While you will learn many chords as your guitar skills progress, few may be more difficult to master than the b minor guitar chord. Though a chord that initially drives many beginning guitar students crazy, learning this difficult chord opens up a variety of styles and songs that you can enjoy. To learn how to play it correctly and even a few ways to cheat along the way, here’s all you need to know about the Bm guitar chord.
Table of Contents
- How Do You Play a Bm Chord on Guitar Easy?
- How Do You Play Bm on Guitar?
- What is a Substitute for Bm Chord on Guitar?
- How Do You Cheat in B minor Chords?
- How Do I Practice Bm Guitar Chord?
- What Does a Bm Chord Look Like on a Guitar?
- Bm Chord Variations
- Songs with Bm Guitar Chord
- FAQs Acoustic Guitar Bm Chord
How Do You Play a Bm Chord on Guitar Easy?
If you want to learn the easy way to play b minor chord on your guitar, you’re in luck. Fortunately, there are actually several ways to do so. To begin with, you won’t have to barre your index finger across five strings, which is extremely hard in the beginning stages of learning the guitar. Instead, you can play this chord by first placing your index finger on the second fret of the high E string. Then, your middle finger gets placed on the third fret of the B string. Next, your ring finger will fret the fourth fret of the D string. Last but not least, your pinky finger will fret the fourth fret of the G string.
How Do You Play Bm on Guitar?
To play the actual Bm chord on your guitar, you’ll need to already possess some intermediate guitar skills, and also have built up some much-needed finger strength. First, you’ll barre your index finger across five strings, those being A, D, G, B, and E. As for the low E string, you won’t be playing this string on this chord, so leave it alone. Next, put your middle finger on the third fret of the B string, your ring finger on the fourth fret of the D string, and your pinky on the fourth fret of the G string. While this is very similar to the easier version above, it differs in that this is the true barre Bm chord.
What is a Substitute for Bm Chord on Guitar?
While you will want to be able to play the Bm guitar chord at some point, the good news is that you can use some substitutes for this difficult chord. This always brings a smile to the faces of guitar students, since learning this chord takes time and tends to slow down their progress.
An easy substitute begins with you only using three fingers. While it may have a different tonal quality due to adding the seventh scale degree, it won’t be an actual Bm chord, but close enough so that practically nobody will notice. To start, your index finger will go on the second fret of the A string. Next, leave the D string open. Then, use your middle finger to fret the second fret of the G string, and leave the B string open. Your final step will be to place your ring finger on the second fret of the high E string. To play this and make it sound good, remember to arch your fingers and play with your fingertips.
How Do You Cheat in B minor Chords?
While in most situations cheating is a bad thing, doing so when it comes to B minor chords will make your guitar playing much more enjoyable, at least in the beginning until you have mastered the various intricacies of the actual Bm guitar chord.
Believe it or not, you can cheat in B minor chords by using only two fingers. All you have to do is place your index finger behind the second fret of the A string, which is the fifth string. Then, use your middle finger for the second fret of the G string, which is the third string. While this is considered to be an excellent way for beginners to cheat when playing B minor chords, you’ll hear a sound that may not be quite what you expected. Nevertheless, it’s close enough in the beginning, but you’ll want to learn the more standard versions to really have a great quality to your music.
How Do I Practice Bm Guitar Chord?
Since the Bm guitar chord is difficult to master, you’ll need to put in plenty of practice time along the way. However, this doesn’t mean you need to play this chord and only this chord hour after hour. Instead, most guitar teachers recommend you practice it for only about 10 minutes at a time. However, they also recommend you do this 10 minutes daily.
A great exercise to do that will help you learn how to play Bm on guitar easy is the Quick Draw exercise. No, you won’t be drawing a gun out of a holster. Instead, you’ll only need your guitar and a stopwatch. With your fretting hand resting on your leg, have your stopwatch where you can see it and start it. Once you do, you have five seconds to form the Bm guitar chord with your fretting hand and play it, which will help in building muscle memory in your hand.
What Does a Bm Chord Look Like on a Guitar?
As to what the Bm chord will look like on a guitar, it will essentially be one where all of your fretting fingers will be needed. Combining open strings with ones you will fret, you’ll need to make sure your fingers are fretting from behind, rather than on top or in the middle. Also, by remembering to arch your fingers and play with your fingertips, you won’t accidentally mute another string. You can also consider the importance of selecting the right guitar strings for you.
Bm Chord Variations
As you know by now, there are numerous Bm chord variations. Along with the standard Bm chord, you also have the Bm barre, Bm non-barre, Bm7, and the Bm two-finger version. Since most versions will not sound like a true Bm chord on your guitar, you’ll need to take into consideration not only your skill level, but also the song you will be playing. By doing so, you can determine which variation will work best for you and the song.
Songs with Bm Guitar Chord
Now that you’re ready to start playing songs that will show off your mastery of Bm, there are many great ones from which to choose. Some of the best include the classic “Hotel California” by The Eagles, “Diamonds” by Rihanna, and Sam Smith’s “Money on My Mind.”
Once you learn all there is to know about playing the Bm chord, the rest of your guitar playing will feel infinitely easier. Before you know it, you’ll sound as if you belong on stage with the Eagles as you play “Hotel California” better than ever.
FAQs Acoustic Guitar Bm Chord
Since this is not a cowboy chord or an open chord, you will more than likely need to play this in a barred position in order to have it sound out properly with all the relevant notes of this minor triad (B – D – F#). The closest barre position to all of the other open chord positions will be in the Am barre shape. Here, you will need to place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the A string (B), then your ring finger on the 4th fret of the D string (F#), then your little finger on the 4th fret of the G string (B), and finally have your middle finger placed on the 3rd fret of the B string (D). Owing to the barring inherent in a barre chord, the index finger will also be stretched across the entire 2nd fret like a capo, meaning that the 2nd fret of the high E string (F#) will also be sounded out.
In order to elide the need to use a barre chord, you can use a capo on the 2nd fret. This will have a similar effect as barring in the Am shape on the 2nd fret, but instead of using your index finger to stretch across the 2nd fret on all strings but the low E, you can let the capo do the work. Thus, you can simply play your typical Am shape after the capo has done its work which, thanks to the capo, will be sharpened by two semitones (or a tone) into a B minor chord.
Unless you want to reimagine the schematics of a song via your own various experiments in harmony and tonality, it could be worth investigating the possibility of using the relative major of B minor. The relative of a key is one that contains all of the same notes but is arranged in a different order. The relative major of B minor (B – D – F#) is D major (D – F# – B). Since they both use the same notes, they are really just inversions of each other, but inversions that have grave harmonic consequences. And so, if they were used in the place of B minor they would take the composition in question into a different direction entirely.
The Bm is the same on an acoustic guitar as on any other instrument designed to cater to western tonality. Since this is not a cowboy chord or an open chord, you will more than likely need to play this in a barred position in order to have it sound out properly with all the relevant notes of this minor triad (B – D – F#). The closest barre position to all of the other open chord positions will be in the Am barre shape. Here, you will need to place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the A string (B), then your ring finger on the 4th fret of the D string (F#), then your little finger on the 4th fret of the G string (B), and finally have your middle finger placed on the 3rd fret of the B string (D). Owing to the barring inherent in a barre chord, the index finger will also be stretched across the entire 2nd fret like a capo, meaning that the 2nd fret of the high E string (F#) will also be sounded out.