Learn The A Minor 7 Guitar Chords

8 min read

Am7 is a minor 7th chord. It has 4 notes. A C E and G. Am is the tonic of the key A minor, which has no sharps or flats. A minor sounds very calming and sometimes sad, and goes great with the chords D min7 or E Maj 7. In this article we will show you many ways to play the Am7 chord and breakdown the components of a 7th chord so you can play them on any root note. We also have a frequently asked questions section so you can clear up any confusion you might be having. Keep reading to learn how to play a minor 7 guitar chords.

Related: Guitar Chords: Basics, Theory, & Mastery

a minor 7 guitar chords

Related: How to play the Em 7 Guitar Chord

How To Play Am7 Guitar Chords

The most common way to play Am7 is in the open position, open position chords are the chords most guitarists learn to play first, so that is why they are the most popular. Try it out for yourself to see how it sounds:

Am7 Open Chord

Related: How To Read Guitar Chord Charts

Barre chord

Along with the open position, Am7 can also be played as a barre chord by holding down all of the strings with your index finger. I promise it sounds more difficult than it is!

Am7 Barre Chord

Barre Chords Bonus Tip!

Having trouble with your barre chords? Believe me, you’re not alone. The difficulty that comes with barre chords is often caused by gripping the neck too hard. Remember that It should never hurt to play the guitar. Many new guitarists avoid barre chords altogether because of their difficulty, but the solution is easier than you might think…

  • Place your index finger on all the strings on the 1st fret. Tuck your other fingers back so you don’t rely on them to produce sound.
  • Without pressing your finger down, strum the guitar. The strings should sound muted.
  • Slowly increase the pressure of your index finger and strum between every addition of effort.

The purpose of this small exercise is to experience just how much effort you really need to produce sound on the guitar. You will find that not much is actually required.

  • Using the minimal amount of effort, continue to barre every fret up the neck without the help of your other fingers. Every time you strum, you should hear each note ring clearly. 
  • Do this exercise anytime you are having trouble playing a barre chord.

Related: What Is A Fret On Guitar

Alternative Ways To Play Am7 Chords

There is always more than just one or two ways to play a chord. In fact, as long as you play the notes A C E and G, anywhere on the neck, it is still an Am7 chord! However, some voicings make more sense ergonomically than others. Not to mention sound better too! Here are some alternative ways to play Am7 to try out!

Am7 Alternate Chord

Am7 Chord

Am7 Chords

Easier methods

What is the simplest way to play an Am7 chord? The great thing about these reduced voicings, is that they also sound so pretty! They have their place in music, too. Remember that playing the guitar is not about what is easy or hard, but what sounds good to you.

Am7 Easy

What Songs Use A Minor 7 Guitar Chords

Now that you can rock an Am7 chord, you may wonder what songs you can learn. Here are some popular American rock songs that use the chord Am7.

Holocene by Bon Iver

More Than Word by Extreme

Wouldn’t It Be Nice by The Beach Boys

I’m In The Mood For Love By Louis Armstrong

Phone Booth By Robert Cray

What Notes Are In The A minor 7 Chord

The notes that makeup an Am7 chord are ACEG. I just think of “Ace G.” ACE is a minor triad, so adding the minor 7th (G) creates a minor 7th chord. 7ths can be difficult as there are 4 different types of 7ths, so it is important to remember that a minor 7th is always 2 half steps (or 1 whole step) below the tonic. 

What Is A 7th Chord?

A 7th chord is a 4 note chord. It is made from a major or minor triad plus a 7th added. There are 4 different types of 7th chords! This makes it super easy to get them confused. 

For today, let’s just focus on learning the major vs minor 7th. It is highly recommended that you play them on your guitar so that you can hear the difference because they each have their own unique voice and purpose within a song. 

A minor 7th chord is a root, minor 3rd, perfect 5th, and minor 7th.

A Major 7th chord is a root, major 3rd, perfect 5th, and a major 7th.

How do I know the difference between a Minor and a Major 7th?

The musical scale always repeats itself after 7 notes. For example, the A minor scale goes:

A B C D E F G and then back to A. 

From A all the way up to A there are 12 half steps

We can think of a major 7th as 10 half steps above A OR 2 half steps below A. 

Similarly, a major 7th is 11 half steps above the root, but it is also just 1 half step below the root. 

Remember that the leading tone (the note directly below the tonic) is always the major 7th!

Other Guitar Chords To Learn

Learn To Play The Major G Chord

Learn To Play C# Guitar Chords

Learn Guitar Chords F Major 7

How To Play The B Flat (Bb) Guitar Chord

Frequently Asked Questions

What notes are in A minor 7 chord?

The notes of the A minor 7 chord are ACEG.

What is the alternative chord for Am7?

There is no alternative, you can’t just use chords interchangeably.

How do you do bar chords without wrist pain?

You should never experience wrist pain while playing the guitar. Pain is due directly to incorrect posture and poor grip. 

Is there an A minor chord?

Yes. An A minor chord is made from the notes ACE. You can learn more about minor guitar chords here.

What is the difference between A major 7 & A minor 7 chord?

A Major 7 is made of the notes: A C# E G#

A minor 7 is made of the notes: A C E G

The difference is in the lowered 3rd and 7th scale degrees.

Conclusion

A minor 7 is a minor 7th chord. It is made of the notes ACEG. Minor 7th chords are made from a root, minor third, perfect 5th, and minor 7th. There are many ways to play this chord, and which you like to use depends largely on personal preference. That being said, the open a minor and the a minor barre chord are among the most common voicings. A minor 7th is 10 half steps above the tonic and 2 half steps below the tonic. 7th chords are a common jazz chords and used in pop music. How many songs can you play with Am7?

Related: How To Play B Minor 7 On Guitar

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About The Author:

An avid reader who loves to write & ponder. Currently studying music and learning guitar, piano, & music theory.

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