Keyboard - minor chords
Playing minor chords
These minor chords all use the same shape, it's play-one-miss-one.
If you look at the intervals involved, a minor chord is 1, flat 3, 5, whereas a major chord uses 1, 3, 5.
Dm = D, F, A If you apply a play-one-miss-one principle, this shape starts on a D note. Colour-coded green on the diagram.
Em = E, G, B Same shape, starts on E. Colour = blue
Am = A , C , E. Same shape, starts on A. Colour = red
The scale that works with these chords is Am pentatonic (pentatonic just means 5-note scale) or C major, C D E F G A B C.
Am pentatonic is the notes A, C, D, E, G, A shown on the lower picture.
Am chord (A minor)
Minor chords Dm, Em Am
Chords in Am
These three chords are from the C or Am harmonised scales.
The Harmonised scale of C contains the chords C Dm Em F G Am B dim C
Any song in this key will use these chords, or some of them, to create harmony.
You can use these three minor chords to play a minor 12-bar blues. They will sound much better if you put a bass note in your left hand, A for an Am chord, etc.
Minor 7th chords (m7)
In most situations in pop, rock, blues and country music you can improve the harmony in a very simple way - replace any minor chords with minor 7th (m7) chords.
For Dm7 - just move the D down to a C, the other two notes stay the same. You should have a low D in the bass (left hand) or it's won't work well.
Now, apply the same principle to the Em and Am chords. Em7 is D,G,B in the right hand, low E in the left.
Am7 - just move the A down to G. The notes in the chord are now A,G,C,E left to right.
All other minor chords work in the same way.