E minor chord progressions

E Minor Chord Progression: 5 You Can Play Today!

In this post, we will be discussing the E minor chord progression.

The E minor chord is a great place to start when it comes to playing the guitar.

This chord progression has been one of the most popular in modern music and can be heard used in many genres from rock through metal and beyond.

In addition, E Minor chords are beginner-friendly due to their simplicity and can help you build speed with your fingers as well as increase dexterity across multiple strings at once.

In this post, we will go over five different E minor progressions that you can use today!

The E Minor Chord

White man playing guitar in e minor
E minor

This chord is a three-stringed chord that can be played on the guitar.

The chord is made up of the notes E, G, and B.

The E minor chord has been used in many popular songs over the years and can be heard very distinctly in many songs.

Playing an E minor is great for beginner guitar players because it is simple to learn and play.

In addition, this chord can help you build speed with your fingers and increase dexterity across multiple strings at once.

If you are looking to improve your guitar playing skills, start by learning how to play the E minor chord!

Key of E Minor

The key of E minor is a minor tonality that uses the notes E, G, B, D, and F.

This key is often used in modern music and sometimes classical arrangements.

If you are looking for a new challenge when it comes to learning the guitar, start practicing in the key of E minor!

Minor key vs Major Key?

Minor keys and major keys are two different tonalities that can be played using E minor chords.

For example, the key of E minor is a more modern approach to playing music while the key of A Major uses notes such as A, B, C sharp/D flat, E, F sharp/G flat, and so on.

As you train your ear, you will be able to pick out major keys minor keys.

What is an E minor chord progression?

A chord progression in E minor is a sequence of chords that are played in a certain order.

There are many different progressions that you can use and each one will give your music a unique sound.

E minor in Popular Music

Now let’s take a look at some popular songs that you may know that begin with an E minor chord.

If you already know some chord progressions, then these may be tunes you may want to play along to.

About a Girl – Nirvana

This tune kicked off their classic Unplugged live in New York performance way back in 1993.

The simple alternative of Em and G is great to learn. Just remember that the tuning for this song was in E flat.

Disarm – Smashing Pumpkins

Another classic song of the “Grunge” era.

Disarm’s intro rings out like a bell with that E minor strummed forcefully.

It’s a great song to build up strength as it takes consistent strumming at a moderate pace.

Hallowed Be Thy Name – Iron Maiden

For those classic metal fans out there this one is right up your alley.

Most Heavy Metal during this time loved to use the E minor chord as a starting point as it didn’t call for a change in tuning (Drop D or Drop C).

Hallowed Be Thy Name is punchy to the core and is great to have fun with using an E minor as its backdrop.

Last Resort – Papa Roach

Remember this tune from the year 2000?

Seems like yesterday that this song was all over the radio.

Again, we see E minor as the leadoff in the chord progression which allows it to give the song its heavy edge.

Chord Progression Exercises

Writing chord progressions (major or minor) is a favorite thing of mine to do.

But what about you?

Here are some exercises that will help get your E minor chords flowing:

Play through each progression listed below and see if you can come up with your variation to it (maybe using the same notes, but changing the order or adding a chord).

Once you have the basic progression down, start improvising with it!

Come up with melodies or rhythms that work well over the top of each chord.

The sky is the limit!

The Top 5 Easy Chord Progressions to Start Playing Today

These are a great way to get started with playing chords.

They’re simple, common chord progressions, and sound good in a variety of situations.

We will now list five easy E minor chord progressions that you can start playing today.

Chord Progression 1

The first chord progression is just three chords.

It uses the chords e minor, D major chord, and G major chord.

This is nice and simple to get you used to start in this key.

Chord Progression 2

This progression uses the chords e minor, A minor, and C major chord.

Another three-chord progression that gives us minor chords back to back to make this one of the sadder progressions in the group.

Chord Progression 3

This progression uses the chords e minor, C major, and G major chord, and D major chord.

To say this is a common chord progression is an understatement.

Once your ear becomes training to recognize chords in songs, you will be spotting this out quite often.

Chord Progression 4

The fourth chord progression is E minor chord, B major chord, D minor chord, and A major chord.

I have always found these groups of chords interesting as the minors let their notes ring out and the major chords do a great job of complementing the progression.

Chord Progression 5

The fifth chord progression uses e minor chord, G major chord, A major chord, and B major chord.

This one sounds like it’s a gradual climb almost up a ladder.

Once you visually see this on the neck of the guitar its movement is even resembling a climb.

Chord Progression Backing Tracks

One way to practice progressions is to use a backing track while playing the guitar chords.

Many websites offer backing tracks for free, or you can create your own.

Another option is to play along with recordings of popular songs.

By playing the same chords as the artist, you will begin to hear how they work in a song.

Once you feel comfortable with a progression, try creating your songs or variations on the chords.

E minor progressions are found in many popular songs – give them a try!

What else can you do?

Now let’s take a look at some other things you can do to broaden your horizon with chord progressions.

Playing Along with Popular Songs

This is a great way to get used to playing with other people.

Start by learning the chord progression, then try improvising over the song.

Learning how to play along with songs will take some time and should be attempted once you feel comfortable enough on E minor scales and E minor barre chords.

Creating Your Very Own Backing Tracks

This is a great way to challenge yourself and get creative with your chord progressions.

Try coming up with different chords in each measure, or even throwing in some E minor pentatonic scales for good measure.

If you have the means to record, then you will have backing tracks handy to use.

The more you experiment, the better!

Jamming with Friends

Jamming is always a blast.

Get together with some friends, pick out a progression (or two), and start jamming away!

Not only will this help improve your chord playing skills, but it will also help develop your musicality and improvisational skills.

Play Minor Scales Over the Progression

Minor scales are a great way to get introduced to E minor progressions.

Start by playing E minor pentatonic or E minor blues scales over each of the chords in a progression.

This will help you learn how each note sounds when played with different chords, and it can also be used as a base for creating your own solos!

This will also help with your music theory learning.

Try New strumming Patterns

The more time you spend practicing these E minor chord progressions (or any guitar chords), the better chance you have at experimenting with other techniques such as strumming patterns.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to strumming, so have some fun and experiment!


Now that you know a few E minor chord progressions, what do you want to do with them?

Start by practicing each one until you have them down.

Once you can play them without any trouble, start applying them to your own songs.

Experiment with the order of the chords, adding new chords, and coming up with melodies or rhythms over top of them.

The sky is the limit!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Remember to always HAVE FUN!

Frank DeMaria
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