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What is the B Minor chord?
The B Minor chord, usually abbreviated as “Bm” or “Bmin”, is a three note chord (triad) containing the notes B, D, and F#.
It’s most commonly derived from and used with chords and notes from the E minor scale.
Why the B minor chord is hard
The B minor chord is hard because it’s played with a barre and 4 fingers. Keep in mind that this is only one way to play the chord, though!
You’ll learn the hard/common version of the chord, and you’ll learn some easier and different versions as well!
Songs that use B minor
Seeing that the B Minor chord is found in some very common keys, it tends to show up in a lot of popular songs. Let’s look at some of them.
B minor can be found in plenty of rock songs both old and new!
I first learned how to play the B Minor chord from the songs Kryptonite, by 3 Doors Down.
Reptilia by the strokes is another absolutely rocking song that uses B Minor !
D Major is a very popular key, and B Minor is the 6th chord in the D Major scale, which makes it common in pop songs in D Major.
The song that makes the best use of the B Minor chord in modern pop is Despacito. It’s actually a pretty fun song to play! Check out the tabs here.
How to play the B Minor barre shape (most common)
The most commonly used B Minor chord is it’s 2nd fret barre shape. You can think of it as being based off of the open A minor chord chape.
Let’s take a look.
You play this shape with all four fingers on your fretting hand.
You’ll use your index finger to barre the 2nd frets of the A and high E strings, and remember to focus your barre on those 2 strings alone!
You’ll use fingers 2, 3, and 4 to play the rest of the chord. Just think of it like an open A minor shape moved up two frets, and that will make it easier to remember.
Barre shape two
The second B Minor barre shape is based off of the Open E Minor shape.
Let’s take a look.
This shape is based off of the open E minor chord.
It’s arguably the least used B minor shape. I rarely use it myself.
However, knowing and understanding this position of the chord will open up more possibilities for lead guitar and composition.
That applies to all other B Minor Chord shapes, and to chords in general. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to harmony!
How to play the B Minor chord without barring
There are so many different ways to play the B minor chord, and a good majority of them involve no barring at all.
At the end of the day, you can play a B minor chord anywhere by taking the notes B, D, and F# and placing them where you want.
Putting experimentation aside, you’re going to look at some of the more popular shapes without barring.
Best beginner bm shape
Remember the most common B minor shape? Well let’s remove two of the lower notes.
The result is this:
Even though we removed the 2 original notes that were on strings A and D, the fundamental notes still remain!
Finger 3 plays B, finger 2 plays D, and finger 1 plays F#.
This chord doesn’t sound as “big” or “full” as the barre shape, but it gets the job done.
Easier B Minor Shape
This shape is just like the one above, except we add an extra F# note to the chord.
Luckily it’s not a barre, though!
This chord is easy to graduate to if you’ve already gotten down the 3 string shape from earlier.
What scales can I play over a B Minor backing track?
There are several scales that work over a B Minor backing track. These 5 are my personal favorites, though.
- B Natural Minor (Aeolian)
- B Dorian
- B Phrygian
- B Harmonic Minor
- B Minor Pentatonic
What is the difference between Bm and Bm7? (B Minor and B Minor 7)
The difference between B Minor and B Minor 7 is the addition of the “A” note in B Minor 7, which is the flattened 7th.
B Minor Chord Summary
Now that you have an understanding of the B minor chord, try it out!
Start with the 3 note shape if you’re a beginner.
Practice the barre shape if you’re working towards leveling up in your guitar playing.
Learn a couple of songs that use the B minor chord if you want to apply it!
Lastly, rock on, and remember to have fun!