Arguably the most popular guitar chord, the G#m guitar chord is one you’ll be glad you learned early on as your playing skills improve. To make sure you can play your favorite songs, here’s what you need to know about the G#m chord guitar.
What Does G#m Mean in Music?
When you see G#M in music, this refers to a sharp G Minor. Known as a minor chord that can create a rich, dark sound on the guitar, it is produced when you play various aspects of the G Major scale, such as the root note (first), flat third, and fifth notes of the scale.
How Do You Play G#m Chord on Guitar?
Popular with beginning guitarists, G#m has been labeled as easy because it contains two notes that can be played on open strings. If you want to be known as the guitar player whose style symbolizes all that is cool about being a guitarist, the G#m chord guitar will let you accomplish this and much more. When you want to play the standard G#m chord, you’ll barre your first finger across all six strings on the third fret. Next, you’ll place your third finger on the fifth string of the fifth fret (D), and your fourth finger on the fourth string of the fifth fret (G).
Since this is not the easiest guitar technique for beginners, there are other simpler versions. One of the most popular is to barre your first finger across the three highest strings on the third fret, then place your third finger on the fourth string at the fifth fret. By doing this, you’ll need much less finger strength and flexibility, both of which are usually in short supply for most beginning guitarists.
What are the Notes in G minor Chord?
The notes contained in the G minor guitar chord are G, Bb, and D. Like other minor guitar chords you’ll use when playing your guitar, it has the intervals minor third, Major third, Perfect fourth, meaning back to the root note. The relative minor of Bb Major, the G#m chord guitar is often thought to be the guitar chord that offers the most variations, which is one reason why it can fit in so well with so many different musical genres.
How Do You Play G#m on Guitar Easy?
If you want to play G#m chord guitar as easily as possible, there are variations that allow you to do just this. While you’ll need to barre, you can do so in this example by using your first finger to cover strings one, two, and three at your guitar’s third fret. Your third finger will then go on the fourth string at the fifth fret, with your fourth finger on the first string at the sixth fret. When you’re ready to play, mute strings five and six.
If you’re tired of trying to barre strings, you can instead try some open versions of the G#m guitar chord. One of the best starts with you putting your first finger on the fifth string at the first fret, your second finger on the sixth string at the third fret, finger three on the second string of the third fret, and your fourth finger on the first string at the third fret. Easier than barring strings, this will also give your fingers a good workout that will increase their flexibility and strength.
What Chord Can I Play Instead of G#m?
Like almost anything else when playing your guitar, you can play other chords instead of G#m that will still do the song justice.
For example, if you want to have the effects of barre chords (any bare chord version) without having to stretch your finger more so than you ever thought humanly possible, use a capo on your guitar. When you put a capo on your guitar’s third fret and play an Em chord, it will sound virtually the same as a G#m chord.
As to how this can occur, it all has to do with the capo raising the key of your guitar, which allows you to play easier chords and get similar sounds of much more difficult chords. Thus, you can end up with many great G#m guitar chord variations you never dreamed existed.
Is GBM the Same as FM?
Actually, this question is easier to answer than some others you’ve encountered along the way. Yes, GBM and FM are the same chords. However, while F# minor and Gb minor are the same chord, their names get changed depending upon which key they are being played in for a particular song.
G#m Chord Guitar Variations
If you are feeling confident about your ability to barre, you can try this great variation of the G#m chord guitar. To begin, take your first finger and barre the strings at the 10th fret. Once done, place your second finger on the second string at the 11th fret. Next, move to your guitar’s 12th fret, where your third finger will go on the fourth string and your fourth one on the third string. When you’re ready, mute the sixth string and give it a try.
Songs with G#m Guitar Chord
When songs feature the G#m chord guitar, this usually means they are conveying numerous emotions from start to finish. If you’re curious as to which popular songs emphasize the G#m guitar chord, it runs the gamut from classic rock and pop to country and much more.
Beginning with pop songs, “Had Ten Dollaz” by Cherry Glazerr gives a sense of angst that is unmatched. As for rock songs, “From Me to You” by the Beatles and “California Girls” by The Beach Boys both give great harmonies that you should try to duplicate.
Last but not least, “Wild Horses” by Garth Brooks and “Spooky” by Atlanta Rhythm Section also show the versatility the G#m guitar chord offers its players.
Once you learn the many variations of the G#m guitar chord and how they can add emotion and prowess to your songs, you’ll be the envy of guitarists everywhere.
FAQs How to Play G# Minor Guitar 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 (G# – B – D#). The closest barre position to all of the other open chord positions will be in the Em barre shape. Here, you will need to place your index finger on the 4th fret of the E string (G#), then your ring finger on the 6th fret of the A string (D#), and then your little finger on the 6th fret of the D string (G#). 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 4th fret of the high E string (G#) will also be sounded out, not to mention the minor 3rd of B on the 4th fret of the G string.
In order to elide the need to use a barre chord, you can use a capo on the 4th fret. This will have a similar effect as barring in the Em shape on the 4th fret, but instead of using your index finger to stretch across the 4th fret on all the strings, you can let the capo do the work. Thus, you can simply play your typical Em shape after the capo has done its work which, thanks to the capo, will be sharpened by four semitones (or two tones) into a G# 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 G# 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 G# minor (G# – B – D#) is B major (B – D# – F#). 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 G# minor they would take the composition in question in a different direction entirely.
The G#m is the same on a 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 (G# – B – D#). The closest barre position to all of the other open chord positions will be in the Em barre shape. Here, you will need to place your index finger on the 4th fret of the E string (G#), then your ring finger on the 6th fret of the A string (D#), and then your little finger on the 6th fret of the D string (G#). 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 4th fret of the high E string (G#) will also be sounded out, not to mention the minor 3rd of B on the 4th fret of the G string.