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Common Minor Chord Variations

Christopher Sung (9641) · [archive]
Style: Acoustic/Folk · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 160
Pages: 1 2 3

Now, let's take a look at some common variations for the open E minor chord:
1. E minor
2. E sus4
3. E min7
4. E min9
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.
Common Minor Chord Variations - Page 2