The E minor chord is one of the most popular chords across many different genres. The open Em chord is one of the first chords most guitarists learn. Unlike other basic open chords, the Em chord uses all of the open strings, which makes it a good test chord for practising stunning patterns.  

The open Em chord also contains 4 open strings, so it is arguably the most ‘open’ chord of all of the basic guitar chords. As well as this, the lowest possible note on the guitar (with standard tuning) is the low E, played as the open 6th string. This can give the impression of Em (or E) being a sort of ‘home’ chord.

The open Em chord also fits well with other open chords, such as G, Am, C and F. Many songs have been written using these few chords.  

The most common bar chord version of e minor is the root 5 version on the 7th fret.  

Some Quick Em Chord Theory

  • The E minor chord contains the notes E, G and B.
  • The E minor chord is produced by playing the 1st (root), flat 3rd and 5th notes of the E Major scale.
  • The E minor chord (just like all minor chords) contains the following intervals (from the root note): minor 3rd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th (back to the root note).
  • E minor is the relative minor of G Major.
  • E minor is the first chord in the key of E minor. The seven chords in the key of E minor are: Em, F# diminished, G+, Am, B, C, D# diminished

10 Ways To Play The E Minor Chord

If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for Em, here they are.

E Minor Chord - 10 Shapes

Further Reading