How to Play the Dm7 Guitar Chord Easy, Medium, and Hard

The Dm7 guitar chord is one of those that I feel is gentle with a jazzy flavor. Of course, as with all seventh chords, D minor seventh is used to introduce some tension, add some spice to the mix, and works well in turnarounds. Sounds a bit contradictory to my earlier impression of it being a gentle chord, doesn’t it?

But it depends on where you play it on the guitar, what genre you’re playing, where it is in the chord progression, and how you style it.

If you’re used to just playing the open major and minor chords, playing a minor seventh may be daunting. But Dm7 has some very easy shapes, although as with most chords, you can get a lot more complex in how you play it.

Let’s get into how to play it in ways that will suit beginners, intermediate, and advanced players.

A little side note before we do that though, just because you’re at an intermediate or advanced level, doesn’t mean you have to pick the hardest versions to play. You choose the version of the chord that suits what you want to play and how you want it to sound.

Dm7 Theory

Some theory behind the way chords are constructed will never go amiss. Seventh chords are constructed using the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th intervals of the scale. Essentially it’s a triad with a seventh interval tacked on at the back.

Types of Seventh Chords

Now, there are different types of seventh chords, just so you can recognize the difference when you come across them:

  • Major seventh (maj7): major triad with a major seventh
  • Minor seventh (m7): minor triad with a minor seventh
  • Major minor seventh or dominant seventh (7): major triad with a minor seventh
  • Half-diminished seventh (m7b5 or ø7): diminished triad with a minor seventh
  • Fully-diminished seventh or diminished seventh (dim7 or o7): diminished triad with a diminished seventh

The Dm Scale

Looking at the Dm scale, you’ll be able to see better how the chord is formed. According to the circle of fifths, the Dm scale contains only one accidental (a sharp ♯, flat ♭, or natural ♮), a Bb.

Written out, the natural Dm scale looks like this:

D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

The Dm chord is:

D, F, A

A minor chord contains a flattened third. In order to understand better, looking at the D major scale will help.

The D major scale according to the circle of fifths has two sharps, an F#, and a C#:

D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

So you see, D looks like this:

D, F#, A

Back to Dm7

In order to really understand how to get a Dm7 chord though, you need to understand the intervals of the scale, not just in terms of the numbers, but which diatonic chords they result in if we stay true to the key. This will help you to construct other seventh chords when you want to add sevenths into your music.

The minor scale intervals are as follows:

Minor, half-diminished, major, minor, minor, major, major

So, you’re making a seventh out of the 1st interval, or root. The first is meant to be a minor. And so you see that making a triad out of the 1st interval of the D minor scale results in a Dm chord. But when you add a seventh on, you also have to make that a minor interval. So you get a Dm7.

So now that you’ve learned all that theory. Let’s learn how to play the actual chord on the guitar.

The Dm7 Guitar Chord: Easy

These versions don’t require too much crazy stretching or turning your fingers into a pretzel. A helpful technique with these versions is learning to mute certain strings so that you don’t accidentally play them. You can do this by using your thumb.

Dm7 Version 1

Unless I’m playing further down on the neck of the guitar, this is my go-to. It’s pretty easy once you master barring the two bottom strings and muting the top two strings with your thumb. Having said that, if strum or pick the 5th string, that isn’t an issue. It’s the A string, and it will just add a little bass.

How to Play Dm7 Version 1

2 Dm7 guitar chord version 1

  • Index finger: Barre strings 1 and 2 in the 1st fret, alternatively play it with your index and middle finger
  • Middle or ring finger: 3rd string, 2nd fret

Dm7 Version 2

If you enjoy a jazzy sound, give this one a go. As with version one, use your thumb to do the muting on the top two strings. Again, you don’t need to stress too much about the 5th string, but this is a higher voicing and so you would need to see if you like the way the bass sounds with the overall sound.

