The Am7 guitar chord is the symbol for A minor with flat 7th. We show how to use the Am7 in several contexts, to understand how to apply it to any key.
First, it is important to notice that this is a four note chord, or tetrad, with is formed from the harmonic field of the A minor scale or C major.
On one hand, this chord can be part of the A minor key, where this chord if the first one in the harmonic field.
But frequently this is also used in the In the C major key, this is the 6th chord, the relative minor of C.
The Basic Am Chord
Before we deal with the Am7 chord, let’s recap the basic Am chord. The Am chord is a triad, that is, it has only three notes: A, C, and E. These three notes are separated by thirds, and the first third interval is a minor interval: therefore, this is a minor chord.
To build the Am chord in the guitar, we need to find configurations for the triad A, C, E in the fretboard. Here are some common possibilities used by guitar players:
Another common possibility for this chord is building the root on the 5th fret:
And here is still another way to play this chord, this time starting on the 4th string, 7th fret.
Positions for the Am7 Chord
Now we get the Am7. Unlike the Am chord, the Am7 chord is a tetrad, it has four notes. The first three notes are the same, A, C, E, and the last note is G, the 7th of A.
The Am7 guitar chord can have several formations, depending on the desired position on the guitar neck.
The most common position is the open position with root on the 5th string:
Another common position for this chord is with the key note in the sixth string, 5th fret:
Still another position for the Am7 chord starts on the 4th string:
Uses of the Am7 Chord
The Am7 chord is very versatile, and can be used in several situations. You should learn to use the Am7 in several contexts, to understand the way it can be applied in different keys.
For example, in the C major key, the Am7 is a 6th chord.
In the E minor key, the Am7 is a 4th chord.
On the other hand, in the G major key, the Am7 is a 2nd chord.
Moreover, in the F major key, the Am7 may appear as a 3rd chord.
In the A minor chord, the Am7 is a root chord.
Famous Songs Containing the Am7 Chord
Here is a quick list of famous songs that contain the Am7 chord:
Variations of the Am7 chord
This chord has several variations, forming a family of chords, including the following:
Am7/9: This chord includes the minor seventh and ninth. It is a slightly dissonant chord that can be used in many songs and variations.
Am7/5b: This minor chord is used as the 2 in the 2-5-1 sequence, when the 1 is the G minor chord.
Am7/G: This form of the A minor 7th chord. Guitar players use it when the moving bass is going down, so it works well as a passage chord.
Other Important Chords
Here are some other important related chords that you need to learn:
Notice that these chords are all part of the harmonic field of the major or minor scale. If you really want to become proficient in these chords you have to get a good grasp of the harmonic fields, which gives you a large number of chords you can choose from.
Check How to Play This Chord
The following video gives you a little more clues about how to play this chord:
Learning to Play the Guitar
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