The Dm chord on the guitar



You can learn how to play the open position Dm chord and CAGED Dm shape!

Once you’ve watched the video lesson above about the Dm chord, you’ve seen all CAGED major and minor chords.

There are just two more videos, the Fm chord, and Bm chord as well, but you’ll soon see how they are just versions of previous shapes.

OK, let’s look at the final CAGED shape then, the Dm shape.

As an open position chord, what we all think of when we say Dm looks like this Chordacus image below.

Dm chord/shape

This chord is super easy to fret. The intervals we get are root, 5th, root again, and a m3rd.

We can play only the top three strings and still have a complete chord, this is the 2nd inversion if we want to use piano language, 5th, root, and a m3rd.


Dm chord extensions

The Dm shape is the easiest to understand when it comes to extending the chord. You only need to see intervals on strings one and two.

Here are all possible Dm shaped chord extensions.

  • Dm chord (root, 5th, root, m3rd)
  • Dm7 (root, 5th, b7, m3rd)
  • Dm7b5 (root, b5, b7, m3rd)
  • Ddim7 (root, b5, bb7, m3rd)
  • Dmmaj7 (root, 5th, 7, m3rd)
  • Dm6 (root, 5th, 6, m3rd)
  • Dm11 (root, 4th, b7, m3rd)

To properly learn all these chords, you need to first fret them all and move them around the fretboard to ensure you understand how to build them. Try the exercises in the SEPR for the best results.

It really is as easy as being able to see all intervals and knowing what intervals are needed to build each chord.

Once you can do this, you need actual song examples.

Ain’t No Sunshine has a Dm7, Dream A Little Dream has a dim7 in a Dm shape.


Building scales and arpeggios around the Dm chord/shape

Just like with the chord shape, the Dm shape is the easiest to play and remember due to its compact layout.

We can easily turn it into two arpeggios, a Minor Pentatonic, the Minor Blues scale, Conspirian, Dorian, Aeolian (the natural minor scale), and Phrygian.

Below are all intervals used to build the arpeggios and all scales around this Dm-shaped chord. If you can see all intervals around the chord shape, you can play all these arpeggios and scales.

Again, just like with the chord shape, you need real song examples in order to learn how to use scales and arpeggios in context.

When you sign up for my guitar courses, we solve this by, for example, playing vocal melodies for the songs we learn. And as we do so, we do it in every shape, including this Dm shape.

Min7 ArpeggioRm35b7
Min7b5 ArpeggioRm35b7
Minor PentatonicR2m356
Minor BluesRm34b55b7
ConspirianRm34b55b77
DorianR2m3456b7
AeolianR2m345b6b7
PhrygianRb2m35b6b7

Guitar chords

Learn how to build minor and major guitar chords using the CAGED system.

This is the foundation upon which we learn to extend chords and build arpeggios and modes as well.

Go to Guitar chords.