In this article, we will discuss how to play F minor chord. First, we will introduce you to the easiest way of playing the Fm chord which will be great for beginners. Later, we will introduce you to different ways of playing the Fm chord.
We will also discuss the Fm chord construction theory. This will help you to understand how we play the different shapes of the Fm chord. We believe this theory part will develop your overall guitar knowledge and make you feel like you are close to the instrument.
Let’s start our journey of studying the F minor chord on the guitar.
The Easiest Way Of Playing The Fm Chord
Playing the easiest version of the F minor chord might not be a big deal. However, some beginners find it troublesome to play it perfectly on the guitar. Mostly because they are not enough experienced to deal with the necessary finger strength and flexibility. And these are quite important when you are learning any string instrument.
But don’t worry. It’s all about practice and giving yourself time to gain finger strength and flexibility.
You need to tune your guitar to the standard tuning to play the version of the Fm chord that we are about to share. Here is how you can play it –
- Place your index finger at the 1st fret of the 3rd string.
- Place your middle finger at the 1st fret of the 2nd string
- Place your ring finger at the 1st fret of the 1st string.
- Strum the thinnest three strings that you have grabbed and that will give the sound of the Fm chord.
While you are playing the Fm chord make sure your fingers don’t touch the other strings. If it does it will mute the other strings and give some sort of noise that is not very pleasing to hear.
Also, you can use your index finger to make a tiny bar on the thinnest three strings at the 1st fret. While you are playing this version of the Fm chord, make sure you don’t ring the thickest three strings as that will ruin the chord.
Another Easy Fm Chord Version
This version of the easy Fm guitar chord is quite similar to the previous one. We just add an extra note to the chord and it sounds much better as well. Here is how you can play it.
- Place your index finger on the top of the first three strings of the first fret.
- Place your ring finger at the 3rd fret of the 4th string.
- Strumm all the four stings you have grabbed.
While you are playing this easy Fm chord version, don’t ring the thickest two strings as it will ruin the chord’s sound.
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Tips For the Beginners
Now that you know how to play the F minor chord it’s time to get familiar with the new shape. You need to build your muscle memory which you will gain through practice. With your fingers in the chord position, take your hand away from the guitar and replace it. After practicing this for a while, you will find it easier than before. Don’t mind keeping it slow.
Slow practice gives you time to think to place your fingers in the proper place. It is always better to do things slowly and perfectly rather than ringing wrong notes and making mistakes.
Try to play another chord that you already know and change back to the F minor chord. And do this over and over again. Eventually, you will gain muscle memory of the F minor chord shape.
F minor barre chords
We have already shown you a couple of easy versions of playing the Fm guitar chord. It’s time to play the barre chord version of Fm and discover the true sound of the F minor chord.
At this point, we are going to assume that you already know how to play the basic open chords. Because open chords are easier to grab and play than barre chords.
Here we will show you three types of Fm Barre chords. All of those types are actually the basic open minor chords (Em, Am, Dm) that are transposed to specific fret positions. Let us clarify this with a bit of music theory.
A little bit of guitar music theory
There are twelve major keys in western music. They are determined using the following symbols-
- A# (read as ‘A sharp’)
Also, the # can be symbolized using another sign called flat (♭). Then we have the following corresponding note-
The interesting part is guitar frets are designed in such a way that if you play the A string (5th string) at the 1st fret it will give you the A# (or B♭) note. The sixth fret of that string will play the D note. Like this, the correspondence carries on throughout the fretboard.
In this analogy, if we transpose the exact shape of the open E minor chord shape by one fret we will have our F minor chord. Technically this means, you place a capo on the first fret of any standard tuned guitar and play the E minor chord. But it will give you the sound of an F min chord.
The same rule is applicable for the A minor chord shape, and D minor chord as well.
Standard Fm Guitar Chord (How to play the Fm chord in open Em shape)
let’s introduce you to the true sound of the Fm guitar chord by playing the standard version. It is the most popular way to play the Fm guitar chord and it’s a barre chord. Follow the steps below to play the standard Fm chord on the guitar.
- Place your index finger on the 1st fret and grab all six strings.
- Place your ring finger on the 5th string of the 3rd fret.
- Place your pinky on the 4th string of the 3rd fret.
- Strum all six strings.
