How to Play the D Minor Guitar Chord (2024)

The D minor chord (often written as Dm) is a chord that evokes a sense of melancholy and contemplation on the negative side of situations. Like many other minor chords, Dm can create a heavy, serious atmosphere -- and sometimes even creates an almost otherworldly sense of drama.

An example of how to play a minor chord above.

Playing the Dm Chord

The Dm guitar chord is a staple chord in the note catalog, which makes learning it pivotal to playing a wider song base. It also happens to be a fairly simple chord, so learning it is fairly straightforward.

The standard way to play the Dm chord starts on the 1st fret:

  • Place your index (or 1st finger) on the 1st fret of the first string (high E).

  • Then, place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the third (G) string.

  • Finally, place your ring finger (3rd finger) on the 3rd fret of the second (B) string.

  • When your fingers are positioned correctly, strum from the fourth (D) string down. Do not play the 5th (A) and 6th (low E) strings.

The D minor chord is a relatively easy chord to play, but it may still take some time for beginners to get used to since it involves stretching your fingers across three frets. If you’re just starting to play guitar, this is key chord to learn because it’s frequently found in songs of all genres.

Dm Open Position Chord (v1)

How to Play the D Minor Guitar Chord (1)

To play this version of the D minor chord using numerical notation, you’d use this pattern: x, x, 0, 2, 3, 1

There is also is a simpler way to play the Dm chord with only two fingers, however, it won’t sound as full as the open position Dm chord.

For the simplified version of the Dm chord (also known as the Dsus2 or D suspended chord), place your index (first) finger on the second fret of the 3rd (G) string. Then place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the second (B) string. Leaving the first and fourth strings open, strum down. Do not play the fifth (A) and six (low E) strings.

Dsus2 (suspended) Open Position Chord

  • E (low) – do not play

  • A – do not play

  • D – open play

  • G – index finger on 2nd fret

  • B – ring finger on 3rd fret

  • E (high) – open play

You would use the following numerical notation for this chord: x, x, 0, 2, 3, 0

How to Play the D Minor Guitar Chord (2)

What Notes Make Up the Dm Chord?

The Dm chord follows the triad note model of its fellow minor chords. It’s made up of three notes:

D, F and A

It’s often considered a melancholy chord, but due to its diverse use, the Dm chord is hard to pigeonhole to one specific emotion.

Don’t miss out!

Be the first to know about new products, featured content, exclusive offers and giveaways.

Songs That Use the Dm Chord

Pop Songs

The Weeknd’s smash hit, “In the Night,” blends a powerful driving percussion section with a softer, more anxious chord selection that shows the complexity and versatility of the Dm chord.

Not all songs that feature the Dm chord and other minor notes have to feel melancholy and apprehensive. shows just how catchy the Dm chord can be when accompanied with a catchy melody and horn section.

Folk/Blues Songs

Kaleo seamlessly juggles back and forth between blues-driven rock and ambient acoustic folk. This Icelandic band’s song, “All the Pretty Girls” falls into the latter category, using the Dm chord to provide a Bon Iver vibe to this acoustic gem.

Rock Songs

If there’s one thing that doesn’t need to be said, it’s Pink Floyd’s influence on the rock genre. And with one of their most well-known songs incorporating the Dm chord into that haunting choir refrain, “Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 2” is a prime example of the band’s lasting legacy.

The Beach Boys and minor chords may seem like opposites attracting on the musical spectrum, but the way this harmonizing surfer crew crafted an upbeat and catchy song in “Help me, Rhonda” with the more gloomy sounding Dm and Am chords is a testament to their musical prowess.

It can be said that the Dm chord is a serious sounding chord -- even pious in nature and tone. That notion is proven perfectly and sincerely in R.E.M.’s confessional track, “Losing My Religion”.

Who says adding a banjo automatically qualifies an artist as folk? is a modern folk/rock ode to the past, present and future counterparts of love where the Dm chords sets the tormented mood for what could have been and what will be.

Country Songs

Trisha Yearwood’s country 90s rock anthem “She’s in Love with the Boy” pits an irresistibly catchy chorus with an up-tempo verse. The result is a country classic that prominently features the Dm chord.

Now that you’re armed with a few ways to play the D minor chord, start playing it and learning some of the songs that make use of this versatile chord. With practice, you can expand your chord vocabulary and add new songs to your repertoire.

