How to Play the B-Minor Chord on Guitar

Father helping son play guitar
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A full B-Minor chord (sometimes written without the space as Bminor) contains three distinct notes (some of which are repeated on guitar in different octaves) - B, D, and F#. Most chord shapes include all three of these notes, although technically the F# can be omitted.

The Basic B-Minor Chord Shape

bminor chord on guitar
a Bminor chord with root on the fifth string.

The shape shown above is generally the first B-Minor chord guitarists learn. It is a barre chord - meaning you use one finger to hold down more than one string.

  1. Take your first finger, and lay it across strings five through one on the second fret
  2. Place your third (ring) finger on the fourth fret of the fourth string
  3. Place your fourth (pinky) finger on the fourth fret of the third string
  4. Place your second (middle) finger on the third fret of the second string
  5. Strum the guitar chord, making sure you don't play the sixth string

Your first finger needs to hold down the second fret of both the fifth and first strings - this will be a challenge at first. If you're having a hard time getting strings five or one to ring out clearly, try "rolling back" your first finger slightly, so the knuckle on your first finger is pointing a little bit more towards the nut. Try holding down the chord shape and playing through each string one at a time, ensuring that all strings are ringing clearly.

Probably the best way to get comfortable playing this chord is to learn a few songs that use B minor. Follow the links below to get all the info you need to begin playing.

"Hotel California" - this Eagles song is in the key of B minor, so this will give you lots of practice.

An Easier Bminor Chord Shape

easy b minor chord on guitar

If you have tried the basic B minor barre chord, but are having a hard time getting it to sound okay, you can cheat a little and play this version. By avoiding the fifth string, you negate the need to barre the second fret entirely.

  1. Place your third (ring) finger on the fourth fret of the fourth string
  2. Place your fourth (pinky) finger on the fourth fret of the third string
  3. Place your second (middle) finger on the third fret of the second string
  4. Place your first (index) finger on the second fret of the first string
  5. Strum the guitar chord, making sure you don't play the sixth or fifth string