Dm7 Guitar Chord: 7 Ways To Play This Chord

Want to know how to play a Dm7 guitar chord? You’re in the right place!

dm7 guitar chord

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 7 essential ways to play the Dm7 guitar chord.
  • The no1 practice tip that will enhance your musicality and progress.
  • 3 cool guitar songs which will make you sound amazing.

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The most common voicing of Dm7 is the open position Dm7 guitar chord. Here it is:

dm7

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

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If there’s one Dm7 guitar chord you should definitely learn, it’s this one.

There are two ways that you can play this chord, you can either use your 1st, 2nd and 3rd finger.

Or, if you’re up for a challenge, try barring over the B (2nd string) and high E string (1st string) with your 1st finger, whilst still using your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)

Not sure which guitar string is which? Check out this lesson: Guitar String Notes – The Ultimate Guide

If you’re a new guitarist, try this voicing of the Dm7 guitar chord. The correct name for this chord is ‘Dsus9’. Even though the name of this chord sounds complicated, it’s actually one of the easiest chords you can play on guitar.

Here it is:

dm7 guitar chord

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the D string. (4th string.)

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Other Ways To Play Dm7

There’s a couple of other ways we can play the Dm7 guitar chord. Let’s take a look at them.

Here’s the first voicing:

dm7 guitar chord

You may notice that this is a D chord which has been moved up to the 5th fret. So, if you already know how to play a D, this is a really simple way to play Dm7.

To learn the D chord, go here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The D Chord On Guitar

Like the regular Dm7 guitar chord, this voicing has the open D string as its root note.

Another way you can play the Dm7 guitar chord is like this:

dm7 open at 8th fret

Like the previous two voicings, this one features the open D string as its root/bass note, but the actual fretted shape is higher up the fretboard.

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Which Dm7 Guitar Chord Should I Use?

This depends on a few things:

  • Which of them sounds best?
  • Which of them is nearest to the other chords in the song?
  • Which of them is easiest to play?

By no means should you feel limited to one of these voicings per song. If you think one of these voicings sounds good in the verse, but a different one sounds better in the chorus for example, then go for it.

The hardest part about strumming these chords is missing out the E and A strings. To learn how to do this, go here:

dm7 guitar chord

Dm7 Guitar Chord (Barre Chords)

If you’re an intermediate student, you may well be ready to try out some barre chords.

A barre chord serves a similar function to a capo. However, instead of using the capo to barre over a fret. You’re using your first finger.

Barring technique is tricky, if you find this difficult, watch this video for some essential tips and tricks from Mike:

Barre chords are tough on the fingers. Steer clear if you’re a beginner and stick with the open position shapes to begin with.

Let’s take at look at some Dm7 barre chords.

The two most common barre chords of Dm7 are:

  • Dm7 (Am7 barre shape)
  • Dm7 (Em7 barre shape)

Let’s learn them.

Dm7 (Am7 Barre Shape)

dm7 guitar chord

Dm7 (Em7 Barre Shape)

dm7 barre chord 10th fret

For more info on barre chords, check out this guitar lesson: How To Play Barre Chords

If you find these voicings too difficult, check out this voicing of the Dm7 guitar chord.

Dm7 Guitar Chord (1 Finger Barre)

dm7 guitar chord

With this voicing, you only have to barre across the top four strings. If you still find this voicing difficult, eliminate the barre and try and play this chord with four fingers. (1 finger per string.)

This voicing of Dm7 is bright and snappy, therefore it is perfect for styles of music such as funk, reggae and soul.

Barre Chord Tips

When learning the Dm7 guitar chord, it’s important that you can play the open position chords first, BEFORE you move onto barre chords.

When looking at barre chords, you must be patient with yourself. Here are some essential tips which will help you master barre chords.

  • Keep your thumb in the middle of the neck
  • Use your first finger and thumb to clamp the guitar neck. Try to think of your hand like a clothes peg, squeezing the chord together.
  • Don’t touch the guitar neck with the palm of your hand

In short, your hand should look like this when doing barre chords:

dm7 guitar chord

Not like this:

dm7 guitar chord

Barre Chords or Open Chords?

Given how many cool open position Dm7 guitar chord voicings we have, you might be forgiven for wondering why we need to bother with these tricky barre chords at all.

