Right now, I use my 1st finger and thumb to make minor 7th chords where the A string is muted. I see some other guitarists using their 2nd and 3rd fingers. To me, this seems to make things more difficult. For example, to add a 9th, you'd have to stretch your 4th finger two frets over. Is there any advantage to making these chords like this? And is it worth changing the way I make these chords?

2nd and 3rd Fingers: (he's adding a 9th)

1st and thumb:

  • Can you upload a picture of the practice which you are describing? Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 22:19
  • Are you using your thumb to fret the low E string? Is that what you mean by using your first finger and thumb? Many guitarists play with a style and hand position where they cannot fret with their thumb. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 22:27
  • @ToddWilcox yes. How? I don't understand, it seems rather natural to wrap your thumb around.
    – Jimmy V
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 22:32
  • ltp-us-cloudfront-source.s3.amazonaws.com/img/cat/69164/… One advantage of the low thumb is the fingers can get higher on the fretboard and can be more articulate than the thumb on the E string. One advantage of the thumb over the top is it's easier to mute with it and you can use it as a opposite point to put more force into bending strings. Heavier strings and higher bends lead me to use thumb over also. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


Your way of playing a minor 7th chord is OK; I've seen several experienced guitar players use it. The other way shown in the picture may be more common, and the reason is that such a minor seventh chord is often followed by a 9th chord a perfect fourth above it, e.g., Cm7 - F9, and that F9 chord is usually played like this (from low to high E):

X 8 7 8 8 8

where you put your 2nd finger on the A string, your first finger on the D string, and your third finger on the top 3 strings. So if you come from a Cm7 played with your 2nd and 3rd finger, you just shift the grip down by one string and add your first finger. This can be done very efficiently, and it requires much less hand movement than when you use the thumb and the first finger to play that Cm7 chord.

But, as usually, correct is whatever sounds good and works for you.

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