The No-Fingers E Minor Chord

Now let's check out what's arguably the easiest chord you can play on the guitar. We'll just play the top 3 strings of the guitar, so our G B an E strings. Goodbye Eddie!

Hear how pretty that sounds? This is called an E minor chord and it's an extremely common chord. The term minor refers to a type of chord that sounds quite sad to most of us. You'll learn much more about all that later on.

I'm just strumming with my thumb, but of course you can use any of your fingers or even a pick if you're already using that. Just make sure you start on the G-string and go gently towards the floor from there. You can also play the notes one at a time. That sounds nice too!

Anders Mouridsen
Instructor Anders Mouridsen
Styles:
Any Style
Difficulty:
The No-Fingers E Minor Chord song notation

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Questions & Answers

I'm just starting out but what I don't understand is, when I am using the hand to strum the chords GBE, what should be happening with the other hand, should it be anywhere on the guitar? 5 months ago
Josh Workman 5 months ago

Hi John, good question. You'll notice that Anders is using his thumb and middle finger to mute the bottom three strings, since they will naturally vibrate and right now you only want the top three strings ringing out. Experiment with different fingers and see what is most comfortable for you to gently touch the low strings to mute them while being careful not to press down hard enough for a note to sound.

I don't understand the one finger E minor or the G chord. It seems like your not actually playing an E- minor or a G chord. The E minor chord is a two finger chord and the G chord is a 3 finger chord. How does using 1 finger make that a chord? 6 months ago
Josh Workman 6 months ago

Hi, and thanks for the great question! The reason the "no-fingers" E minor chord works is because the notes E G and B in any combination spell out E minor, since E is the root, G is the minor 3rd and B is the Perfect 5th. The "one finger" G is slightly different, since it has two Gs and one B. While this isn't technically a full G major triad, since D (the 5th) isn't present, it's very common to leave out the 5th and all you need are the root and 3rd (in this case the major 3rd, B) to determine whether it's major or minor. If you haven't gotten into theory yet, maybe check out this chord theory tutorial: https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial/148 I hope this helps a bit!