Changing major chords to minor chords
To change a major chord into a minor chord we have to change the major third (3) of the chord into a minor third (m3).
E minor, A minor und D minor (Em, Am, Dm)
Sometimes you can find the third more than once in the chord shape - in this case we have to lower all the thirds by one fret (=half step) on the fingerboard.
By dragging the slider to the right you can now change the E major chord into an E minor chord. Check out the whole thing with displayed intervals or tones and watch carefully how the chord is changing.
The major third is located 4 half steps (= 2 whole steps) above the root tone.
The minor third is located 3 half steps (= 1 whole + 1 half step) above the root.
In the same way the A major chord changes into an A minor chord...
Every fret on the guitar represents a half step (semitone)
...and D major becomes D minor.
Major chords consist of the root (1), major third (3) and fifth (5)
Minor chords consist of the root (1), minor third (m3) and fifth (5)
C minor and G minor (Cm, Gm)
It's not that easy to change a C major or G major chord into a minor chord like before, because one of the thirds is always located on an open string (lesson "basic major chords"). So we have to play this completely different...
Now we have to make use of the so called barre chords. The first finger simulates the guitars nut respectively a capodaster by pressing several strings (not necessarily all) at once.
As a barre chord the G chord can be seen as an E major chord that has been moved up by three frets to G.
Based on the G major barre chord we can again change all major thirds (3) into minor thirds (m3) to get the Gm chord.
The C major barre chord can be seen as an A major chord that has been moved up by three frets to C.
Besides playing barre chords with the first finger it's not easy for everybody to play the D, G and B string at once with the third finger in the C major barre chord, so that every string rings and the high E string is not dampened. If this is also too difficult for you, just take the second (D string), third (G string) and fourth (B string) finger (like in the A major chord - see above).
Chord symbol writing
- A m behind the root tone represents "minor", e.g. Em, Am, Cm, C#m, Bm, Bbm, etc...
Instead of m you'll often find a minus sign, e.g. E-, A-, C-, C#-, B-, Bb-, etc...
Unusual for good reasons in modern music styles like pop, rock, jazz, etc. - but still used in some notations: small letters for minor chords, e.g. e, a, c, c#, b, bb, etc.