How To Play Sad Guitar Chords

How many of you have been moved to tears by a tune, score from a movie, or video game? Has It left you baffled? Please don’t be embarrassed to confess it! 

Have you ever wondered what makes chords sound melancholic and emotionally influential?

The immediate answer is found in chords. These are among the most crucial factors in how a song sounds and responds to human emotions.

It doesn’t have to be complicated to sound lovely and profound. Dozens of hits have been composed around basic 4-chord progressions!

Grief and sorrow are essential components of humanity’s extensive musical legacy. There are numerous dramatic, compelling, and emotionally evoking soundscapes worldwide.

Let’s Talk About The Usage of Dissonance

Whenever you listen to certain guitar chords by themselves, they seem sorrowful. “D Flat Minor” is an illustration supporting this statement:

But really, what is it in guitar chords that make it seem sad to us? – The simple answer is Dissonance!

Dissonance is the fundamental reason a melody feels sorrowful.

You may be thinking, “What is dissonance?”

In layman’s terms, Dissonance refers to a tense and unfinished noise.

Whenever you hear a discordant harmony, you have the impression that it should be reconciled with a harmonious chord.

Sentimental Harmonic Progressions

As you can see, music plays an integral part in our existence. It directly impacts our feelings, pulse, and other emotion-generating factors.

As musicians, the most effective approach to engage with audiences is attaining a personal connection. 

Before you begin composing, ask yourself. What do you hope to convey with your song? What is the backstory? 

Once you’ve determined this, you’ll need to select chords and chord arpeggios that are thematically rich and related to your ultimate aim.

You need to know how one chord relates to another based on its progression. Allow us to explain:

The chord sequence is written as follows in roman numbers. Each number (I – II – III – IV – V – VI – VII) denotes a gap between the notes.

A chord transition generates a melodic tone and an instant sensation based on the intervals.

When talking about the base notes, it is essential to note that any progression would sound incomplete without incorporating specific base notes in them. 

Even though the listener does not “understand” the base chord, they may feel and recognize it intuitively as the song begins. 

You may also figure it out by humming along with the music: the root note is the one chord you can hum along with that continually appears on the melody.

Always keep the root chord in mind when writing tunes.

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The List Of Sad Chords

  1. F – Dm7 – F/A – Bb  Progression

All it takes to make a sorrowful chord progression is a significant major chord and the slight touch of a minor chord.

That is what the chord progression mentioned above achieves.

Making chord progressions is very straightforward. Musicians may add their improvisations to make it sound emotive.

On the other hand, the first inverse of a major chord, which is F/A, is a chord form that you may never employ sufficiently.

  1. Dominating 7th Notes

Major 7 chords are eerie and enigmatic. However, memorizing their equation can be difficult. Therefore remembering the chord forms is preferable.

A dominating 7th is formed by combining the major triad with the minor 7th octave because the 7th gap of the C minor scale is Bb / A#, C7. 

As a result, Seven chord forms in C major.

We showed you the harmonic form on the fifth and sixth strings. Likewise, you may transpose the progression to obtain the desired harmonies.

  1. Eb – Bb/D – Cm7 – Bb/D  Progression

Another excellent illustration of how you don’t need to use a bunch of minor chords to produce a sorrowful chord sequence is stated above.

This progression only employs one harmonic. It also repeatedly uses the same chord (Bb/D) to conclude the variation and return to Eb.

The melodies and singing that you layer on atop these notes will eventually establish the tone and mood that audiences experience.

In other terms, you may make it incredibly sad or extremely motivational and uplifting.

  1. Diminished Chords and Notes

Finally, let’s look at reduced chords (“dim”), which have a softer sound than modal scales and are the most discordant notes you’ll ever hear. They’re highly off-putting when taken out of context.

A diminished short has a minor third (three notes above the base) and a reduced fifth (six notations above the base note).

Now, add the decreased 7th, which is nine notes above the root, to make a diminished 7th tune:

Bridging between two chords is a common application for diminished chords since they produce much tension. You can then release the strain with a more “steady” chord.

Furthermore, dim chords provide step-like movement in the chord’s root notes, creating a solid sensation of dynamism. Here’s how to put these chords to use.

Create your tonic chords (called “I” in jazz nomenclature);

Then, just a half step higher to your chord, play a reduced chord or a diminished 7th (designated “bii” in jazz nomenclature).

Continue with a half-step minor chord above the harmonic to get your perfect diminished tune.

  1. (A – A7/G) – F#m7 – Em – C# – A – F#m7 – Em – C – (C# – F#7)

Classical music is rich in melancholic chord progressions, and we really can not help but pick one of the greatest.

This one is also long, although it has many characteristics as the last long progression.

C# is the comparative V to F#7, while F#m7 shares two chords with D, the proximate I to A and A7.

This arrangement may seem like a plethora of statistics. However, we’re only talking about the V-I connection that runs across all the songs.

The usage of the “bII” is particularly fantastic in this chord sequence (C chord).

Utilizing a chord that does not correspond to the key you’re in is an instance of chromatic harmonization. 

This phenomenon implies that you’re using sounds or harmonies that do not naturally arise in the key you’re in.


Sad guitar chords are typically acquired through:

  • Dissonant
  • low-pitched voice
  • Notes in minor
  • From the appropriate perspective sounds sad

To make a complete set of melancholic chord progressions, you’ll need:

  • Tension inducing music
  • Melodic lines that easily transition into sadder chords
  • Incorporates Slow tempos