What Is a Minor Chord?

Learn how to make the mysterious sounds of a minor chord.

The word minor might make a chord sound smaller or less important, but that’s not the case. The minor chord, along with the major chord, is one of the two most important types of chords in music. The sound of the minor chord is usually described as sad.

Let’s look at how to build a minor chord.

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To find a minor chord, start by building a major chord. Do this by identifying the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes in the scale. To get a minor chord, simply move the 3rd note down the fretboard by a half step, by one fret.

For example, in the C major scale, the notes are C, E and G. After finding these notes, simply move the 3rd note (the E) down by one fret. This note is called a lowered or flat third (♭3). The E note now becomes an E♭ in the minor chord.


Notice that the octave (the 8th note) is also part of the chord. Any of the notes C, E♭ and G can be played in any octave on the guitar and it will still be called a C minor chord.

In order to find notes of other minor chords, you will need to know the notes for more scales and remember that the minor chord is the 1, ♭3 and 5th notes of those major scales. To learn more about chords, browse Fender Play's chord library, discover other chord types, and find tips on how to master them..

Learn more about the A minor chord in this video and click here to start your free 30-day trial of Fender Play.