Barre Chords II

This technique is an excellent addition to your techincal reperatior and should be learned by every player.

9
Barre chords are essentially open-string chord shapes that can be formed at different points on the fingerboard. To form a barre chord: 1. The first finger is stretched across the width of the fingerboard.
E[--2-----
B[--2-----
G[--2-----
D[--2-----
A[--2-----
E[--2-----
Kind of like putting a capo on a certain fret. 2. The remaining three fingers are used to form the chord shape. An E Barre Chord thats the shape of an E chord, but is actually F#:
E[--2-----
B[--2-----
G[--3-----
D[--4-----
A[--4-----
E[--2-----
So now, you are forming an E chord shape, but since it has moved up the fingerboard, you are actually playing F#. Essentially, the first finger acts as the nut, or zero fret. The great thing about barre chords are that they allow open-string chord shapes to be played in any key. The most commonly used barre chords are E Shaped (like the exercise above) and A Shape. Less common are those formed around the open C and G chords. They are possible, but much trickier to pull off. Barre chords are also sometimes known as "slash" chords. Why do barre chords work? Barre chords work because the first finger acts as a repositioned nut from which open string chord shapes can be built. In practice, this is more complex since you no longer have a first finger to fret individual notes. Some guitarist like the way the open string chord shapes sound. Others appretiate the ease with which chord changes can be made. Therefore, some players choose to, instead of forming barre chords, they place a CAPO on a fret instead. The capo works by fitting over the strings of the fingerboard and pressing down, using a clamp on the back, acting just as the first finger of a barre chord would word, but now, you have the first finger back, being able to fret individual notes. If a capo were fitted on the fifth fret, and a standard E Major chord shape were formed, the resulting chord would be A Major. The E Shaped Barre. As we worked on above, the E Shaped barre chord works by having the first finger pressed against all the strings of a certain fret. After this is done, the remaining three fingers are free to form an E Major chord shape. The E Major Chord Shape:
E[--0-----
B[--0-----
G[--1-----
D[--2-----
A[--2-----
E[--0-----
If a barre is formed on the fourth fret, and an E Major chord is formed, the resulting chord is G#. The correct chord name for an E Shaped barre chord can always be found by finding the barred note you are fretting on the sixth string. The A Shaped Barre. The A Shaped barre works in the same way as an E Shaped barre, but you only need to barre the first five strings. The sixth string is optional, because the ROOT will always be on the fifth string. A regular A Major chord looks like this:
E[--0-----
B[--2-----
G[--2-----
D[--2-----
A[--0-----
E[-(0)----
Again, the sixth string is optional, and even though its musically correct, in some cases it just makes the chord sound wrong. Most players like the lessened strength it takes to hold down one less string in an A Shaped barre chord anyway, so this should'nt be a problem. So, forming an A Shaped barre on the second fret of the fifth string, will result in a B Major Chord.
E[--2-----
B[--4-----
G[--4-----
D[--4-----
A[--2-----
E[-(2)----
I find the chord sounds better when the sixth string is not played. Making barre chords easier. It's good to have a low action on your guitar if you use barre chords frequently. The action of a guitar refers to the hight from the string to the top of the fingerboard. This can easily be adjusted to your likings at a guitar shop, and I would only reccomend doing it yourself if your confident in your abilities. Well, thats about it. If you wish to know about the C and G Shaped barres, then, please, by all means PM me in the forums, and I'll send you some information on it. Because they are very rarely used in popular playing, I have not included them in the lesson. Well, I hope this can help with your barre chord needs.

