Em7 Guitar Chord: An Essential Guide

Want to learn to play the Em7 guitar chord? In this epic guide, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about the Em7 guitar chord.

Em7 Guitar Chord

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 8 essential ways to play the Em7 guitar chord.
  • 3 essential chord hacks which will make you sound amazing.
  • The secret to mastering guitar chords quickly.
  • 4 powerful tips and tricks that will accelerate your guitar progress.

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The two most common ways to play the Em7 guitar chord are:

  • The open Em7 guitar chord.
  • Em7 guitar chord. (Am barre shape.)

Here they are:

Em7 Guitar Chord

(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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How do I play the open Em7 guitar chord?

To play this chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 3rd fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Strum ALL the strings.

If you’ve ever played ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis, you would have played this chord!

To learn easy songs on guitar, go here: 10 Easy Songs On Guitar

How do I play the Em7 (Am7 barre shape)?

To play this chord you MUST know how to barre chords. Watch this video to learn how to barre chords:

To play this chord:

  • Barre your 1st finger from the 7th fret of the A string (5th string) to the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 9th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 8th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

Bonus Tip!

We refer to this Em7 guitar chord as the ‘Am7 barre shape’ because it uses the shape of an Am7 chord.

Let’s compare. Here’s an Am7:

Em7 guitar chord

Here’s the Em7 guitar chord. (Am7 barre shape.)

Em7_(Am_Shape)

Can you see how BOTH chords use the Am7 shape?

This chord is part of the CAGED guitar system. To learn about the CAGED system, go here: CAGED Guitar System: How To Master Chords

What is an Em7 guitar chord?

An Em7 guitar chord is a more sophisticated version of the regular Em guitar chord.

An Em guitar chord uses the following notes:

  • Root – E
  • Minor 3rd – G
  • Perfect 5th – B

To learn am Em chord, go here: Em Guitar Chord – 4 Easy Ways To Play This Essential Chord

Where as an Em7 guitar chord has these notes:

  • Root – E
  • Minor 3rd – G
  • Perfect 5th – B
  • Flattened 7th – D

The flattened 7th is what gives this chord that awesome jazzy feel.

Other Em7 Guitar Chords?

Now we’ve looked at two common ways to play an Em7 guitar chord. Here are some other essential Em7 guitar chord voicings.

Easy Em7 Guitar Chord – 1 Finger Shape

This is the easiest way to play the Em7 guitar chord. Here’s why:

  • You only need to use 1 finger!

Not only is it super easy, it also sounds great.

Em7 guitar chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Strum ALL the strings.

Download a free beginner chord guide and learn easy versions of every chord

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Em7 guitar chord (Em barre shape)

This chord is EXACTLY the same as the 1 finger version. However, for this chord we have moved it up 12th frets.

Em7_Guitar_Chord_(Em_Shape)

To play this chord:

  • Barre over the ALL the strings on the 12th fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 14th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Strum ALL the strings.

Quick Guitar Tip!

In music there are many different ways to write out a minor 7 chord, here are a few examples:

  • Em7 (The small ‘m’ stands for ‘minor’)
  • E minor 7.
  • E minor 7 guitar chord.

In today’s lesson, we’re going to use the best of both worlds and refer to the Em7 chord as the ‘Em7 guitar chord’.

  

Em7 guitar chord (1 finger barre on the 12th fret)

This Em7 guitar is one of the easiest chords you can learn.

 Em7_(Barre_Chord_12th_fret)

To play this chord:

  • Barre your first finger over the D (4th string),G (3rd string),B (2nd string) and E string. (1st string.)

Learning to play the guitar is good for you, it’s scientifically proven. Find out how in this article by Guitar World: 10 Scientifically Proven Reasons You Should Play Guitar

Em7 guitar chord (Gm7 Shape)

This Em7 guitar chord has a great jazzy feel to it. We refer to as the ‘Gm7 shape’ because it uses the exact same shape as Gm7 chord.

Let’s compare. Here’s a Gm7:

Gm7

You can find the root note on the 3rd fret of the low E string. (6th string.)

Here’s a Em7 (G shape):

Em7_(Gm_Shape)

Can you see how both chord shapes are exactly the same, but are on different frets?

To play this chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 12th fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 12th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 12th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 12th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

When you play this guitar chord, make sure that you don’t play the A string. (5th string.) Block this string with the fleshy part of your first finger.

Em7 guitar chord (Dm7 Shape)

This Em7 guitar chord uses the EXACT same shape as a Dm7 chord.

Here’s a Dm7:

Dm7

Here’s an Em7 guitar chord (Dm7 shape):

Em7_(Dm_Shape)

Can you see how the Dm7 shape fits in with this chord shape? However, to play this Em7 guitar chord, you must change your fingering.

