Now, let's take a look at some common variations for the open E minor chord:
So what's going on here?
- Chord 1 - Your basic E minor chord. Fret it with your first two fingers (index and middle finger).
- Chord 2 - We add the 3rd finger to the 3rd string - 2nd fret (A). By doing this, we create an E Sus4 chord.
- Chord 3 - We add the pinky to the 3rd fret, 2nd string (D). By doing this, we create an E minor 7. This is one of the most common voicings for an E minor 7 chord.
- Chord 4 - We add the pinky to the 2nd fret, 1st string (F#). By doing this, we create an E minor 9 chord. This is somewhat similar to a sus2 chord, except that it's a bit fuller because our E minor 9 contains all the notes from our E minor chord (E, G, B), while our sus2 chord did not (it didn't have a G).
Again, I think that not all of them can be used as a straight substitute for an E minor chord. But they work well when you hit your open E minor chord, and play these variations after establishing the general "E minor" sound.
Listen to the example below to hear how each of these sound in context.