C Minor Chord – For Left-Handed Guitarists

Learn the C minor chord in our guide made specifically for left-handed guitarists. Learn three versions of C minor, take a deep dive into the theory behind the chord, and discover how C minor fits into chord progressions.

How to play the C minor chord

Open position

  1. Finger Placement:
    • Barre the 1st – 5th strings at the 3rd fret with your index finger.
    • Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the B (2nd) string.
    • Place your middle finger on the 5th fret of the D (4th) string.
    • Place your pinky on the 5th fret of the G (3rd) string.
  2. Strumming
    • Strum the top 5 strings, omit the low E (6th string).

C Minor Chord – E Barre Shape

  1. Finger Placement:
    • Use your index finger to barre (press down) all the strings at the 8th fret.
    • Place your ring finger (3rd finger) on the 10th fret of the A (5th) string.
    • Place your pinky (4th finger) on the 10th fret of the D (4th) string.
  2. Strumming
    • Strum all six strings from the low E (6th) string down to the high E (1st) string.

C Minor Chord – Moveable Shape

  1. Finger Placement:
    • Barre the top three strings (1st – 3rd) at the 8th fret with your index (1st) finger.
    • Use your ring finger (3rd finger) to fret the D string (4th) at the 10th fret.
  2. Strumming
    • Strum the top 4 strings, from the D (4th) to the high E (1st) string.

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C Minor Chord – Theory

The C minor scale consists of the notes C, D, E♭, F, G, A♭, and B. To establish a C minor chord we’ll focus on the 1st (root), 3rd, and 5th scale degrees:

Scale DegreeNote in C Minor ScaleNote in C Minor ChordInterval from Root (C)Role in Chord
1stCCRootRoot
2ndD
3rdE♭E♭Minor third (3 half steps)Minor Third
4thF
5thGGPerfect fifth (7 half steps)Perfect Fifth
6thA♭
7thB

Scale Degree: The position of the note in the C natural minor scale
Note in C Minor Scale: The note at each scale degree.
Note in C Minor Chord: The notes used to form the C minor chord.
Interval from Root (C): The distance from the root note C to each note in the chord.
Role in Chord: Describes how each note functions in the chord.

The C minor chord is formed by combining the 1st, 3rd, and 5th degrees of the C natural minor scale (C, E♭, and G). The interval from the root C to the E is a minor third, and from the root C to the fifth G is a perfect fifth. This combination of intervals gives the C minor chord its distinctive sound.

The Role of C Minor in Keys – Chord Function

KeyRole of C MinorChord Function
Eb MajorCm (6th chord)Submediant
Bb MajorCm (2nd chord)Supertonic
Ab MajorCm (3rd chord)Mediant
G MinorCm (5th chord)Dominant
C MinorCm (1st chord)Tonic
F MinorCm (4th chord)Subdominant
Other KeysNot present
  • Key: The musical key.
  • Role of C Minor: Indicates the position of the C minor chord within the key (if present).
  • Chord Function: Describes the musical role of the C minor chord in that key (e.g., Tonic, Subdominant, etc.).
About Marty

My name's Marty, I've been tinkering around on left-handed guitars for over 30 years.