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Fm Chord, How to Play the F Minor Guitar Chord

The Fm chord may not often appear in popular songs, but it provides a clear, dark, and dynamic sound. Even though there aren’t as many alternative voicings to Fm as other major and minor chords, it is still crucial for any guitarist to know.

How to Play F Minor on Guitar

The Fm chord has three notes that compose its pensive sound: F, Ab, and C. The standard method of playing it requires a barre chord, and it poses great difficulty for beginners.

f minor guitar chord chart with barre on first fret showing primary way to play fmPin
  • Index finger: bar it over all the strings on the first fret
  • Middle finger: place it on the 5th (A) string on the 4th fret.
  • Ring finger: place it over the 4th (D) string on the 4th fret.

With this technique, you can strum each string. This standard fingering requires a lot of practice to master, so don’t worry if you can’t get it the first time.

Another easy one: B7 chord on guitar

Easier Barre Chords

There are three easy barre chords you can practice for F minor. The first method requires a strong index finger. You can strum every string with this variation.

Pin
  • Index finger: bar all every string on the 1st fret
  • Middle finger: set it on the 5th (A) string on the 3rd fret
  • Ring finger: put it on the 4th (D) string on the 4th fret

For those with smaller fingers, you can try a less complicated barre chord. This method is an alternative to the full sound, and since you are not pressing down on the 5th (A) and 6th (low E) strings, you must avoid strumming them. Instead, strum four down starting at the 4th (D) string.

Pin
  • Index finger: bar the 1st (E), 2nd (B), and 3rd (G) strings on the 1st fret
  • Ring finger: place it on the 4th (D) string on the 3rd fret

The third alternative barre chord has a more interesting sound that works well in funk and jazz guitar

Pin
  • Index finger: bar it over the 1st (E), 2nd (B), and 3rd (G) strings on the 13th fret.
  • Strum just the first three strings

You can place the above formation on the 1st fret, but it creates a weaker sound. Putting them on the 13th fret has a unique quality that you can work with until you develop your skills to play the full Fm chord.

Next barre: Challenging F major chord

Non-Barre F Minors

If you cannot barre whatsoever, you can try these two variations until you build the finger strength to handle a barre chord. The first method requires you to strum only the 3rd (G), 4th (D), and 5th (A) strings.

Pin
  • Index finger: put it on the 3rd (G) string on the 5th fret
  • Middle finger: press the 4th (D) string on the 6th fret
  • Pinky finger: set it on the 5th (A) string on the 8th fret

The other technique requires you to space your fingers out even further. It would be best if you muted the 2nd (B), 3rd (G), and 6th (low E) strings for this method.

Pin
  • Index finger: place it on the 4th (D) string on the 6th fret
  • Ring finger: touch the 5th (A) string on the 8th fret
  • Pinky finger: press the 1st (E) string on the 8th fret

While these voicings do not feature barring, they do use tricky finger maneuvers that could stump beginners. Also, you cannot strum every string for the chord to sound like F minor.

Next chord: E flat minor (Ebm)

More Complex Barre Chords

If you are up for a challenge, you may want to try some twists on the first alternative. You can strum every string with this version.

Pin
  • Index finger: bar all of the strings on the 1st fret
  • Middle finger: set it on the 5th (A) string on the 3rd fret
  • Ring finger: put it on the 4th (D) string on the 3rd fret
  • Pinky finger: place it on the 1st (E) string on the 4th fret

For another sound, you can switch over to the 8th fret. This version still lets you strum each string.

Pin
  • Index finger: bar every string on the 8th fret
  • Middle finger: put it on the 2nd (B) string on the 9th fret
  • Ring finger: place it on the 4th (D) string on the 10th fret
  • Pinky finger: press the 3rd (G) string on the 10th fret

To make many of these voicings sound more “minor,” you can strum down starting from the 4th (D) string, too.

Also try: The barre on B major

Popular Songs Using F Minor

Many pop songs featuring Fm have a vulnerable side to them. For example, the Diana Ross and the Supremes song “Stop! In the Name of Love” is danceable with a deeper meaning. The Pixies also used the Fm chord to create a distressed sound in “Where Is My Mind?”

However, some musicians capitalize on the chord’s passion, like Madness’s “Our House,” an upbeat song with no apparent dark meaning.

More chords to try:

C#m (C sharp minor)

Eb (E flat major) on guitar

Dm (D minor chord) on guitar

F sharp guitar chord

Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Liam F. Admin