The E minor chord (Em) is built from a root note (E), a minor third (G), and perfect fifth (B):
- Type: minor triad.
- Formule: 1 ♭3 5.
- Music notes: E (1) G (♭3) B (5).
- Chords to play with: iv (Am) y v (Bm).
Em chord [Musical explanation]
The E minor chord is a minor triad with formula 1 – ♭3 – 5. Therefore, to build it we need E (1), G (♭3) and B (5):
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 Em chord we obtain that:
- G is the minor third of E because it is 3 half steps above the root.
- B is the perfect fifth of E because it is 4 half steps above the 3rd.
Thus, this confirms that E minor chord is defined by:
Root (E) – Minor Third (G) – Perfect Fifth (B)
Em Guitar Chord
The Em 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 Em on guitar:
Let’s start by analyzing the 2 circles in blue, which indicate that on the strings 5 (A) and 4 (D) we have to place the fingers 2 (middle) and 3 (ring finger). We can use as well the finger 1 and two, but I do not recomend it,
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:
E B E G B E
This simply means that in the:
- Sixth string sounds the E note.
- Fifth string sounds the B note.
- Fourth string sounds the E note.
- Third string sounds the G note.
- Second string sounds the B note.
- First string sounds the E note.
And at the bottom we find the numbers:
1 5 1 ♭3 5 1
This indicates that in the:
- Sixth string sounds the root (1).
- Fifth string sounds the perfect fifth (5).
- Fourth string sounds the root (1).
- Third string sounds the perfect fifth (5).
- Second string sounds the minor third (♭3).
- First string sounds the root (1).
⚠️ Important: it is not mandatory to memorize all this information to play the Em 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 Em guitar chord
In addition to the diagram shown at the beginning of the article, we can also find the Em chord in the following fretboard positions:
E minor triad chords and inversions
First Inversion (Em/F)
Second Inversion (Em/A)
What chords are in E minor?
The E minor scale harmonized results on the following chords:
Em (I) – F#º (iiº) – G (III) – Am (iv) – Bm (v) – C (VI) – D (VII)
Em Ukulele Chord
Here you can see as well the Em uke chord diagram:
Em Piano Chord
To play the Em chord on piano we only need to find the same music notes on its keys:
First Inversion (Em/G)
Second Inversión (Em/B)
Music scales in which the E minor chord can be found
- D major scale (harmonized with triads)
- D Em G♭m G A Bm D♭dim
- C major scale (harmonized with triads)
- C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
- G major scale (harmonized with triads)
- G Am Bm C D Em G♭dim
- E natural minor scale (harmonized with triads)
- Em G♭dim G Am Bm C D
- B natural minor scale (harmonized with triads
- Bm D♭dim D Em G♭m G A
- A natural minor scale (harmonized with triads)
- Am Bdim C Dm Em F G
- E harmonic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
- Em G♭dim Gaug Am B C E♭dim
- B harmonic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
- Bm D♭dim Daug Em F# G B♭dim
- E melodic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
- Em G♭m Gaug A B D♭dim E♭dim
- D melodic minor scale (harmonized with triads)
- Dm Em Faug G A Bdim D♭dim
E Minor Chord PDF
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