Learn how to play the Am7 guitar chord with this simple, but complete guide. You’ll learn the basics of the Am7 chord, as well as some tips and tricks for using it.
What is the Am7 guitar chord?
The Am7 guitar chord is a commonly used, more emotional alternative to a standard A minor chord.
You can find it being used in a variety of popular keys, which you’ll learn about later in the lesson.
A Minor 7th/ Am7/ Amin7
There are 3 common ways to write out an A Minor Seventh chord:
- A Minor 7th
In jazz it is often written as A-7.
Notes in A minor 7
The notes in an A minor 7th chord are A-C-E-G.
Relative to the root note, A, this gives you the interval structure Root (1)-b3-5-b7
You can think of this chord like an A minor triad with an additional G note, or like a C major triad with an additional A note.
How to play the Am7 guitar chord
Here you’ll learn how to play some popular Am7 guitar chord shapes.
The numbers on the chord charts show the finger positions for your fretting hand.
Open Am7 guitar chord
Know how to play your A minor chord? If so, then all you need to do is play that chord, remove your 3rd finger from the G string, and you’ll have the open Am7 chord shape!
Am7 guitar chord (barre shape)
This Am7 barre shape can be viewed as being derived from an Em7 barre shape.
Am7 guitar chord (Dm7 shape)
This Am7 shape can be looked at as a transposed Dm7 shape.
It’s root note is on the D string, the bass note, which makes it easy to use.
Incorporating the Am7 guitar chord
Now you’ll look at how to incorporate these new Am7 chord shapes into your own playing!
Keys with the Am7 chord
The Am7 chord is found in the keys of A Minor, D Minor, and E Minor.
All 3 of these keys are extremely common in all popular genres of music.
Key of A Minor
A Minor Relative = C Major
The Am7 chord can be used as the 1 chord (i) in the key of A minor, or the 6 chord (vi) in the key of C major.
Key of D Minor
D Minor Relative = F Major
The Am7 chord can be used as the 5 chord (v) in the key of D minor, or the 3 chord (iii) in the key of F major.
Key of E Minor
E Minor Relative = G Major
The Am7 chord can be used as the 4 chord (iv) in the key of E minor, or the 2 chord (ii) in the key of G major.
Use Am7 instead of Amin
You can use Am7 instead of Amin if it complements the music.
Whether or not Am7 will complement the music is determined by you, the genre of music, and the overall musical context.
Am7 guitar chord summary
The Am7 guitar chord is arguably the most common minor 7th chord on guitar, and is a common substitute for the A minor chord.
The most popular way to play an Am7 guitar chord is in the open position.
You can play an Am7 chord anywhere on the guitar neck by taking the notes A-C-E-G and putting them together.
The easiest way to apply the chord is by using it in a chord progression from a diatonic key.
Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.