#1
So I've seen some people on YouTube that sing and play the guitar. They have been playing for many years and still they don't do any barre chords. Instead they do open chords and instead of F they take the Fmaj7. Why is this? Can't they take barre chords or do they just prefer the Fmaj7? Are barre chords really that hard if you have played for over a year? I started practising barre chords after like 2 months of playing.
#2
No, i think its personal choice for them not to learn. just because they dont use barre chords doesnt mean you dont have to, its up to you to decide if youre gonna learn them :].
#3
A lot of the time open chords sound far better than barre chords on an acoustic. When you have more open strings ringing out you get a much fuller sound.
Plus, at almost 2 years I still find it much easier to play a full song with open chords than barred on an acoustic.
Last edited by ApeWeevil at Jun 7, 2010,
#5
Probably just a preference. I know barre chords but I never like to use them because they don't sound as good as open chords imo.
#6
Quote by artiq
So I've seen some people on YouTube that sing and play the guitar. They have been playing for many years and still they don't do any barre chords. Instead they do open chords and instead of F they take the Fmaj7. Why is this? Can't they take barre chords or do they just prefer the Fmaj7? Are barre chords really that hard if you have played for over a year? I started practising barre chords after like 2 months of playing.

I just started learning Barre chords. I can do the A and E form alright, but I need alot of practice on the other 3. It used to hurt my hand pretty bad, but its getting easier.
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#7
I've been working on barre chords lately. I just started playing a month ago. I had no problem with the open chords i'm still slow when switching between them, but they ring loud and clear. So now I'm just doing chord progressions over and over again to build up the muscle memory. I've recently started adding the barre chords with the Am and E fingering into some progressions. Takes me about 2 seconds to fret it, but It rings nicely.

I play every day but I seem to do well alternating between chords and minor pentatonic scale each day as the focus for my practice.

In a couple weeks I'll probably start working on putting some nice melodies into chord progressions. Hopefully I'll have a grasp on barre chords by then.
#8
I actually wrote a blog on this a while ago:

http://chainsawguitartuition.net/blog/why-do-we-even-need-barre-chords-anyway/

(just so that I don't have to repeat myself on barre chords)

Barre chords are essential for any guitar player. I think what you're noticing is- as has been said- people using more open strings on acoustics because of the sound.

You have to remember that (esp. on acoustic) barre chords have a completely different sound because each string is being stopped by your finger- rather than open chords that have contact to the guitar at both ends (not to mention they are stopped by the nut, which is a much "sharper" sound).

Ultimately, it's preference- probably not that they haven't learnt barre chords!
#9
Yes, indeed that open chords sound better but isn't Fmaj7 a different chord and gives a different sound?
#10
Quote by artiq
Yes, indeed that open chords sound better but isn't Fmaj7 a different chord and gives a different sound?

First, open chords don't sound "better," they sound different. They probably only sound better for someone who can't play barre chords correctly.

Second, Fmaj7 is different than F, but it could easily make sense in many scenarios. Then of course, you could use a Fmaj7 barre chord too...

It's all about preference, but in the end it boggles the mind why one wouldn't learn barre chords; they're so simple...
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#11
you can use Fmaj7 and not play the high E, it's still an F with a different finger position?
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#12
Major barree chords with the root on the 5th string are almost impossible to play. I always just skip the 1st string and play it like a power chord by doing a barree with my 3rd finger. Barree chords that start on the 6th string, however, are very easy and I use them as often as possible.
For example: how would you play B major chord? I never know how to do it fast -- it always takes too much time to play it correctly. So like I described, I play it x2444x, instead of x24442.
Last edited by Amarant at Jun 7, 2010,
#13
I don't think you really need to "Learn" barre chords, just how to do them. I mean, a B minor bar chord and a C minor bar chord with the root on the A string are going to be the exact same, but just one fret up, you know? It's just a matter of taking open chords and re doing them somewhere up the neck. Idk. It really seems like a preference thing to me. I just do whatever is easier at the time.

My opinion is, if it sounds best to you, and it's the easiest way for you, then you're not doing anything wrong*

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#14
Quote by hockeyplayer168
First, open chords don't sound "better," they sound different. They probably only sound better for someone who can't play barre chords correctly.


Are you kidding me? I can play a C in the E shape and it doesn't sound as good as the open C to me, same with G etc. Why would they not sound better to one who can play barre chords, it is all a matter of preference and many seem to like open chords.
#15
Quote by artiq
Are you kidding me? I can play a C in the E shape and it doesn't sound as good as the open C to me, same with G etc. Why would they not sound better to one who can play barre chords, it is all a matter of preference and many seem to like open chords.

There is absolutely no reason to believe open chords sound "better" than barre chords. Doing so is a gross oversimplification of the guitar.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#16
Quote by hockeyplayer168
There is absolutely no reason to believe open chords sound "better" than barre chords. Doing so is a gross oversimplification of the guitar.


It is not a belief, it is an opinion which is based on what I hear.
#17
Quote by artiq
It is not a belief, it is an opinion which is based on what I hear.

