The C minor 7th chord (Cm7) is built from a root note (C), a minor third (E♭), a perfect fifth (G) and a minor seventh (B♭):
- Type: tetrad.
- Formule: 1 ♭3 5 ♭7.
- Music notes: C (1) E♭ (♭3) G (5) B♭ (♭7).
- Chords to play with: v (Gm7).
Cm7 chord [Musical explanation]
The C minor seventh chord is a tetrad with formula 1 – ♭3 – 5 – ♭7. Therefore, to build it we need C (1), E♭ (♭3), G (5) and B♭ (♭7):
This is due to the fact that a minor seventh chord is made up of 3 third intervals:
- A minor interval (3 half steps between the 3rd and root).
- A major inteval (4 half steps between the 5th and 3rd).
- A minor inteval (3 half steps between the 7th and 5th).
If we apply this principle to the Cm7 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 C because it is 4 half steps above the 3rd.
- B♭ is the minor seventh of C because it is 3 half steps above the 5th.
Thus, this confirms that C minor seventh chord is defined by:
Root (C) – Minor Third (E♭) – Perfect Fifth (G) – Minor Seventh (B♭)
To sum up, in order to build the Cm7 chord we need to add the minor seventh (flat 7th) to the C minor chord.
Cm7 Guitar Chord
The Cm7 chord guitar has the following shape on the fretboard:
Let’s analyze in detail this chord diagram above to make sure that we understand how to play the Cm7 on guitar.
Let’s start by analyzing the 2 circles in blue, which indicate that on the strings 5 (A), 4 (D), 3 (G) and 2 (B) we have to place the fingers 2 (middle), 1 (index), 3 (ring) and 4 (pinky).
Note by the way the number 1 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:
X C E♭ B♭ E♭ X
This simply means that in the:
- Sixth string there is no sound.
- Fifth string sounds the C note.
- Fourth string sounds the E♭ note.
- Third string sounds the B♭ note.
- Second string sounds the E♭ note.
- First string there is no sound.
And at the bottom we find the numbers:
1 ♭3 ♭7 ♭3
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 minor third (♭3).
- Third string sounds the minor seveth (♭7).
- Second string sounds the minor third (♭3).
- First string There is no number because there is no sound.
⚠️ Important: it is not mandatory to memorize all this information to play the Cm7 chord on guitar. But it is highly recommended to know it in order to understand the musical theory behind each chord.
You may have noticed that this Cmin7 chord does not include the perfect fifth because when playing tetrads, it is not that important. However, if you want to play it with the fifth, you can play it with the following figure:
Other ways to play the C minor 7 guitar chord
In addition to the diagram shown at the beginning of the article, we can also find the Cm7 chord in the following fretboard positions:
Cm7 chord inversions
The 3 inversions of the C minor 7th chord are:
- First inversion: Cm7/E♭.
- Second inversion:Cm7/G.
- Third inversion: Cm7/B♭.
Cm7 Ukulele Chord
Here you can see as well the Cm7 uke chord diagram:
Cm7 Piano Chord
To play the Cm7 chord on piano we only need to find the same music notes on its keys:
First Inversion (Cm7/E♭)
Second Inversión (Cm7/G)
Third Inversión (Cm7/B♭)
Music scales in which the C minor 7th chord can be found
- A# major scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- A#maj7 Cm7 Dm7 D#maj7 F7 Gm7 Am7♭5
- G# major scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- G#maj7 A#m7 Cm7 C#maj7 D#7 Fm7 Gm7♭5
- D# major scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- D#maj7 Fm7 Gm7 G#maj7 A#7 Cm7 Dm7♭5
- C natural minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Cm7 Dm7b5 E♭maj7 Fm7 Gm7 A♭maj7 B♭7
- F natural minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Fm7 Gm7b5 A♭maj7 B♭m7 Cm7 D♭maj7 E♭7
- G natural minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Gm7 Am7b5 B♭maj7 Cm7 Dm7 E♭maj7 F7
- G harmonic minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Gm(maj7) Am7♭5 B♭maj7#5 Cm7 D7 E♭maj7 G♭dim7
- A# melodic minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- A#m(maj7) Cm7 D♭maj7#5 D#7 F7 Gdim7 Am7♭5
Cm7 Chord PDF
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