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HOW TO PLAY

C Minor

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From your perspective:

neck-unbounded Created with Sketch. 3 4 5 6 7

STEP BY STEP

How to play a C Minor chord on the guitar

  1. Make a barre with your first finger on the third fret.
  2. Put your second finger on the fourth fret of the second string.
  3. Put your third finger on the fifth fret of the fourth string.
  4. Put your fourth finger on the fifth fret of the third string.
  5. Strum only the highest five strings.

THEORY

C Minor is a minor triad, three notes stacked on top of one another. The root, a minor third, and a perfect fifth:

In addition to being the root of C Minor, it is also the vi chord of Eb Major.

Here are those notes on a piano keyboard:

Here is how those notes are actually distributed across your fretboard in this version of C Minor:

3456CGCEbG

HOW IT’S USED

You’ll frequently encounter Cm as the vi chord of Eb Major. Here is that classic I-V-vi-IV:

Eb
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Bb
Cm
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Ab
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In the key of C Minor itself, with a little respelling, those chords become the III, VII, i, and VI. You might see them arranged like so:

Cm
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Ab
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Eb
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Bb

Let’s get rid of those major chords, though. Moving from the diminished ii°, to the v, and back to the i:

Ddim7
Gm
Cm
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You can also play the dimished chord as ‘half-diminished’ seventh—a little gentler:

Dm7b5
Gm
Cm
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You might also see a i-iv-VII:

Cm
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Fm
Bb

SEE ALSO

Chords that frequently accompany Cm in the key of Eb Major:

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HOW TO PLAY
Eb Major
HOW TO PLAY
Bb Major

More important chords in the key of C Minor:

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HOW TO PLAY
Ab Major
HOW TO PLAY
F Minor
HOW TO PLAY
G Minor
HOW TO PLAY
D Minor