No matter where you go, everyone seems to avoid teaching you how to play a B chord on guitar like the plague, let alone a B minor 7 chord, am I right?
This is especially annoying when you go to play a song, and it says Bm7 on the chord sheet…
For me anyway, it led to a panic attack and running around the room screaming.
And whenever I asked someone if they could teach me it, they all just gave me a slightly suspicious, scowling look and turned away.
Only after threatening to snip someone’s guitar strings with my scissors did I finally get access to this cult knowledge.
To spare you from going through all that, today I’ll be going over the easy ways to play a B minor 7 chord on guitar with a nifty diagram for each one.
The Open Position B Minor 7 Chord
Just to put this into perspective, I didn’t even know this chord existed until this morning.
But it’s just a bog-standard chord really, so I’m surprised no-one ever teaches it.
And I don’t know why because it’s so darn useful!
So this is how you do it:
You can always use your index finger to play the root note instead if you feel like it.
However, it’s much easier to switch to other chords if you learn it this way.
Yeah, it’s kinda fiddly, but you’ll get used to it.
That’ll work for basic progressions, but if you want to play Bm7 in any situation, there’s a couple of other shapes you should know about…
The Bm7 Bar Chord – A Shape
The rest of the Bm7 shapes from now on are bar/barre chords, which you’re more likely to use in the long run.
So don’t skip ’em. Or else…
Anyway, here it is:
We call it the A shape because the shape is the same as an Am7 chord shifted up two frets.
If you don’t know how to bar yet, then this’ll be good practise of an invaluable skill.
You basically want to flatten the underside edge of your index finger across the strings so that it presses all the strings down at once.
It should look a little something like this:
Play every string to double-check that everything rings out clearly, and then you’ll be good to go.
It’ll take some time to build up strength and get used to bar chord shapes, but once you’ve learnt one, you’ve learnt them all.
This is a Bm7 chord because we use the B note on the 2nd fret of the A string as our root/bass note.
So if we shift the shape up to the D# note on the 6th fret of the A string and use this as the root note instead…
Then congratulations! You’ve just played a D#m7 chord.
That’s fundamentally how bar chords work, and if you learn how to play the E shape as well then you’ll be flying high.
The Bm7 Bar Chord – E Shape
Knowing the A shape bar chord is great, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could play a Bm7 bar chord higher up the neck as well?
So far, both the shapes we’ve learnt are way down on the 2nd fret.
So if we want to play an Em7 bar chord on the 7th fret on the A string, we’d have to jump up and down the fretboard the entire time.
It’s a long way to go and results in very messy chord progressions.
And that’s why we have E string shapes.
There’s a B note which we can use as our root note on the 7th fret of the E string.
If we learnt this shape, we wouldn’t even have to change fret to switch between the two chords.
Less movement = much cleaner chord changes.
So here it is:
That’s a nasty one. It’s gonna take a lot of strength to press that many strings down at once in the beginning.
So you can always use this one too:
It’s a bit of a weird shape to get used to, but will definitely be easier than the first one.
And once you’ve got one of those down, BAM!
You now know the three best ways to play a B minor 7 chord on guitar.
Wrapping it Up
You came here wanting to learn a Bm7 chord, but you got three!
AND, you learnt the fundamentals of bar chords too.
Wow, Sam! You’re the best!
Stoppp, you’re making me blush.
Anyway, now you can brag to your friends that you know how to play a Bm7 chord, and they don’t.
Relish it whilst you can…
Over and out!