How to Play Dm7 Version 2

3 Dm7 guitar chord version 2

  • Index finger: Either barre strings 1-3 or 3rd string, 5th fret
  • Middle finger: 2nd string, 6th fret
  • Ring finger: If you didn’t barre the strings, use your ring finger for the 1st string, 5th fret

Dm7 Chord Version 3

This version requires a little bit of stretching, but since the frets start to get smaller closer to the bottom of the neck, most people, even those of us with smaller hands, will be able to play this version. It’s quite a high-pitched version, so again, you may enjoy the additional bass of playing the 5th string or you might not.

4 Dm7 guitar chord version 3

How to Play Dm7 Version 3

  • Index finger: 8th fret, 1st string
  • Ring finger or: Either barre strings 2 and 3 in fret 10 or 10th fret, 3rd string
  • Pinky finger: If you didn’t barre the strings, use your pinky for the 10th fret, 2nd string

Dm7 Chord Version 4

For the jazz lovers out there, this version is my favorite way to play m7 chords when I want to get jazzy. It’s super easy and sounds great. You can either use the finger you find most comfortable to barre the entire fret, or if you can manage it, you can play this chord with just two fingers. I find it easiest to use all four fingers.

I also prefer to pluck the strings with my fingers as opposed to playing with a pick. If you prefer to use a plectrum, you need to become good at avoiding strings or get creative to barre the strings you need to skip. It’s easiest to mute the 5th string if you use the first method described below since you can angle your middle finger to catch that string.

How to Play Dm7 Version 4

5 Dm7 guitar chord version 4

  • Index finger: Barre strings 2-4 in the 10th fret
  • Middle finger: 10th fret, 6th string


  • Index finger: 10th fret, 6th string
  • Middle finger: 10th fret, 4th string
  • Ring finger or: 10th fret, 3rd string
  • Pinky finger: 10th fret, 2nd string

Or simply barre the whole fret.

The Dm7 Guitar Chord: Medium

With these intermediate versions of the Dm7 chord, you will need to barre more strings, or learn to mute strings using fingers other than your thumb. You do that by angling your fingers to gently cover those strings you shouldn’t play.

You can, of course, just pluck the strings with your fingers too which is how I prefer to play those particular voicings. But it’s important to learn muting techniques since you can’t always pluck the strings in every situation.

You may also find the placement of your fingers a little more difficult than the previous versions. But with regular practice, you’ll build up strength and dexterity in your hand and fingers.

Dm7 Chord Version 5

This is the barre chord version with the root note on 5th string. If it’s easier for you, barre the entire 5th fret. You’ll get an A if you play the 6th string while barring the 5th fret. So it’s not a train smash if you struggle to avoid or mute the 6th string.

How to play Dm7 Version 5

6 Dm7 guitar chord version 5

  • Index finger: Barre strings 1-5 in the 5th fret
  • Middle finger: 2nd string, 6th fret
  • Ring finger: 4th string, 7th fret

Dm7 Chord Version 6

This one is another barre chord with the root on the 6th string. It’s a very high-pitched voicing, which sounds good over lower voicings or on its own, depending on whether you enjoy higher chord voicings or not.

How to Play Dm7 Version 6

7 Dm7 guitar chord version 6

  • Index finger: Barre the 6th string, 10th fret
  • Ring or middle finger: 5th string, 12th fret

Dm7 Chord Version 7

This chord is the same as the previous one with an additional F in the 13th fret. It takes some stretching, but you can pop your finger on and off the F to add a little spice as needed.

How to Play Dm7 Version 7

8 Dm7 guitar chord version 7

  • Index finger: Barre the 10th fret
  • Ring or middle finger: 5th string, 12th fret
  • Pinky or ring finger: 1st string, 13th fret

Dm7 Chord Version 8

Another one for those of you who love jazz. This version is going to require some muting from your index finger. The shape can be a little tricky, but with practice, most guitarists should be able to get this one. And it’s definitely worth the effort to learn.

How to Play Dm7 Version 8

9 Dm7 guitar chord version 8

  • Index finger: 5th fret, 5th string
  • Middle finger: 5th fret, 3rd string
  • Ring finger: 6th fret, 2nd string
  • Pinky finger: 5th fret, 1st string

Dm7 Chord Version 9

This version, for people with small hands, likely belongs in the hard category rather. In my case, the last joints in my ring and pinky fingers aren’t bendy enough to barre anything. For people like my double-jointed husband and/or those who have large hands, this chord is probably fairly easy to play with regular practice.

