The D Minor Chord | Left-Handed

The D minor chord, regarded by some as the “saddest” of all chords, possesses a deep, emotional resonance that creates a melancholic and introspective tone, making it a favorite in many genres for conveying reflective and somber moods.

In the following guide, made for left-handed guitarists, you will learn:

  • How to play Dm in three simple yet different voicings
  • The theoretical aspects underpinning this chord
  • The role of D minor in all musical keys

3 Ways To Play D Minor

Open position

This is the simplest voicing for Dm and the best place to start before advancing to the two moveable shapes below.

  1. Finger Placement:
    • Place your index (1st) finger on the 1st fret of the E (1st) string.
    • Place your middle finger (2) on the 2nd fret of the G (3rd) string.
    • Place your ring finger (3) on the 3rd fret of the B (2nd) string.
  2. Strumming
    • Strum the top 5 strings, including the open D, and E strings without playing the low E (6th).

D Minor Chord – A Barre Shape

  1. Finger Placement:
    • Barre (press down) the first 5 strings at the 5th fret with your index finger.
    • Place your middle finger (2) on the 6th fret of the B (2nd) string.
    • Place your ring finger (3) on the 7th fret of the D (4th) string.
    • Place your pinky (4) on the 7th fret of the G (3rd) string.
  2. Strumming
    • Strum the top 5 strings from the A (5th) string down to the high E (1st).

D Minor Chord – E Shape

  1. Finger Placement:
    • Barre all 6 strings at the 10th fret with your index (1st) finger.
    • Use your ring finger (3) to fret the A string (5th) at the 12th fret.
    • Use your pinky (4) to fret the D string (4th) at the 12th fret.
  2. Strumming
    • Strum all 6 strings.

D Minor Chord – Theory

The D natural minor scale includes the notes: C, D, E♭, F, G, A♭, and B. The D minor chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th degrees of the D natural minor scale (D, E♭, and G).

This combination of intervals gives the D minor chord its distinctive sound.

Scale DegreeD Minor ScaleD Minor ChordInterval from Root (C)Role in Chord
1stDDRootRoot
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 D natural minor scale
D Minor Scale: The note at each scale degree.
D Minor Chord: The notes used to form the D minor chord.
Interval from Root (C): The distance from the root note D.
Role in Chord: Describes how each note functions in the chord.

The Role of D Minor – Chord Function

KeyRole of D MinorChord Function
F MajorDm (6th chord)Submediant
C MajorDm (2nd chord)Supertonic
Bb MajorDm (3rd chord)Mediant
A MinorDm (5th chord)Dominant
D MinorDm (1st chord)Tonic
G MinorDm (4th chord)Subdominant
Other KeysNot present
  • Key: The musical key.
  • Role of D Minor: Indicates the position of the D minor chord within the key (if present).
  • Chord Function: Describes the musical role of the D 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.