Want to learn how to play chords? Check out this step-by-step guide to learning the A minor chord in all its different forms!
Chords can be daunting. At first, they seem like a complex subject, with so many notes in different combinations. But don’t stress—- music theory has simple tools for understanding and creating chords. This short article will break down the A minor chord to help you get to know the ropes.
Understanding Chords: Inversions.
When you play a combination of two or more notes simultaneously, this is a chord. The most basic chord is a triad that has three notes.
A major chord is when you take the first, third, and fifth notes of a major scale and play them together. It comprises two intervals, a major third and then a minor third.
You also build a minor chord from the first, third, and fifth notes of a major scale, but the third is flat (lower by a semitone). A minor chord comprises the same two intervals but in the reverse order—first a minor third and then a major third.
When you change the order of these notes, this is an inversion. You can play triads in three positions:
Root position: 1, 3, 5.
First inversion: 3, 5, 1.
Second inversion: 5, 1, 3.
For more information about chords and inversions, check this out.
How to make an A minor chord.
The major scale is the best place to start understanding the minor chord. For A minor, let’s start from the A major scale.
Now take the first, third, and fifth degrees of the scale to make an A major chord:
To make this chord minor, flatten the third degree of the scale (which is the second note of the chord). This is an A minor chord in root position:
A minor: First inversion.
Remember, the first inversion is when you play the chord in the following order:
3, 5, 1.
A minor: Second inversion.
The second inversion is when you play the chord in the following order:
5, 1, 3.
Advanced tip: The relative major.
All the notes are one big family, and every major chord has a relative minor chord. You can figure this out by looking at the major scale. The sixth degree of any major scale is the relative minor.
For example, A is the sixth degree of the C major scale, meaning that A minor is the relative minor of C major.
You can see that they share two out of three notes:
|1||3 or b3||5|
|C major chord||C||E||G|
|A minor chord||A||C||E|
Popular songs with A minor.
Want to learn some popular songs which use the A minor chord? Check these out:
- Hurt by Johhny Cash.
- Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.
- Losing My Religion by R.E.M.
- Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
- Save Tonight by Eagle-Eye-Cherry.
Keep it up!
Don’t let the trickiness of chords get you down! Keep practicing and playing, and you will master them in no time. For interactive guidance in playing A minor and many other chords, download the SimplyPiano app!