Now that you’re armed with a few ways to play the D minor chord, start playing it and learning some of the songs that make use of this versatile chord. If you'd like to learn how to play even more chords, browse Fender Play's chord library, learn about chord types, and find tips on how to master them.

If you’re brand new to the guitar, you can start with a free trial of Fender Play!

Loading...

How to Play the D Minor Guitar Chord (2024)

FAQs

How to Play the D Minor Guitar Chord? ›

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 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.

Is D minor chord difficult? ›

The D minor chord is one of those essential beginner chords you should learn early on in your guitar playing career. In terms of difficulty, it's right in the middle of the pack—not as easy as E minor but nowhere near as hard as F major or B major.

What are the 4 chords in D minor? ›

Chords In The Key Of D Minor
  • i – D minor, D minor seventh (Dmin, Dmin7)
  • iidim – E diminished, E minor seventh flat five (Edim, Em7b5)
  • III – F major, F major seventh (Fmaj, Fmaj7)
  • iv – G minor, G minor seventh (Gmin, Gmin7)
  • v – A minor, A minor seventh (Amin, Amin7)
  • VI – B flat major, B flat major seventh (Bbmaj, Bbmaj7)

What's similar to D minor? ›

For example, F major and D minor both have one flat in their key signature at B♭; therefore, D minor is the relative minor of F major, and conversely F major is the relative major of D minor.

What is the hardest chord to play on guitar? ›

The six-string F chord is one of the hardest standard chord shape to play on the guitar. When many people try to play the F chord on guitar (and often succeed), it's with far too much struggle and effort than is actually necessary. Even extremely influential guitarists can have a hard time with barre chords.

Why is it so hard to play the D chord on guitar? ›

The two biggest problems beginners have with the D chord are getting the shape confidently under your three fingers and muting the bottom two strings.

Why is D minor so hard to play? ›

The D minor chord is a relatively easy chord to play, but it may still take some time for beginners to get used to since it involves stretching your fingers across three frets. If you're just starting to play guitar, this is key chord to learn because it's frequently found in songs of all genres.

Is D minor the saddest chord? ›

It's the key, some people say, which often triggers immediate weeping. When we turn to the scholars over the centuries and ending in this one, among many musicologists, composers, songwriters, there is an ever-expanding consensus that D minor leads all others in its evocation of melancholy.

What does D minor look like? ›

The notes of the D Minor scale are D E F G A Bb C. It's key signature has 1 flat.

What 3 notes are in an D minor chord? ›

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

What is the easiest chord to learn first on guitar? ›

One of the easiest chords for beginners to learn is the C major chord. The full version of this open chord requires three fingers, but gives a clear, distinctive sound as it rings out when strummed.

What are 3 beginner chords for guitar? ›

And once you learn these chords you'll be able to use them immediately to play those songs. In this lesson, we're going to learn the G Major, C Major, and D Major guitar chords. By the end of this lesson you'll be playing a real song using these 3 chords!

What is the first chord in D minor? ›

To play the D minor chord in the first position: -Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the high E string. -Next place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the G String. -Last, position your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the B string.

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.

What chords are related to D minor? ›

The chords associated with the A minor scale are A minor, B diminished, C major, D minor, E minor, F major, G major. In other words, every note in the scale is associated with a chord. The chord structure for the minor scale is the same for all keys.

What major key is the same as D minor? ›

D minor is a minor scale based on D, consisting of the pitches D, E, F, G, A, B♭, and C. Its key signature has one flat. Its relative major is F major and its parallel major is D major.

How do you substitute minor chords? ›

The most widely used substitutes are iii and vi (in a Major key), which in this case would be the chords "E minor" and "A minor". This simple chord progression with tonic substitutes could become iii–ii–V–vi or, with chord names, "E minor–D minor–G Major–A minor".

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Last Updated:

Views: 6245

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Birthday: 1998-01-29

Address: Apt. 611 3357 Yong Plain, West Audra, IL 70053

Phone: +5819954278378

Job: Construction Director

Hobby: Embroidery, Creative writing, Shopping, Driving, Stand-up comedy, Coffee roasting, Scrapbooking

Introduction: My name is Dr. Pierre Goyette, I am a enchanting, powerful, jolly, rich, graceful, colorful, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.