The E minor 7th chord (Em7) is built from a root note (E), a minor third (G), a perfect fifth (B) and a minor seventh (D):
- Type: tetrad.
- Formule: 1 ♭3 5 ♭7.
- Music notes: E (1) G (♭3) B (5) D (♭7).
- Chords to play with: v (Bm7).
Em7 chord [Musical explanation]
The E minor seventh chord is a tetrad with formula 1 – ♭3 – 5 – ♭7. Therefore, to build it we need E (1), G (♭3), B (5) and D (♭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 Em7 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.
- D is the minor seventh of E because it is 3 half steps above the 5th.
Thus, this confirms that E minor seventh chord is defined by:
Root (E) – Minor Third (G) – Perfect Fifth (B) – Minor Seventh (D)
To sum up, in order to build the Em7 chord we need to add the minor seventh (flat 7th) to the E minor chord.
Em7 Guitar Chord
The Em7 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 Em7 on guitar.
Let’s start by analyzing the circle in blue, which indicates that on the string 5 (A) we have to place the finger 2 (middle). You can use the index finger as well.
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 D 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 D note.
- Third string sounds the G note.
- Second string sounds the B note.
- First stringsounds the E note.
And at the bottom we find the numbers:
1 5 ♭7 ♭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 minor seveth (♭7).
- Third string sounds the minor third (♭3).
- Second string sounds the perfect fifth (5).
- First string sounds the root (1).
⚠️ Important: it is not mandatory to memorize all this information to play the Em7 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 E minor 7 guitar chord
In addition to the diagram shown at the beginning of the article, we can also find the Em7 chord in the following fretboard positions:
Em7 chord inversions
The 3 inversions of the E minor 7th chord are:
- First inversion: Em7/G.
- Second inversion: Em7/B.
- Third inversion: Em7/D.
Em7 Ukulele Chord
Here you can see as well the Em7 uke chord diagram:
Em7 Piano Chord
To play the Em7 chord on piano we only need to find the same music notes on its keys:
First Inversion (Em7/G)
Second Inversión (Em7/B)
Third Inversión (Em7/D)
Music scales in which the E minor 7th chord can be found
- D major scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Dmaj7 Em7 G♭m7 Gmaj7 A7 Bm7 D♭m7♭5
- C major scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7♭5
- G major scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7 Em7 G♭m7♭5
- E natural minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Em7 G♭m7♭5 Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7
- B natural minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Bm7 D♭m7♭5 Dmaj7 Em7 G♭m7 Gmaj7 A7
- A natural minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Am7 Bm7♭5 Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7
- B harmonic minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Bm(maj7) D♭m7♭5 Dmaj7#5 Em7 G♭7 Gmaj7 B♭dim7
- D melodic minor scale (harmonized with 7th chords)
- Dm(maj7) Em7 Fmaj7#5 G7 A7 Bdim7 D♭m7♭5
Em7 Chord PDF
If you liked this lesson and want to download it in PDF click here below: