Want to find out how to play the B minor chord on the guitar – your wish is my command, this is the only article you’ll ever need!
There are many ways to play the B minor chord on the guitar, so what I am going to do for you here is show you some of the more common ways of doing that – I’m not going to show you every single way as some are massive stretches with your fretting hand.
This article is a “music theory free zone” – I’m just going to show you the shapes that are most commonly used and the suggested fingering.
I’m going to use guitar tab to show the frets to play and then describe each finger position and a suggestion on which fingers to use.
If you want to go straight to the 4, 5 and 6 string barre chords, scroll down!
“Let’s get into this”…
Easy B Minor Chord
If you are struggling with barre chords, do not despair, there is an easy way to play this chord without a barre (although I also show you the barre chords later and you should try to crack them if you can).
Here is the tab:-
Here’s how to play this:-
- 1st (index or pointer) finger on 2nd fret of the high E (thinnest) string;
- Middle (2nd) finger on 3rd fret of the B string;
- 3rd (ring) finger on the 4th fret of the G string;
- Leave the D string open – this is, don’t touch it with your fretting hand!
Now, strum these strings (miss out the low (thickest) E string and the A string).
There you go! A B minor chord!
Note – it might sound a bit odd to you, but that’s because the open D string dominates, but it is part of that chord. If you prefer, you can just play the G, B and E strings where you are fretting the notes.
4 String B Minor Chords
Different Version of the Easy Chord – No Barre
Here is a slightly different version of that easy B minor chord, see if you prefer the sound of it?
And you play it like this:-
- 1st (index) finger on the 2nd fret of the high E string (the thinnest one);
- Middle (2nd) finger on the 3rd fret of the B string;
- Pinky (4th) finger on the 4th fret of the G string;
- 3rd (ring) finger on the 4th fret of the D string.
Again, you’re playing just the thinnest 4 strings (D, G B and (thinnest) E strings).
You can even combine playing the easy B minor chord I first showed you then change to this one for a bit of variety!
Mini Barre Chord Version 1
Yes, this is a “mini” barre chord, and is probably the easiest version of a barre chord there is – it really isn’t too difficult, honestly.
To play this one, you’re only using two fingers!
- Place your 1st (index) finger flat on the D, G, B and (thinnest) E strings at the 7th fret;
- Then, place your 3rd (ring) finger on the 9th fret of the D string.
That’s it – that’s a really nice B minor chord right there.
You actually don’t need to hold down the D string with your index finger at the 7th fret because your 3rd finger is actually fretting higher, but I find it a more comfortable hand position, experiment and see what works best for you.
Mini Barre Chord Version 2
Different version with one note different – you can also change between this one and the previous version for a bit of variety.
This time, you play it:-
- With your 1st (index, pointer) finger on the 4th fret of the D string;
- And place your 4th (pinky) as a barre across the G, B and (thinnest) E string at the 7th fret.
Strum the thinnest 4 strings – the D, G, B and (thinnest) E strings.
You might find this a little tougher as you are barring with a weaker finger, you can try using your 3rd finger instead for the barre, but I personally find that a bit of a stretch – you might not, so try it out.
These are the two most common barre chords that are used. Once mastered, they can be moved up and down the neck to get other chords without changing the shape.
5 String Barre Chord
A bigger and very popular barre chord, this is the one used a lot for strumming songs that need a B minor chord.
You play it like this:-
- 1st (index) finger across the 5 strings – A, D, G, B and (thinnest) E strings;
- Place your 3rd (ring) finger on the 4th fret of the D string;
- Your pinky (4th) finger goes on the 4th fret of the G string right next to the 3rd finger;
- Reach under and put your 2nd (middle) finger on the 3rd fret of the B string.
Strum the 5 strings – A, D, G, B and (thinnest) E strings.
Notice that the only notes the index finger is actually fretting are on the A and (thinnest) E strings, so concentrate on getting those notes clear first.
This is a commonly used barre chord shape so crack this one and it will open up lots of new chords for you as you can simply move the same shape up and down the neck for other chords.
6 String Barre Chord
This is the big barre chord and is used a great deal when looking for a full sound and particularly when strumming chords to a song.
Barre chords can be intimidating for beginners, but one day, if you practice enough, you’ll wonder why you ever struggled with them – that’s a promise; just work away at it for a couple of weeks and you’ll crack it.
I do have a separate article devoted to playing barre chords and how to be successful with them, so check that out if you’re finding this tough.
How do you play that?
- Place your first finger (index or pointer finger) across the whole fretboard at the 7th fret;
- Use your 3rd (ring) finger and place it at the 9th fret on the A string;
- Now put your 4th (pinky) finger next to your 3rd finger on the 9th fret of the D string.
You can now strum all 6 strings and you have a lovely, full sounding B minor chord!
To practice this, try to play strings individually to ensure each is fretted properly, adjust finger positions and pressure with your index finger until all the notes of the chord sound good – and do check out my barre chords article for more in depth tips.
So, I’ve shown you a simple B minor chord, easier barre chords with only 4 strings, and the two main “big” barre chords that are probably the ones used the most.
There are other ways to play the B minor chord and of course there are lots of variations (7th, add 9, 11th and so on) but I’ll cover off all that in a different article.
Try them all out and you’ll never struggle with this one again; but if you do, just drop me a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
And that, dear reader, is how you can play the B minor chord on the guitar – I really hope this helps and that you will no longer struggle with this particular chord.
All the best and keep on rockin’