I am writing a song with G > Bm > Em as the main chord progression but I found a lot of nice fingerings on the guitar for the Bm chord with an added G in it. Does this make the chord a B minor 6 chord? Or does it change the chord into something else?

  • 3
    Bm6 has G#, not G. – Tim May 21 at 12:11
  • If the G is at the bottom, it’s a G7. If the G is elsewhere it’s a Bm-6 (B minor flat six, or B minor with a flattened sixth). – AJFaraday May 22 at 18:33

It could be

G - B - D - F# ( G + Bm) which is the Gmaj7 chord // G can be something else besides the bass note, and then it would be a Gmaj7 chord in some inversion. With B as the bass note it would be Gmaj7 in first inversion.

Something else that is really common in harmony, that can easily be done in your chord progression is to play the G chord, then the Bm chord with the G held from the previous chord as suspension that will be later be resolved to a chord note (F# for instance).

Also, since the note G is present both in the first and last chords of your progression (G and Em respectively), it's not uncommon to hold it for the middle chord as well.

  • I agree with the Gmaj7 analysis, but doesn't Bm6 have a G# in it? Not a G natural. – Brian THOMAS May 21 at 11:50
  • @BrianTHOMAS tbh I'm not 100% sure, but usually I've seen it with a minor 6th, thus G natural. On guitar that is – Shevliaskovic May 21 at 11:57
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    I doubt you've usually seen Bm6 with a G natural! It's 99% of the time G#! It's the B that's minor, not Bm with a m6 interval included! At a (huge) push, it could be Bm (addm6), but pretty unusual. – Tim May 21 at 12:08
  • Must've misremembered. Fixed it – Shevliaskovic May 21 at 12:14
  • @Tim I don't understand why it has to be a minor chord with a major 6th interval. Can't it be a minor chord with a minor 6th interval or does that change the chord to an inversion of another chord as explained above? – armani May 22 at 6:38

Depending on how this is voiced, this F♯ might be better understood not as a chord tone but as a passing tone from the G in the first chord to the E in the last chord.

For example:

enter image description here

Some musicians have a habit of making a chord out of every vertical stacking of pitches. But sometimes (perhaps most of the time?) there's a melodic explanation that is much more intuitive and that aligns with the flow of the music much better.

  • Agree with your last para., but what chord symbol would go for that second bar - for a guitarist, maybe? it's going to be Gmaj7... – Tim May 21 at 12:37
  • Do I have to agree with how guitar music is typically explained/notated? :-) – Richard May 21 at 13:17
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    Come on! Without a letter and sometimes a number, a lot of guitarists go very quiet..! – Tim May 21 at 13:44

Since the first chord is already a G, I think I would probably just call it Gmaj7 which is G B D F#.

If the added G is in the bass, you could also just call it a Bm chord over a G in the bass, which would be notated like this: Bm/G

A Bm6 chord would be B - D - F# - G# instead of G natural.

  • The G is not in the bass. There is a B in the bass – armani May 22 at 6:46
  • @armani Then it's Gmaj7 in 1st inversion. – Andy May 22 at 8:26

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