46 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    MrVert
    If you think Hendrix wrote "fag pop" music, you'll probably get beaten up and gang raped for it. Barre chords aresomthing he used alot in his music, along with chord fills, which come from them.
    NooneSavedUs
    Barre chords just plain SUCK until you learn them. Then they are the greatest thing since the humbucker. Even though they came first. Just understand the comparison.
    Bhaalsmasher
    gregorisgod: "Dear mr alexcjalali, it is a well known fact that Jimi Hendrix could not read music. He learned most of his stuff by ear, and never looked into theory. Ever." how do you know? how is shit like that a "well know fact"? how do you know he didn't sneak books from wherever about music theory and secretly learned all of that stuff. who knows? who cares. he rules regardless.
    heyz
    damn! I just can't stretch my fingers to get the B Major chord. How do u guys do it?
    stampy_69
    wait.....wtf do u mean 'who is hendrix?'?! oh my god! even i know who jimmy hendrix is!
    buffatron
    id say is some hero who thinks he knows hendrix, but it appears he doesnt know what colour his skin was let alone weather he reads music or not, sigh at alexcjalali's heroicness
    rocknrolldogs
    barre chords are hard, i need too spend more time praticeing and less time complaining but comeplaing is so much more easy
    rocknrolldogs
    barre chords are hard, i need too spend more time praticeing and less time complaining but comeplaing is so much more easy
    anti-king
    hi can anyone tel me a trick 4 barre chords i need help
    badly
    e-mail me at jonking9888@yahoo.com thanx
    guild wars rules
    delta777
    Shilo Zaba wrote: hey guys, need some help. does anyone know what this chord is called??? ((224235))
    mmm i think that it's a B chord (but don't know if it's B6 6, but I can assure that it isn't mayor or minor), I you learn to read music it'll be easier for you to make chords.
    delta777
    rocknrolldogs wrote: barre chords are hard, i need too spend more time praticeing and less time complaining but comeplaing is so much more easy
    Yes I know, i've been playing for about 4 years, and at first it was difficult, i almost smashed my guitar sometimes jeje.
    gregorisgod
    alexcjalali: the white stripes rarely use barres, also oswald. you are a moron. and actually, yes jimi could read music, you think he completely accidently guessed each note in perfect scale? he used to be a professional working guitarist for other bands, knowing music and theory is kinda in the job description.... Dear mr alexcjalali, it is a well known fact that Jimi Hendrix could not read music. He learned most of his stuff by ear, and never looked into theory. Ever.
    Angry youth
    erm 3 or so things elliott smith altho he was a legend, was gay which some may call fag And yeah barre chords can create tones of weird chords
    mongbrain
    FAG POP? did u no that power chords r basically barre chords but without playing the bottom 2 (or 3) strings, in the form of an E minor. A LOT of modern (and classic) rock bands use barre chords to create a greater tone and depth to their music.
    Rocknrolla35
    I'm 11 years late, but sorry dude, power chords ARE NOT really what you said, and i hope you already know this by now. Power chords aren't even chords actually. A chord is formed when at least THREE different notes are put together in a chord. Anything else is referred to as, asically, either an interval(if TWO notes are played together), either as melody consisting of individual notes. With that said, power chords CAN be looked at the way you described. I hope i didn't come off as a douche.
    orestm
    good. barre chords are useful and are used in a wiiide variety of music, so its good to know them anyway. however you only included Major barre chords... what about Minor? 7th? Minor 7th?
    sparkus04
    look people this guy wrote a well good article on barre chords so why all the trash typing to each other? seriously? barre chords tend to be used by the huge majority of guitarists-theres a whole world of music u miss out on if u cant play em or choose not to.barre chords are just chords played with more skill and knowledge! i seriously found my playing take a huge leap after learning them-sure its not as impressive as copying a famous solo by tab or whatever but u can do far better in the long run
    bLoWn
    i mean... i think this is a great article/lesson for beginners, it's just that it should be the part 1, and the part 2 should be the lesson about making 7th chord with barres and so on. but that's just my opinion... anyway great job dude
    alexcjalali
    the white stripes rarely use barres, also oswald. you are a moron. and actually, yes jimi could read music, you think he completely accidently guessed each note in perfect scale? he used to be a professional working guitarist for other bands, knowing music and theory is kinda in the job description....
    avalanche930
    I think we all realize Oswald is an angry person. who looks at articles just to tr and trash what their about. If you think barr chords are for fag po then why the hell are you looking at an article about them? Do you think your own music is fag pop?
    Shilo Zaba
    hey guys, need some help. does anyone know what this chord is called??? ((224235))
    Utara
    Zamboni can you pls. teach me the C and G barres. I don't know your e-mail but I can give you mine. Pls. e-mail at black_corruption13@yahoo.com I'm looking forward to your reply, Thanks!!!!
    liam177lewis
    good lesson, i wondered what the hell scott gorham was doing... and now i know, such a life... cheers x
    Benzoid
    Great lesson. And not just fag pop uses barre chords..try playing Canon in D without Drop D without using barre chords , it will not sound as good ( though u can do it ) , or be as easy without learning how to barre . Thanks for this , I cant barre for nuts lol
    airlinemusic
    I'm saving this link, glad I found this page again. Thanks posting about barre chords.