The standard version of the Fm guitar chord sounds a lot warmer and louder than any other version. It involves all six strings which is great. At the same time, it is quite difficult to get used to. Because playing all six strings barre on the first fret makes it much harder. Here are some tips for you.
- Pick each string individually when playing a full F minor bar chord to make sure you have sufficiently pushed each one.
- Be sure to position your fingers behind the fret wire.
- Apart from the barre, make sure your fingertips are pressing the strings.
How To Play The Fm Chord In Open Am shape
To play the Fm guitar chord in Am shape, you need to transpose the whole Am chord by eight frets. Like the open Am chord, you will not play the thickest string (6th) either. Follow the steps below to play this version of the Fm barre chord.
- Place your Index finger on the 8th fret and barre the first five strings.
- Place your ring finger on the 10th fret of the 4th string.
- Place your pinky on the 10th fret of the 3rd string.
- Place your middle finger on the 9th fret of the 2nd string.
- Strum the first five strings and enjoy the Fm chord.
How To Play The Fm Chord In Open Dm shape
To play the Fm chord in an open Dm shape, you need to transpose the whole Dm shape by three frets. Like the open Dm chord, you will not play the thickest two strings in this version either. Follow the steps below to play this version of the Fm chord.
- Place your index finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th string and barre the first four strings.
- Place your middle finger on the fourth fret of the 1st string.
- Place your ring finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd string.
- Place your pinky on the 6th fret of the 2nd string.
- Strum the first four strings and enjoy the Fm chord.
You may have already figured out that you don’t need to barre all the first four strings. Instead, you can simply place your index finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th string.
Placing four fingers on four different frets makes this chord a bit difficult to play. But consider this shape to develop your finger-stressing abilities. This shape often use in classical music pieces so better get used to it as well.
F minor Chord Construction Theory
All the major chords are constructed from three notes of their corresponding major scale. These three notes are called the major triad. The notes of the major triad are-
- The root note (1st note)
- The minor Third
- The perfect fifth
Let’s check out the notes of the F minor triad
The notes of the F minor scales are-
- F (The root note)
- A♭ (The 3rd note)
- C (The 5th note)
So the notes of the F minor triad are F, A♭, and C. Whatever shapes of the F minor chord you play, you are actually playing the notes of the F minor triad.
With this theory in mind, you can find out the F minor chord by yourself. In the case of alternate guitar tuning, you can apply this theory to construct the Fm guitar chord. This will come in handy when you are composing music.
A fantastic method to learn more about the minor chord and the guitar fretboard, in general, is to play triads. Interesting and original forms and voicings can be made by methodically arranging the chord’s notes using permutations (root position, first inversion, second inversion).
The F minor triad has three distinct voicings, which are as follows:
- (Root Position): F, Ab, C
- (1st Inversion): Ab, C, F
- (2nd Inversion): C, F, Ab
Read Also: 11 Tips To Playing Electric Guitar for Beginners
Popular Chord Progressions With Fm Chord
- (i – VI – VII): Fm – Db – Eb
- (i – iv – VII): Fm – Bbm – Eb
- (i – iv – v): Fm – Bbm – Cm
- (i – VI – III – VII): Fm – Db – Ab – Eb
- (ii – v – i): Gm7b5 – Cm – Fm
Scales To Play Around The Fm Chord
The most popular and useful scales for soloing or improvising over the F minor chord or for developing melodies for songwriting purposes are:
- The most popular scale for this chord is the F natural minor scale, sometimes known as the F aeolian scale.
- When improvising over the F minor chord, the F minor pentatonic scale is generally the simplest to master and begin on.
- The F minor blues scale can be used to give the Fm chord a bluesy flavor.
- The F Dorian mode can be used to give the F minor chord a slightly brighter sound.
- The F minor chord can have a deeper sound by using the F Phrygian mode.
Some Popular Fm Chord Substitutions
The F minor chord can be replaced by the majority of F minor chords with extensions. The F minor chord, for instance, can frequently be enhanced with color and feeling by using Fm9, Fm11, and Fm6.
The Fm chord and the Fm7 chord are frequently used interchangeably.
Playing variations of the F chord, which is the relative Major of F minor, such as Ab6, Ab69, Abmaj9, etc., can be used to replace the F minor chord in more intriguing ways.
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