The E Minor Chord

The Em Chord is an easy one, but there's a very common beginner mistake you should avoid!

View the full lesson at The E Minor Chord | JustinGuitar

Hey Justin!
I started off learning my first chords using the middle, ring and the little finger as i was told it’s better to have your index finger spare at first for the bar chords later on. Is this totally wrong and do I have to unlearn my chords now?

Welcome to the forum Chris.
Don’t think of it as unlearing because you will be using that
grib for barre chords.
But you will need to play the open chords the way Justin teaches
to add embellishments and play sus and 7th chords.

It’s always a good thing to know how the play open chords with
different fingering. For example I play the open G chord 5 different

Hello @Somna and welcome to the Community.

It is true that some weeks / months down the line, beginner guitarists do meet with barre chords and their 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers take roles that would normally be taken by fingers 1, 2 and 3 in open chords, the person who advised you to learn this way from the get go has done you a dis-service.
I do not know of any teacher who would instruct with that advice for a beginner. The pay-off for barre chords is simply not worth the losses for all the things you can do with open chord shapes when you learn conventional fingering.
Occasionally, when playing a series of barre chords that also include open E major, you would play the E major with fingers 2, 3 & 4. Similarly if you were playing lots of barre chords and an open A minor chord - you might play it with fingers 2, 3 & 4.
But they are exceptions.
There are so many important reasons to learn fingerings with all four fingers, and definitely including your index that I am struggling to think why you were told to ignore it.
I strongly recommend you start again and re-learn the chord shapes. That might seem like a set back and it will take a period of adjustment but long-term you will be glad that you did,

Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

Thank you so much! :green_heart:

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I’m a total noob, this is a great site and lessons, thanks!
I’m on the Beginner Lesson 3 module and in the lesson Justin shows the Em chord finger position using fingers two and three, however in the practice songs the fret board indicates to use fingers one and two, which is defiantly easier when switching to Am.
Why the discrepancy?

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As per the lesson start with getting a good sound Em Chord using the regular fingering, using 2nd and 3rd fingers. Once you’re confident with the chord changes using regular fingering, you can experiment with the alternative fingers as well, using 1st and 2nd fingers. As you practice, you’ll find out which fingering is most comfortable for you! It’ll depend on the chords you play before and after the E Minor chord. Not sure where the practice songs refer to fingering? Are you using the song app?

I assume he has us using finger 2&3 for a reason and practicing chords changes using those fingers, no?

As James says, as you progress you might use different fingerings depending on which chord you’re coming from/going to.

I’m currently learning a song that goes from Em to F#m and back to Em so I’m playing Em with fingers 3&4 so I can then slide them up the neck for part of the barre F#m then back down to Em.

Fingers 2&3 will make good sense the majority of the time. Switching across to Am should be easy from that position as fingers 2&3 just move across a string and you just place your first finger down on String 2. Justin usually has a good reason for teaching you a particular way to do things BUT it might not be apparent straight away.