notes B, D, and F#  are being used?  If you have another note such as a E note or a A not it is no longer a B minor chord!

That being said, you can have multiple B, D, or F# notes as show in the chord diagrams. Try playing the chords but only strum a few of the notes. Notice the chord will sound "thin" if there are only one of each note. By adding in more of the same notes you make the chord have more depth. You may even think of it as a darker or lighter shade of the same color.

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