D Guitar Chord | The 14 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) - Lessons.com (2024)

Written by

Dwight H.

Fact-checked by

Paul Mazzola

Dm Guitar Chord

In the world of guitar chords, D Minor (D, F, A) is one you might consider essential. It's usually part of that first batch of chords most guitarists learn, and if it's not, you can rest assured that they'll be picking it up shortly after when they encounter it in one of their favorite songs.

Learning this chord is critical to your development as a guitarist, so today, we're going to cover a few of the most common variants (including the barre chord version), along with some trickier voicings that will let you show off your chops. Let's begin!

How to Play D Minor Guitar Chord

We'll begin with the tried and true, open position variation that just about every guitarist can recall from memory:

D Guitar Chord | The 14 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) - Lessons.com (1)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st string/1st fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd string/2nd fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/3rd fret

  • Play string 4 open

  • Mute strings 5 and 6

Three strings, three fingers, essentially -- it's simplicity at its finest. One thing that tends to trip up beginners, however, is remembering to use that 2nd finger to cover the 3rd string (instead of the 2nd string, which is a natural reaction).

This is a straightforward problem to overcome, however. Just start slowly and train your 2nd finger to move to the 3rd string by repeatedly making your chord shape before you start playing.

After some time, muscle memory will take over, and you'll be nailing this chord voicing each and every time you go for it.

Dm Guitar Chord - Alternate

Next up, we'll cover another open position version of D Minor. This one, though, will take a bit more skill for you to pull off:

D Guitar Chord | The 14 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) - Lessons.com (2)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 3rd string/2nd fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 4th string/3rd fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 5th string/5th fret

  • Mute strings 1, 2, and 6

The challenge here is twofold. First, you've got to get your pinky finger in on the game, and stretch all the way up to the 5th fret to play that "D." Second, you've got to play precisely enough that you only hit strings 3, 4, and 5 while you're strumming, ignoring or muting your outside strings for the best sound.

The solutions to these challenges are simple, though. You'll have to start engaging your pinky more in your playing (if you haven't done so already) so that it's strong and nimble enough to stretch and press down on the strings for a decent-sounding chord.

As for the strumming issue, try practicing shorter strokes with your pick, using only your wrist so that you can control your movement and avoid the strings you shouldn't hit.

Dm Guitar Chord - Barre

Now that we have the open position voicings out of the way, let's take a look at how you can play D Minor as a barre chord:

D Guitar Chord | The 14 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) - Lessons.com (3)
  • Use your 1st finger to bar the strings at the 5th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/6th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string/7th fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/7th fret

  • Mute string 6

Get free estimates from guitar lessons near you.

Search

If you already have a good understanding of barre chords, picking up this voicing should be an easy task. If not, though, you might want to work on strengthening your index finger (which you'll use to make your bar), and taking a look at our tip guide on how to play barre chords right.

Dm Guitar Chord - Non-Barre #1

While you're up near the 5th fret, you also have two non-barre options for playing D Minor. Tread carefully, though, because these will also take some slick finger positioning and skillful strumming/muting to play:

D Guitar Chord | The 14 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) - Lessons.com (4)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th string/5th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 1st string/5th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd string/6th fret

  • Mute strings 3, 4, and 6

Dm Guitar Chord - Non-Barre #2

Get free estimates from guitar lessons near you.

Search

D Guitar Chord | The 14 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) - Lessons.com (5)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st string/5th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string/6th fret

  • Play string 4 open

  • Mute strings 3, 5, and 6

Dm Guitar Chord - 7th Fret Variant

Lastly, if you want a higher-pitched sound for your D Minor chord, we recommend trying this variant, which you'll find on the 7th fret:

D Guitar Chord | The 14 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) - Lessons.com (6)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 4th string/7th fret

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 5th string/8th fret

  • Place your 3rd finger on the 6th string/10th fret

  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd string/10th fret

Putting D Minor into Practice

Start by committing these D Minor chord voicings to memory, then pick up a few songs that prominently feature the chord and see how well you can play it on the fly. Afterwards, be sure to check out our complete library of chord variations, since there are even more versions of D Minor you can try on frets 8 and 10. As always, good luck, and happy practicing!

