How to Play an E Minor Chord on Acoustic Guitar

The E minor chord (Em) is one of the first chords I teacher guitar students to play. The reason I do this is because it only uses two fingers and can be played in a number of configurations for comfort. I prefer to play the Em chord in a specific way because it creates pivot points but uynderstand there are other alternatives.

Below I will show you three different ways to play an Em chord and you can decide which works better for you. You can also watch my entire YouTube video below for a more detailed demonstration of each.

E Minor Chord - Version 1

This is how I play the majority of my Em chords in songs. I really like using fingers 1 & 2 because it allows for pivot points when changing between the G and C chords.

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E Minor Chord - Version 2

This is also a very common way to play an Em chord and many students find it more comfortable. This version uses fingers 2 and 3 VS 1 and 2. I do use this version a lot when I am coming from an Am chord as the 2nd and 3rd fingers are already in the second fret. You can see that in the chord diagrams below.

E Minor Chord - Version 3

This is probably the version I use the least, but it’s actually a great option if you are playing a lot of barre chords. For example, going from a G barre chord to this Em is as easy as sliding your finger back and forward.

Whether you decide to play your Em chord as Version 1 or Version 2 is entirely up to you and your comfort level. There is no right or wrong answer here as everyone’s hand is built differently. Pick whichever one works best for you.

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