However, the chord shape is EXACTLY the same.

To play this chord:

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

Em7 guitar chord (Cm7 Shape)

This chord is based off of the Cm7 shape. Here’s a Cm7 shape:

Em7 Guitar Chord

Here’s an Em7 guitar chord (Cm7 shape):

Em7_(Cm7_Shape)

Can you see how both chords use THE exact same shape, they just start on different frets.

To play this chord:

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 7th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 5th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 7th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 8th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

This chord is a bit of stretch, so take your time with it.

Em7 Guitar Chord (Open Voicing)

This chord is a more advanced version of the standard minor open chord. It sounds fantastic on acoustic or with a spanky clean sound.

Em7_Shape_

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

This chord is a stretch, so make sure that you use your finger tips and keep your fingers standing up nice and tall. Each note must ring out clearly.

To learn how to play guitar chords go here: How To Play Guitar Chords: A Beginner’s Guide

When can I use the Em7 guitar chord?

There are two places you can use an Em7 guitar chord:

  • If you see an Em7 guitar chord in a song. 

Any time you see an Em7 guitar chord, you can use any of the chord voicings from this lesson! They will all sound fantastic.

Or you can:

  • Use an Em7 guitar instead of a regular Em chord. 

A great way to spice up a regular Em chord is to use an Em7 guitar chord. This will sound fantastic and will give your music a cool jazzy feel.

Em7 guitar chord

How do I practice the Em7 guitar chord?

Learning guitar chords can be tough. We’re going to show you 4 tips and tricks which will help you master the Em7 guitar chord.

1) Squeeze your hand AFTER you’ve played the chord correctly

Once you can play the Em7 guitar chord correctly, squeeze your fretting hand 5 times. This engages your muscle memory and teaches your hand to remember the guitar chord.

It’s vital that you play the chord correctly BEFORE you do this. If you squeeze your hand when the chord is incorrect, you will be teaching your hands to remember the wrong chord.

Here are a few simple steps that you can follow to make sure that the chord is correct:

  • Make sure that there are NO dead notes. Every note in a chord should be clear.
  • Make sure that you don’t feel any pain. Your hand should feel relaxed when you play guitar chords.
  • Make sure that it sounds amazing.

If you follow each of these steps, you will be well on your way to becoming a guitar chord master.

2) Play the Em7 guitar chord without looking

A fantastic way to test your guitar chord knowledge is to:

  • Try and play the guitar chord without looking at your fretting hands!

When you play guitar chords, you shouldn’t have to look at your hands. You should be able to play your guitar chord WITHOUT looking.

Try this:

  • Play any Em7 guitar chord.
  • Look into a corner of the room. (It’s important that you can’t see the fret board.)
  • Fret the chord.
  • Strum the chord when you think it’s correct.

When you play the chord, you will instantly know if it’s right or not. If it is, fantastic! Repeat this trick with every other Em7 guitar chord.

If it’s not, look at your guitar chord and find out why it doesn’t sound good. Usually, it’s because your fingers aren’t fretting the chord correctly.

Once you’ve found the problem, fix it and try again!

Em7 Guitar Chord

 3) Every time you see an Em chord, use an Em7 guitar chord

The Em7 guitar chord is a more advanced version of the Em chord. This means that whenever you see an Em chord, you can use an Em7 guitar chord.

The best way to practice guitar chords is to try and use them in a musical situation.

For example, if any of the songs you know use an Em guitar chord, use an Em7 guitar chord.

Let’s put this into action. Here are the chords for ‘Stand By Me’ by Ben. E King.

G Major | E Minor | C Major | D Major

Any time you see an E minor chord, use an ANY of the Em7 guitar chords you have learned in this lesson.

This chord progression would now become:

G Major | E Minor 7 | C Major | D Major

4) Practice moving between each Em7 guitar chord

To test how well you know the Em7 guitar chord, practice moving between each guitar chord.

To do this, start from the lowest chord and ascend to the highest chord on the fret board.

Practice them in this order:

  • Open Em7 guitar chord. (1 finger version.)
  • Open Em7 guitar chord. (4 finger version.)
  • Em7 guitar chord. (Open voicing.)
  • Em7 guitar chord. (Dm7 shape.)
  • Em7 guitar chord. (Cm7 shape.)
  • Em7 guitar chord. (Am7 shape.)
  • Em7 guitar chord. (Gm7 shape.)
  • Em7 guitar chord. (1 finger barre on the 12th fret.)
  • Em7 guitar chord. (Em barre shape.)

If you master this, try doing the exact same method but in reverse.

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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