Guitar Chords E and Em

About Open Guitar Chords

Open guitar chords are chords which involve a combination of open strings and strings being played on certain frets. For beginners, guitar chords can be difficult at first, add making a transition from one chord to another and it's just plain difficult! However!!! "Practice makes perfect". Keep in mind that it takes a while for your fingers to get accustomed to chords, and it will take time to get good at transitioning from one chord to another.

Reading a Guitar Chord Chart

Reading a chord chart is simple. Since we are playing open chords you will see a double bar across the top of these charts. This is the top of the neck, also known as the nut. Below the nut are the frets on your guitar, the top fret is referred to as the first fret. Above the nut are the list of strings counting down from 6th to 1st.

Guitar Chord Chart

E Minor Chord (Em)

Tab Em Chord Chart Em Chord Image
Figure 1
Guitar E Minor Chord Chart
Figure 2
Guitar E Minor Chord Image
Figure 3

Above to the left, you will see the tab for an E minor chord (Figure 1) and to the right of the tab is the E minor chord chart (Figure 2). When reading tab when you see two or more numbers directly above/below each other that means you play them at the same time. From the E minor tab above you can see several numbers, one on each string, which means we'll play all six strings at once.

The chord chart (Figure 2) is very important. It tells you what fret to play and it also tells you where to place your fingers (see the hand if needed). Finger placement is very awkward for beginners because it's simply "awkward" to place your fingers in "awkward" positions! However, no matter how "awkward" it may be at times, trust me it is very important to place your fingers where the charts tell you to.

Figure 3 shows an actual image of the chord, NOTE, the index finger (on the far right) is not pressing down it's actually in the air.

To play the Em chord:
1. Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string.
2. Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string.
3. Strum down from the 6th string.

This is a simple chord, the finger placement might seem a little strange but as you learn more chords you will start to see why finger placement is important.

E Major Chord

Tab E Chord Chart E Chord Image
Guitar E Chord Chart
E Chord Chart
Guitar E Minor Chord Image
E Chord Picture

Obviously this is very similar to the E minor chord. This time we can see why finger placement becomes important. Simply adding our first finger to the first fret of the 3rd string changes the chord.

Part 2:
1. Set your fingers just like the E minor chord and add your 1st finger to the 1st fret of the 3rd string.

Practice transitioning from E minor to E major and back.


To prevent fingers from muting other strings, move your thumb to the middle of the back of the guitar neck and not the top.

Next Lesson: Chords A - A minor

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