Learn To Play Guitar Chords B Minor (+ Some Easy Alternatives)

The guitar chords B minor can be a challenge for beginner guitarists, but fret not! In this article we will share with you 6 different ways to play B minor, easy and hard, so you can jam out no matter your skill level.

Also included are deep dives into music theory, triads, insights into the key of B minor. Read on to learn to play B minor chord!

Related: Guitar Chord Basics, Theory, & Mastery

guitar chords b minor | boy annotating with a pad and paper while holding a guitar

How To Play The B Minor Guitar Chord

The chord diagrams below are some of the most common ways to play Bm. Remember that if Barring is too difficult, you can always lift your finger up and not pluck the high E string.

Method 1

This method is the one that trips up a lot of beginners. If you know your open chords, you can think about it like the Am shape, just moved up one fret.

b moll guitar, bm chord, bm guitar chord, root note, minor chord shape

Method 2

Method 2 has the root on the 6th string, so you can play it up on the neck as well.

B Min Method 2

Method 3

Method 3 is a simple minor triad with the root on the 3rd string. Notice how this voicing is a simplification of the first diagram!

B min Method 3

Related: How To Play The Bb Chord

Why The B Minor Card Can Be Difficult

Playing the B minor chord might be difficult for beginners because they need to barre with their index finger. Developing the strength necessary to do this requires practice.

Barre Chords

A Barre chord is a chord that requires flattening your index finger on the fretboard so that it plays more notes.

The barre chord shapes can be moved up and down the neck. A barre chord serves the same function as a capo, imagine your finger is taking the place of the nut of the guitar.

Practice holding down all 6 strings using just your index finger. When you strum can you hear all 6 strings?

If you are getting sore or frustrated trying to get every note to ring out, you might need to lighten up your grip. Many guitarists overestimate the amount of force required to do a barre chord.

Related: How To Bar Guitar Chords

Alternate & Easier Ways To Play

If getting the B min Barre chord is too much effort, don’t worry, there are many ways to play a b min chord that are beginner friendly.

The charts below show you alternatives to the B min chord based on how many fingers they require.

4 Finger

This method is very similar to the barre, except we simply don’t play the high E string. It is still considered a B min chord!

B Min 4 Fingers

3 Finger

This is the chord shape we learn when learning triads on guitar, however this particular voicing is not commonly used in music.

B Minor 3 Finger

2 Finger

This voicing only requires barring the top 3 strings. It is a lot easier to play and is liked for its higher pitched sound.

B Min 2 Finger

Theory Breakdown

So now you know how to play a B min chord, but understanding what notes make up the chord is important for understanding music theory and the guitar’s fretboard.

B minor consists of the notes B D and F#. From B to D is a minor third and from B to F# is a perfect fifth. That makes a minor triad.

As long as you hit those 3 notes, you are playing a b min chord! Can you find all the ways to play a B minor chord on the guitar?

piano & standard notation

Difference Between Minor & Major

The main difference between a minor chord and a major chord is that the minor chord has a flat 3rd. Let’s compare the chords Bmin and B Maj.

B min: 
B D F#

B Maj:
B D# F#

As you can see, the D is the 3rd of the chord, and in B min it is one half step lower than the B Major chord. Practice making your B minor chords major by raising the D note by one fret. Can you hear the difference?

Major chords sound happy when compared to minor chords. Which do you like the sound of better?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are all the guitar chords in B minor scale?

The Diatonic Chords in minor are as follows:

 i ii° III iv V VI vii°

When we apply this formula to the key of B Minor, we get these chords:

Bm Cdim DMaj Em FMaj GMaj Adim

These are all the chords of the B minor scale. Challenge yourself to play all of the chords in the key of B minor.

What is the Key Signature of B Minor scale?

The Key signature of the B minor scale is F# and C#. The notes of the B natural minor scale are as follows:

B C# D E F# G A B

Is there an alternative chord for B minor?

If playing B minor is too difficult for you, instead of trying to play a different chord entirely, you should instead look for alternative ways to play B minor that are easier, and best suit the context of the song you are playing.

What is B Minor Known For?

B minor was popular in classical era, being used by the composers Bach, Brahms, and Chopin in their seminal compositions.

What Is The B Minor Chord Triad?

A B min triad i any chord that is made up of the notes B, D, and F#. If you doubled any of these chord tones to add depth to your chord, it would still be considered a triad. When you double up on chord tones, you are creating different voicings.

Related: Guitar Chords F Major 7, Guitar Chords C#, Guitar Chords F#, Guitar Chords Em 7 

Conclusion

The notes of the B minor chord are B D and F#. B minor is commonly played as a barre chord shape.

Learning your barre chords is essential for understanding how the guitar works. The shape can be used all over the neck once learned.

For beginners the B minor chord may seem daunting, but it is not as difficult as it seems.

Practicing barring the fretboard with your index finger on every fret can help you get an idea of how to play barre chords and develop your index fingers strength.

Despite its difficulty, there are easy alternatives provided to help you get playing the B minor Chord right away.

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