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C Minor Chord (Cm) on Guitar, Piano and Ukulele – How to Play it

The C minor chord (Cm) is built from a root note (C), a minor third (E♭), and perfect fifth (G):

  • Type: minor triad.
  • Formule: 1 ♭3 5.
  • Music notes: C (1) E♭ (♭3) G (5).
  • Chords to play with: iv (Fm) y v (Gm).
Cm chord pentagram staff stave

Cm chord [Musical explanation]

The B minor chord is a minor triad with formula 1 – ♭3 – 5. Therefore, to build it we need C (1), E♭ (♭3) and G (5):

what notes are in the Cm chord

This is due to the fact that a minor chord is made up of 2 third intervals:

  • A minor interval (3 half steps between the 3rd and root).
  • A major interval (4 half steps between the 5th and 3rd).

If we apply this principle to the Cm chord we obtain that:

  • E♭ is the minor third of C because it is 3 half steps above the root.
  • G is the perfect fifth of E♭ because it is 4 half steps above the 3rd.

Thus, this confirms that B minor chord is defined by:

Root (C) – Minor Third (E♭) – Perfect Fifth (G)

Cm Guitar Chord

The Cm chord guitar has the following shape on the fretboard:

how to play Cm on guitar

Let’s analyze in detail this chord diagram above to make sure that we understand how to play the Cm on guitar:

C minor guitar chord
Bm guitar diagram

Let’s start by analyzing the 3 circles in blue, which indicate that on the strings 4 (D), 3 (G) and 2 (B) we have to place the fingers 3 (ring finger), 4 (pinky) and 2 (middle). In this case we need to play a barre chord, so we have to use as well the index finger (1) to press down the strings from 5 to 1.

Note by the way the number 3 in black on the left that indicates on which fret we start playing the chord.

On the other hand, at the top we see that we have the characters:

C  G  C  E♭ G

This simply means that in the:

  • Sixth string there is no sound.
  • Fifth string sounds the C note.
  • Fourth string sounds the G note.
  • Third string sounds the C note.
  • Second string sounds the E♭ note.
  • First string sounds the G note.

And at the bottom we find the numbers:

1  5  1  ♭3  5

This indicates that in the:

  • Sixth string There is no number because there is no sound.
  • Fifth string sounds the root (1).
  • Fourth string sounds the perfect fifth (5).
  • Third string sounds the root (1).
  • Second string sounds the minor third (♭3).
  • First string sounds the perfect fifth (5).

⚠️ Important: it is not mandatory to memorize all this information to play the Cm chord on guitar. But it is highly recommended to know it in order to understand the musical theory behind each chord.

Other ways to play the Cm guitar chord

In addition to the diagram shown at the beginning of the article, we can also find the Cm chord in the following fretboard positions:

C minor chord guitar

C minor triad chords and inversions

Triads

C minor guitar triad chord

First Inversion (Cm/E♭)

Cm guitar chord second inversion CmG

Second Inversion (Cm/G)

Cm guitar chord second inversion CmEb

What chords are in C minor?

The C minor scale harmonized results on the following chords:

Cm (I) – Dº (iiº) – E♭ (III) – Fm (iv) – Gm (v) – A♭ (VI) – b♭ (VII)

C minor scale harmonized

Cm Ukulele Chord

Here you can see as well the Cm uke chord diagram:

Cm ukulele
Bm on ukulele

Cm Piano Chord

To play the Cm chord on piano we only need to find the same music notes on its keys:

Cm piano chord
Bm piano

First Inversion (Cm/E♭)

Cm piano chord 1st inversion CmEb

Second Inversión (Cm/G)

Cm piano chord 2nd inversion. CmG

Music scales in which the C minor chord can be found

  • A# major scale (harmonized with triads)
    • A# Cm Dm D# F Gm Adim
  • G# major scale (harmonized with triads)
    • G# A#m Cm C# D# Fm Gdim
  • D# major scale (harmonized with triads)
    • D# Fm Gm G# A# Cm Ddim
  • C natural minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • Cm Ddim E♭ Fm Gm A♭ B♭
  • F natural minor scale (harmonized with triads
    • Fm Gdim A♭ B♭m Cm Db E♭
  • G natural minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • Gm Adim B♭ Cm Dm E♭ F
  • C harmonic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • Cm Ddim E♭aug Fm G A♭ Bdim
  • G harmonic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • Gm Adim B♭aug Cm D E♭ G♭dim
  • C melodic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • Cm Dm E♭aug F G Adim Bdim
  • A# melodic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
    • A#m Cm D♭aug D# F Gdim Adim

C Minor Chord PDF

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