My middle finger ends up muting the 5th string, since it’s difficult for me to get my fingers over the fretboard enough without losing the note on the 1st string. This is probably a bit harder for me as I need my ring and pinky finger to play the 2nd and 3rd strings. Perhaps it’s just my beautiful dreadnought guitar, that I love dearly and refuse to give up for something smaller.

But see how you go. There are ways to play guitar if you have small hands. And if it’s that you need to gain some flexibility, warm up your hands and fingers and do some gentle stretching with your fingers. The shape will come with muscle memory.

How to Play Dm7 Version 9

10 Dm7 guitar chord version 9

  • Index finger: 1st string, 8th fret
  • Middle finger or ring finger: 6th string, 10th fret
  • Ring finger or pinky: Barre strings 2 and 3 in the 10th fret, alternatively, play these notes with your ring and pinky fingers

The Dm7 Guitar Chord: Hard

These shapes can be tricky to play, and in some cases there’s more barring with fingers that not everyone has an easy time barring strings with. In addition to that, there may be some additional stretching involved as the neck also gets wider when you get lower down. But just remember, the lower you go on the neck, the smaller the frets are too. It just takes practice to play the more complicated chords well.

And if you are still struggling and find them hard to play because of your guitar or the size of your hands or anything else, you don’t have to play these chords to sound good. They’re just good to know to unleash your creativity in more ways than the easier chords may allow. But as long as you’re making good music, it doesn’t matter how difficult the chords are, or how easy they are.

Dm7 Chord Version 10

This one will need the help of all four fingers, so you will need to barre the 2nd and 3rd strings with your pinky. For many people, this may be a tricky chord shape to play.

How to Play Dm7 Version 10

11 Dm7 guitar chord version 10

  • Index finger: 8th fret, 5th string
  • Middle finger: 8th fret, 1st string
  • Ring finger: 10th fret, 6th string
  • Pink finger: Barre strings 2 and 3 in the 10th fret

Dm7 Chord Version 11

This is another version that has a tricky shape. It’s a slightly lower voicing than the other two, but no less beautiful. If needed, mute the 6th string with your thumb.

How to Play Dm7 Version 11

12 Dm7 guitar chord version 11

  • Index finger: Barre strings 3-5 in the 5th fret
  • Middle finger: 7th fret, 4th string
  • Ring finger: 6th fret, 2nd string
  • Pink finger: 8th fret, 1st string

Dm7 Chord Version 12

This version is just slightly different from version 10. Using both these versions can add a tiny variation, which can add some flavor to your chord progression. It will require some barring from your ring finger.

How to Play Dm7 Version 12

13 Dm7 guitar chord version 12

  • Index finger: 5th fret, 5th string
  • Middle finger: 6th fret, 2nd string
  • Ring finger: Barre strings 3 and 4, 7th fret
  • Pink finger: 8th fret, 1st string

Dm7 Chord Version 13

This version uses the root note in the 10th fret on the 6th string. It’s a higher voicing with some added bass thanks to the open 5th string. You’ll have to get your pinky to barre the 2nd and 3rd strings as well. With regular practice, this chord shape could become your favorite.

How to Play Dm7 Version 13

14 Dm7 guitar chord version 13

  • Index finger: 7th fret, 4th string
  • Middle finger: 8th fret, 1st string
  • Ring finger: 10th fret, 6th string
  • Pink finger: Barre strings 2 and 3 in the 10th fret


The Dm7 chord works well with a variety of genres. It’s a chord that’s easy to learn, and you can just let your creativity guide you with regard to where you want to use it. And next time you see Dm7 in the chord sheet, you don’t have to worry that it’s complicated. As you can see by the variety of ways to play it, it’s as complicated as you make it. Have fun exploring and creating music using this diverse chord!

1 How to Play the Dm7 Guitar Chord Easy Medium and Hard