How to Play G Minor Chord on Guitar

On this page I am going to show you 7 ways for how to play the G minor chord in guitar. 
I'll show you the easiest way to play the Gm chord, how to play the Gm chord with barring, and well as the G  minor bar chords.  We'll also discover popular chords that go with Gm, popular songs that use the Gm chord, and what notes are used to make up the chord. 

Why is the Gm chord so hard?

The Gm chord is a bit harder than other chords because there is no open position for this chord. Which means you must learn how to play bar chords! Don't worry, I'll show you some easy ways to play the Gm chord on guitar!

Gm Easy Version For Beginners

G minor chord easy

First place your 1st finger (index) on the 3rd string 3rd fret. The lay (bar) it across strings 1, 2, and 3. 

That's it!

Make sure you're pressing to the side of your finger and your thumb is on the inside of your index finger allow you to leverage your string. 

Not sure on how to read a chord diagram or want to learn more chords?  Click here

Here's a slightly more advanced version of the Gm guitar chord. Place your 3rd finger (ring) on the 4th string 3rd fret and keep barring with your index finger. 

Your thumb should be splitting the difference between your fingers and you may want to also use your 2nd finger (middle) to help your index finger press down. 

Continuing on with this position you can also add in 1 more note to the bass of the chord to give it a bit more depth. To do this we will place your 3rd finger on the 5th string 5th fret and place your 4th finger (pinky) on the 4th string 5th fret. 

How To Strum The Gm chord

To strum the Gm guitar chord without strumming strings 5 & 6, you're going to need to get really good at missing these strings when you strum of course comes with a lot of practice!

I also 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. But I only do this on the 1st strum. Once you get the first strum right it's easier to then strum by feel missing strings 5 & 6. 

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Gm Chord Tips

The 1st tip to learning the Gm chord is to get it memorize and trust your picking hand. If you are constantly trying to remember the chord or having to look back and forth between your picking and fret hand progress will be a slow and painful process. 

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!

Gm Guitar Chord Without Bar

This next position for the Gm chord will move you one step closer to playing a G minor chord. To play Gm in this position 
place your 1st finger on 5th string 10th fret,
place your 3rd finger on 4th string 12th fret,
place your 4th finger on 3rd string 12th fret,
place your 2nd finger on 2nd string 11th 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. 

This next position for the Gm guitar chord  is a bit tricky. But that's a good thing as most other guitarists don't know this one and it will help to give you more unique sound. To play the Gm chord in this position 
place your 1st finger on 4th string 5th fret,
place your 3rd finger on 3rd string 7th fret,
place your 4th finger on 2nd string 8th fret,
place your 2nd finger on 1st string 6th fret. 

To avoid strumming strings 5 & 6 you'll need to really practice so you can avoid these strings without having to look at your picking hand!

How To Play Gm Guitar Chord With a Bar

Now we are going to move on to more advanced versions of the Gm bar chord as we already learned easy bar chords for beginners. 

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. 

This Gm 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. 

How To Play Gm Guitar Chord With a Bar (continued)

In this last variation of the Gm bar chord 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 3rd fret your 3rd finger on 5th string 5th fret, your 4th finger on 4th string 5th fret.  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.

Yes, you were already prepared for this one! As you can see from the first Gm you just learned above, all we did was add the bar across the 6th string!

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

Easy Songs That Use The Gm Guitar Chord

System Of A Down - Chop Suey
The Policy - Roxanne

Note, because keys that use a Gm (more on keys below) tend to also have an Eb, it's very common to tune down a 1/2 step then play a G#m instead. 

Gm Guitar Chord Progression

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

Bb - Eb - Gm - F
F - Gm - Dm - C

Gm - F - Bb - Cm
Am - F - Gm - G - Cm

If you need help learning these other chords, click here

What Keys Have A Gm Chord? 

Major keys that use a Gm chord:
Key of Bb Major
Key of F Major
Key of Eb Major

Minor keys that use a Gm chord:
Key of G Minor
Key of Dm Minor
Key of Cm Minor

What Are The Notes Of A Gm Chord?

A Gm chord or G minor chord consists of 3 notes that are derived from the Gm scale.
G   A   Bb   C   D   Eb   F 

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

1     2      b3       4       5     b6      b7 
G    A      Bb      C      D     Eb      F 

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 Gm 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 G minor chord. 

Now, notice from the chord diagrams, ONLY the notes G, Bb, and D  are being used?  If you have another note such as an A note or a C note it is no longer a G minor chord!

That being said, you can have multiple G, Bb, or D 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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