A flat minor or dim isn't often one of the first chords beginners learn. Many new guitarists learn some open major chords, some open minor chords, andsome open seventh chords. The Abm guitar chord is a step up as it is commonly played as a barre chord. Let's take a look at abm chords and how to play them.
1 What is an abm chord on guitar?
2 What grade is Abm?
3 dim guitar chord for beginners
3.1 Easy Ways to Play the Abm Guitar Chord
3.2 The two most common ways to play an abm guitar chord
4 Helpful Tips for Playing Dim
5 Why should I learn basic chords?
6 Final Thoughts
What is an abm chord on guitar?
You probably already know that minor chords have a darker, sadder sound than major chords. And ab minor seems to mix that sadness with a sense of tension. You don't hear much about it, but it packs a real emotional punch when you need it.
It's also useful to know that Abm chords are sometimes referred to as G#m (G sharp minor) chords. This is because from andGiven a guitar chord(G#) are enharmonic notes - they are essentially different names for the same note. However, most people refer to it as Dim.
What grade is Abm?
Abm guitar chords consist of three notes. Like most guitar chords, Abm is a triad, which simply means a three-note chord. If you're already familiar with chord theory, you know that all minor chords consist of the root, a flattened (minor) third, and a perfect fifth. You essentially find the three notes in an A flat major chord and then smooth out the third.
We can go into the formula for major scales another time. For now, here's the A flat major scale:
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
The root note or tonic is Ab. The third is the third note in the scale (C) and the fifth is the fifth note in the scale (Eb). This means that the notes Ab, C and Eb form an Ab major chord.
To get the Abm chord we just need to flatten the third. To "flatten" the third simply means to lower it by half a step. The third is C, and if we flatten it we get B. However, to make it clear that the third has been flattened, you often see it listed as Cb.
So Abm consists of A, B and Eb (or A, Cb and Eb).
Dim guitar chord for beginners
One of the nice things about playing guitar is the fact that there are so many different ways to play the same chord. This is especially helpful when learning, as there is almost always a simplified way to play a difficult chord.
Easy ways to play the abm guitar chord
If your definition of "easy" is "no barre chord," you're in luck — there are a few easy ways to play Abm.
For this method, place your index finger on the fourth string at the first fret. Then place your middle finger directly underneath (third string on first fret).
It sounds easy, but there's a catch - you can only play the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings. Avoiding strings both above and below your chord shape can be a real challenge. So this one is definitely easier on your fingers; it's just harder to play.
This method is possibly the easiest of the two. You need to put your index finger on the first string at the 11th fret. Place your index finger on the second string at the 12th fret. And finally, place your ring finger on the third string at the 13th fret.
Sounds easy right? This one has a little catch of its own. When playing it, don't use the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings. That means you only have to play three strings, and those strings are the highest of all six. This feature can make it sound tinny and high pitched, especially when it's in a progression with some fuller chord fingerings.
The open chord versions of Abm present some real challenges for newer players, although feel free to use them if you prefer. But between the time it takes you to remember chord fingerings and remembering which strings to mute or avoid, learning the barre chord versions just seems easier for many guitarists.
The two most common ways to play an abm guitar chord
There are two main Abm chords that guitarists learn. Both are barre chords. One is in the E minor form while the other is in the A minor form.
You may not be familiar with barre chords and their shape patterns. The CAGED system for guitarists explains that there are really only five chord shapes: C, A, G, E, and D. The system works by using the open chord shapes for each, but then inserting a bar (with your index finger) in front . This allows you to play different chords with the same shape - you just have to move the shapes up and down the neck as needed.
To play these, first run your index finger across all the strings on the fourth fret. Then place your ring finger on the sixth fret of the fifth string. Finally, place your pinky on the sixth fret of the fourth string.
In this form, your root note (Ab) is on the low E string. You strum all six strings. If you have shorter fingers or smaller hands, you may have trouble reaching them past the fifth fret. Don't worry if this happens - your hands will usually develop enough strength and flexibility to play the chord comfortably after a while. To speed things up (and to avoid pain and possible injury), try stretching your hands before playing.
A secondary form:
As the name suggests, this version of the Abm chord is based on the barre chord in "A minor form". With this you make the form of an open am chord behind your barre.
If you're fairly new to barre chords, this might be less intimidating at first. Your root is on the fifth string, so you don't have to lock the heaviest string of them all.
This form asks you to go quite a long way down the neck: start by locking all the strings except the low E at the 11th fret. Your middle finger goes on the second string on the 12th fret. Then, at the 13th fret, place your ring finger on the fourth string and your pinky on the third string.
But what do you do with the low E? If you manage to actually strum it, it will sound awkward. However, it doesn't take much to mute a string. Try sliding your ring finger towards the low E string so your finger just touches the string. That should help cushion it in case you accidentally hit it.
Alternatively, if your hands are large enough, you can wrap your thumb around the back of your neck and use it to mute the low E. However, many guitar teachers advise against this.
These shapes can present a challenge. But once you get used to locking, it actually becomes a lot easier to switch between chords. If you play Abm on the ukulele, you'll find that it's even more difficult - you have to use all four fingers!
Helpful hints for playing Dim
- Check for totals
- Don't press too hard
- develop consistent muting
The transition from playing all open chords to playing barre chords can be daunting. When learning to play Abm, here are some things to keep in mind:
Check for Buzz –If you're just starting to learn barre chords, you probably already know that dreaded hum that keeps popping up. Practice holding the barre chord and then slowly plucking the strings, making sure that each string rings clearly. If some strings sound gritty or uneven, you may be applying uneven or insufficient pressure.
Don't press too hard -The actual force required to press the strings to the frets is very small. For many newer players, holding the strings tight seems logical. However, it only causes unnecessary strain on the hands.
Develop a consistent muting strategy –This only applies if you are using the A minor form. Since you'll likely need to use the shape for other chords in the future, plan how you want to mute the sixth string. Eventually it will become second nature!
Why should I learn basic chords?
If you've been playing for a while, you might have forgotten how difficult it is to learn your first chords and rhythm patterns. Easier chords make it easier to switch between chords, allowing newer players to work on their rhythm patterns.
Once you get a feel for easy chords, you can work your way into barre chords. That doesn't mean you have to give up simple chords, though - countless popular songs can be played with simple open chords.
Another benefit of learning simple chords is the fact that these chords introduce you to forms that you will need later on. For example, some barre chords are of the form "A minor" or "E minor". In each, you do the form of an open chord just past the barre.
Hopefully this introduction to the beautiful abm chord has opened your eyes to some of the beautiful nuances of sound found in guitar chords. After all, although the names look similar, Abm sounds very different from Am!