Learn to Play F#m7, C#m7, and Bm7 | Chord by Chord

In this acoustic guitar chord lesson, you'll learn a variety of ways to play F#7, C#7, and Bm7 chords.
BY KATE KOENIG

Welcome to the latest installment of Chord by Chord, a series designed to build your understanding of harmony and the fretboard. In a previous lesson I taught you several minor seventh chords—Am7, Em7, and Dm7—and this time we’ll go over a few more.

The Work

As you know, a minor triad is built from the root, the minor third, and the fifth. Example 1 shows the notes in an F# minor triad (F# A C#). To make it a minor seventh chord, just add the minor seventh (in this case, E), as shown in Example 2.

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While most of these lessons include both open and barre shapes, this time the chords are most practical to play with barres only. Example 3a shows how to get to F#m7 from F#m using second-position voicings, while Example 3b depicts a couple of alternate shapes. For the first chord in Ex. 3b, all you need to do is add your fourth finger to the F#m shape, doubling the minor seventh (E) on string 2; the second F#m7 is a compact shape favored by jazz guitarists. Example 4 shows how to form F#m7 at the ninth fret.

F#, C#, and Bm7 chord notation tab lesson

Repeat the above process with C#m7 and Bm7 chords, as shown in Examples 5–8. For Exs. 6 and 8, try the alternate voicings shown in Ex. 3b, but in ninth and seventh positions, respectively, as I demonstrate in the video.

The Result

You should now be able to make various F#, C#, and Bm7 shapes from their minor-triad counterparts. One song that makes use of all three of these chords is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire. In the next lesson we’ll revisit dominant ninth chords.

Kate Koenig
Kate Koenig

Kate Koenig is a singer-songwriter, music teacher, and music journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. They have been a regular contributor to Acoustic Guitar since 2017.

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