D Guitar Chord | The 14 Best Ways to Play (w/ Charts) - Lessons.com (2024)

FAQs

What is the alternative way to play the D chord on A guitar? ›

An Alternative Barre Chord Version
  • Index finger on the 5th fret of the A (5th) string.
  • Ring finger on the 7th fret of the D (4th) string.
  • Ring finger on the 7th fret of the G (3rd) string.
  • Ring finger on the 7th fret of the B (2nd) string.

How to play D on guitar easily? ›

Put your first finger on the second fret of the third string. Put your second finger on the second fret of the first string. Put your third finger on the third fret of the second string. Strum only the thinnest four strings.

What is the D chord triad? ›

The D major chord is a triad formed from a root (D), a major third (F♯) and a perfect fifth (A).

How do you play D chord on guitar without touching other strings? ›

How to Play Chords Clean
  1. Good Hand Positioning. Keep your thumb behind neck. ...
  2. "Curl" Your Fingers To Play The Notes. Use the tip of fingers to fret the notes. ...
  3. Keep Your Fingernails Short. Who knew that grooming would make you a better guitar player? ...
  4. Put Your Fingers Close To The Fret, But NOT On Top. ...
  5. Minimize The Angle.

How long does it take to learn D chord guitar? ›

For most people it takes around 2-4 weeks of regular practice to be able to nail this chord consistently.

Why does my D chord sound weird? ›

If it sounds bad to you, it is possible that you are playing notes not intended to be part of the D-Chords or your guitar is not properly intonated, such that one or more of the fretted strings are slightly out of tune (even if it is in tune when open string is played.)

How do guitarists change chords so fast? ›

Here are five tips for better chord changes:
  • Think Ahead. Know what chord comes next so you can prepare. ...
  • Stay Close to the Fretboard. Don't lift your fingers high off the fretboard. ...
  • Keep Moving. When playing live or with others, time doesn't stop. ...
  • Use Pivot Fingers. ...
  • Fingers Down at the Same Time.

How do you tune a D chord? ›

In open D tuning, your low E string will be taken down a whole step to D, A will stay the same, D will stay the same, G is lowered a half step to F#, B is lowered a whole step to A, and the high E goes down a whole step to D.

What makes a chord sound happy? ›

Although many factors influence the emotional valence of musical compositions, notably tempo, pitch range and volume, a direct comparison of major and minor chords – holding all other factors constant – produces consistent results indicating a negative affect for minor chords and a positive affect for major chords.

What emotion is the D major chord? ›

Typically songs in D major have a triumphal and confident feeling. These are Hallelujah songs, excited songs and songs about winning. Often marches and holiday songs are written in D major.

What is the D chord theory? ›

Theory of the D chord

The notes that the D chord consists of are D, F#, A. The main presented version (xx0232) includes a doubled root, a third and a fifth. To get D7 add C. To get Dmaj7 add C#.

What is the major 3rd in the D chord? ›

Equivalent chord symbols: D-5, F♯55, G♭55, F♯1+5, G♭1+5, G♭1+12. Notes in this chord: D, F♯.

What is the alternative to the D minor chord on A guitar? ›

A very simple alternative to the D minor guitar chord is to simply use a standard D chord. It's not ideal, but it's a quick-fix that's passable. Unlike other major/minor variants, you can actually use a D major in place of D minor without too much damage to the song. Give it a try.

What is the alternative way to play A chord? ›

A Chord Variations

Another way to play the A chord is to use just your index finger, like this: Index finger on the 2nd fret of the D (4th) string. Index finger on the 2nd fret of the G (3rd) string. Index finger on the 2nd fret of the B (2nd) string.

How do you substitute guitar chords? ›

The easiest kind of substitution is to swap a major chord with its relative minor, or a minor chord with its relative major. These pairs of chords are, as the names suggest, related: they have two of their three notes in common.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rubie Ullrich

Last Updated:

Views: 6249

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rubie Ullrich

Birthday: 1998-02-02

Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

Phone: +2202978377583

Job: Administration Engineer

Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.