The A minor chord, often written as "Am," is a basic and commonly used chord in guitar music. It's known for its somber and mellow sound.
Is built upon the A minor scale, which is the minor relative of C major, which is:
A B C D E F G A.
So if we take the 1, 3rd and 5th of that scale, we obtain the notes in the A minor chord: A, C and E.
Like all the other minor chords, the formula for this chord is Root (1), Minor Third (b3), Perfect Fifth (5).
Once you are comfortable with playing the A minor chord, try including it in simple songs or chord progressions. It's often paired with chords like C major, G major, and F major.
A m chord Notes:
Tones of the Minor chord:
The A Minor Guitar Chords | Keys and Songs
The A minor chord is one first chords you should learn.
It pairs well with the C major chord, for two reasons: they are both parts of the key of C major, one of the most used key, and you can switch from one chord to the other by just moving the ring finger from the 3rd fret of the A string (C major) to the 2nd fret of the G string (A minor), back and forth.
As you can see in the following table, the A minor chord is the Submediant chord of the key of C, which is located at the 6th degree of the scale:
The key of A minor is relative to C major, so it has the same chords but in different order:
A Minor Chord Progression
The A minor chord is present in the Axis of Awesome progression: C G Am F, probably the most used and over-abused chord sequence in the history of western world.
Also the Doo Wop progression (C Am F G) show an A minor chord.
There are many other progressions that use the A minor chord, check my ebook 52 Chord Progressions | Learn How To Connect Chords and Create Great Songs for a complete reference.
Other Keys That Contains The A Minor Chord
The A minor chord is present in many other keys, here below you find the most used keys:
G Major Key
Here the A minor chord is the Supertonic, because is located on the 2nd degree
E Minor Key
In the E minor key, the A minor chord works as Subdominant.
D Minor Key
In D minor Key, the A Minor Key has the role of dominant, notice how it well resolves to the root (D)
Songs with the A minor chord
On guitar, probably it is impossible to find a song that does not have an A minor chord somewhere.
Here's a quick list of songs that begins with an A minor chord:
- Stairway to Heaven
- House of the Rising Sun
- The Unforgiven
- Losing my Religion
- Still got the Blues
- Breaking the Law
This easy guitar songs list will show you more tunes.
Ok, be sure to master this chord really well because you'll encounter it many times in your guitar life. To learn anything you need about guitar chords, check my Chords Domination | Play Any Chord You Want Across All The Fretboard.
Chord boxes are sorted from the easiest to the hardest. Learn how to read chord diagrams.
If you have difficulties with bar chord shapes, check the Bar Chords Tips tutorial.
Find more shapes on my all guitar chords online library.
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Play This Chord With Other Roots
You can create any fingering you like on any part of the fretboard, just play some of the chord tones shown in the map below.