Welcome to the newest installment of Chord by Chord, a series created to develop your understanding of harmony and the fretboard. In the last lesson, I taught a brand-new chord type, the significant ninth, and this time I’ll be introducing another new type, the small seventh, commonly abbreviated as m7.

How to Play Am7, Em7, and Dm7 | Chord by Chord

The Work

You must currently know that a minor triad is made of 3 notes: the root, the minor third, and the fifth. Example 1 shows the notes in an A small chord (A C E). To make it a minor seventh chord, just add the small seventh (in this case, G), as revealed in Example 2).

Example 3 reveals how to go from Am to Am7 utilizing open chords– all you have to do is raise your ring finger from the Am shape. To get to Am7 from Am utilizing barre chords, see Example 4a. For a tighter jazzier variation of that fifth-position Am7, try the shape in Example 4b. Note that you could play this voicing as composed, but I choose to utilize my very first, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers, lowest note to greatest. And, feel complimentary to leave out the note on the second string.

Now let’s carry on to the Em7 chord. Example 5a shows how to get to Em7 from Em utilizing open chords– just eliminate your third finger from the Em shape. (Note that in the video, I utilize my very first and second fingers for the Em, instead of second and third as notated.) For 2 typical variations on the open Em7 chord, see Example 5b. Example 6 reveals how to form Em7 as a seventh-position barre chord; all you need to do is eliminate your 4th finger from the Em shape.

Next try going from Dm to Dm7 in employment opportunity (Example 7). After that, relocate to the 5th position (Example 8)– the same as you did for Em/Em7 barre chords, but 2 stresses lower. End this lesson with D and Dm7 in tenth position (Example 9), or similar to Ex. 4a, but five stresses higher.

The Outcome

You need to be able to make numerous A, E, and Dm7 shapes from their minor-triad counterparts. Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” is an exceptional example of a song making usage of an open Am7 chord. Practice those minor seventh voicings till next time, when we’ll proceed to dominant ninth chords.