Probably because your technique is better for open chords. Either that or your guitar sucks...
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
Last edited by hockeyplayer168 at Jun 7, 2010,
#18
Quote by hockeyplayer168
Probably because your technique is better for open chords. Either that or your guitar sucks...

I'm pretty sure that it's a matter of opinion. There is no one "right" sound for guitar.
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#19
Quote by simpleben09
I'm pretty sure that it's a matter of opinion. There is no one "right" sound for guitar.

It's just a distinction that really makes no sense aside from a slight difference in tone.

If I'm playing an A major chord and I want the high A to add clarity and round out the chord, I can't play the open fingering because the highest note will be E.

That's all I have to say. It's all about context and relying on open chords will put you in a serious hole in terms of music in general.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#20
Quote by hockeyplayer168
It's just a distinction that really makes no sense aside from a slight difference in tone.

If I'm playing an A major chord and I want the high A to add clarity and round out the chord, I can't play the open fingering because the highest note will be E.

That's all I have to say. It's all about context and relying on open chords will put you in a serious hole in terms of music in general.


But that difference in tone makes it sound better to some people`?
#21
Quote by artiq
But that difference in tone makes it sound better to some people`?

Honestly, if you had that distinct of a taste, you wouldn't be saying that all open chords sound better than all barre chords.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#22
I use barre chords when I need to create a rhythym with my low E string. Simple.
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#23
Quote by artiq
But that difference in tone makes it sound better to some people`?



Yes.


I try to avoid barre chords because it gives a bad impression if you use too many.

Now if it's going to affect my tone for the better, than by all means I barre it up!
#24
On the same subject but perhaps off on a tangent, I've noticed Dave Grohl on the electric always leans towards open chords, granted the F and B and barred but if there's an open chord he'll use that, as opposed to the singer from Kings of Leon who usually relies on barres more.
I suppose it comes down to style and the sound you're after but I've found that if I want to play a chord really hard the barre is better to avoid buzz.
I suppose it's easy to convince yourself before you can play barre's that you don't really need them and after all has anyone ever seen Donovan barre a guitar? But to become a more balanced player you need them in your arsenal, after all, power chords sound amazing on an acoustic as well as an electric.
#25
Quote by Amarant
Major barree chords with the root on the 5th string are almost impossible to play. I always just skip the 1st string and play it like a power chord by doing a barree with my 3rd finger. Barree chords that start on the 6th string, however, are very easy and I use them as often as possible.
For example: how would you play B major chord? I never know how to do it fast -- it always takes too much time to play it correctly. So like I described, I play it x2444x, instead of x24442.

hehe im at the state where i can play the high E when i play B like that. i fret the fourth fret strings with my pinky (ring finger is there, so i guess both fingers fret?) and my pinky bends at the perfect point where it doesn't interfere with the high E.
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#26
Quote by teamhex
I just started learning Barre chords. I can do the A and E form alright, but I need alot of practice on the other 3. It used to hurt my hand pretty bad, but its getting easier.

A and E form? You just slide down 7 frets?

I tend not to play that many barre chords, don't play that many open chords either though. I'd be inclined to say most people that sing and play acoustic guitar on youtube don't play barre chords much because they are girly men/women. Need to eat some cement and harden up a bit
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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#27
Try and play some Jack Johnson without using barre chords.

Most of his songs use very simple chord progressions that can easily played in an open position. But if you actually want to sound like Jack, you need barre chords. Not just because of their specific tone, but because the barre opens up rhythmic strumming options.

I dare say there are a lot of acoustic artists like that, but Jack Johnson was the first that came to mind.
#28
i never spent time learning all the barre chords but it hasn't really effected me much at all. i can play barre chords no problem, it just seemed like a waste of time to learn all the specific ones considering they're the same shapes as open chords just transposed. although if you can't even play barre chords than yes, you should definitely work on that
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#29
Nobody wants to learn barre chords anymore because. Of one thing... THE CAPO!!!!!
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#30
Are there actually people who can take the B major chord fast while playing? I mean the x24442 shape. I always do x2444x.
#31
Quote by Amarant
Are there actually people who can take the B major chord fast while playing? I mean the x24442 shape. I always do x2444x.

I really struggled at first, but now the A-shape B major is second nature for me. Like all things to do with guitar, it just takes practice

As for barre chords in general, yes i would definitely take the time to learn them. Limiting your options as a guitarist can only be a bad thing...
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#32
I think I'm kind of torn on this subject. I think barre chords are essential to at least learn because they help immensely with learning theory and the guitar as a pattern instrument in general. I don't think it's necessary to learn any shape other then A and E though for the majority of us. Since with those two shapes you can do virtually anything. As far as using them some songs almost require them especially if you want a more percussive rather than a ringing sound. As far as the poster who had problems with root notes on the A string. All you need to do is use your fingertip to mute the low E string when playing these chords and actually that's the easiest part of barre chords, at least for me. Everyone is different though and some will never learn them and things work just fine. If you understand the theory and why they are there then everything works out. If you're learning classical though barre chords are going to be essential as well as just barring frets in general.
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