Instructor: Dwight H.
From big bands to rock ensembles, and even R&B groups, Dwight has played with them all. He's been teaching guitar for over 10 years. When teaching, he draws from his experience on stage, injecting the knowledge of what it takes to be a gigging musician into every lesson.

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 guitarist 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 minor Guitar Chord

  • 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 Minor Guitar Chord Alternate

  • 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 Minor Guitar Chord Barre

  • 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

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 Minor Guitar Chord Non-Barre 1

  • 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

D Minor Guitar Chord Non-Barre 2

  • 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 Minor Guitar Chord 7th Fret Variant

  • 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!

Next Lesson:

Db Guitar Chord

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