Open position chords are easier, however barre chords have more versatility.

Barre chords are ‘movable shapes’. This means that you can play over 11 different chords off of one simple chord shape.

For example, if you know a Dm7 barre chord then all you have to do is move it down two frets and you have a Cm7 barre chord or move it up two frets and you have an Em7 barre chord.

In the long run, it’s worth learning barre chords if you want to expand your chord vocabulary.

What’s The Difference Between Dm7 and Dm?

The difference between a Dm7 guitar chord and a plain, ordinary Dm guitar chord is that Dm7 has an extra note.

The notes in a Dm chord are:

  • D (Root)
  • F (Minor 3rd)
  • A (5th)

The notes in a Dm7 chord are:

  • D (Root)
  • F (Minor 3rd)
  • A (5th)
  • C (Flattened 7th)

The only difference between these chords is that there’s a C note in the Dm7.

Another way you can think of Dm7 is that it is an F chord with a D note in the bass.

The notes in an F chord are:

  • F (Root)
  • A (Minor 3rd)
  • C (5th)

Where as the notes in a Dm7 chord are:

  • D (Root)
  • F (Minor 3rd)
  • A (5th)
  • C (Flattened 7th)

Can you see how the notes of the F chord fit within the Dm7 chord?

Soundwise, what is the difference?

The main difference between these two chords is that Dm7 sounds more sophisticated than a regular Dm chord. It’s a ‘bigger’ chord because of that extra note.

The difference between the two can be subtle, but it can be very effective.

dm7 guitar chord

Are Dm and Dm7 interchangeable?

Yes, however it’s a matter of personal taste and whether it is stylistically appropriate.

You might not always require the big grand sound of a Dm7. A standard Dm may be just fine. However, you might want the big grand sound of the Dm7 guitar chord.

Dm7 is very popular in styles of music such as jazz, funk and soul etc. These are all genres which are known for their bigger chords.

If you want to know whether a Dm7 guitar chord will work in place of a normal Dm guitar chord then the best way is to just try it.

What’s The Best Way To Practice The Dm7 Guitar Chord?

Because Dm7 is basically an F with a D in the bass, you can change easily between Dm7 and F.

Let’s revisit the first Dm7 guitar chord and compare it to an F guitar chord:

dm7 guitar chord

Notice how we only have to add one finger to the Dm7 guitar chord to turn it into an F chord.

If you aren’t quite up to pressing those two strings down with just one finger, you can try the Dsus9 instead.

By opening up that high E string, this also turns the F chord into a F major 7 chord.

dsus9 and fmaj7

These chords have a nice jangly, atmospheric sound. Despite their complicated names they are actually easier to play than the normal Dm7 and F chords.

When playing these chords, try and practice moving between them.

Like this:

  • Play each chord for 8 beats.
  • Play each chord for 4 beats.
  • Play each chord for 2 beats.
  • Play each chord for 1 beat.

This is one of the best ways to practice guitar chords, it may seem difficult at first. But, you will become a better guitarist if you do this.

To learn more about guitar chords, go here: Guitar Chords: The Ultimate Guide

What Keys Does The Dm7 Guitar Chord Appear In?

Dm7 appears in three keys: F, C and Bb.

It explains which chords belong in which keys and why, as well as how to figure out the key of a song by looking at the chords.

To learn more about guitar keys, check out this article: Guitar Keys – An Essential Guide

Learning Songs Which Feature The Dm7 Guitar Chord

One of the best ways to practice the Dm7 guitar chord is to learn songs which use that chord. Let’s go through some examples.

‘Scar Tissue’ by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Here’s the chord progression:

| F            | Dm7        |

This song is perfect for beginner guitarists as it uses the same chords all the way through.

To learn this song in more detail, go here: Scar Tissue Tab

‘Like A Rolling Stone’ by Bob Dylan

The verse to the song goes like this:

| C   Dm7 | Em  F   | G          | G            |

For a full chord sheet of this song, go here: Like A Rolling Stone – Chord Sheet

‘Price Tag’ by Jessie J

The chords in this song are:

|F          | Am        | Dm7         | Bb         |

The Bb chord can be difficult for beginners, to learn it go here: Bb Guitar Chord For Beginners

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

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Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

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