A Good Start For Beginners. Part 4

The fourth part of my beginner series of lessons, This is for the absolute beginners who consists of NO musical knowledge what so ever.

6
Hey folks I'm back for a fourth part of my beginner series. Firstly I would like to apologize for being m.i.a for a while I was driving one night and a tree decided to come and take a closer look at my car . . Anyway I am going to cover "barre chords" in this section. P.s Im not going to include my warm up exercise today because you should know it by now! Okay first of all there is a difference between "barre chords" and "power chords" Bar Chords are chords that have your index finger holding down more than one string and not playing with any open strings A Power Chord is a chord consisting of 2 notes. The two notes are the I and V degrees. People use power chords because they are neither major nor minor. This is because they don't have a third degree, and the third degree tells you whether a chord is major or minor. They are also used because they give the feel of raw power. So a very important aspect of learning barre chords would be to know the notes on your Low E (6th string) and your A string (5th string) up until the 12th fret because they will be our ROOT notes for our barre chords, this doesn't happen over night so try and memorize them at your own pace. the notes are
 A|A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A
 E|F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E
why do you need to know this? simply because if you pick any note on those strings and make it the root then that is going to be the barre chord. Note : I know there are also flat notes in between but don't mind them now. For barre chords there are 2 chords you MUST know the E and A chord
E chord - |-0-|      A - Chord  |-0-|  
  |-0-|                 |-2-|(P)
          |-1-|(I)              |-2-|(R)
          |-2-|(R)              |-2-|(M)
          |-2-|(M)              |-0-|
          |-0-|                 |-0-|
Why them? in retrospect you just use those chords "shape" and move all along the fretboard to create barre chords but let's look into it. Let's start with the first type: bar chords derived from the E chord. To make a bar chord out of the E chord, we need to change the fingering. Instead of fretting the chord with finger (I), (R) and (M) we're going to fret it with finger (R), (M) and (P)
so E chord - |-0-|
             |-0-|
             |-1-|(M)
             |-2-|(R)
             |-2-|(P)
             |-0-|
Now what you do is you slide all your 1 fret higer on the neck So your "E chord" will now look like this
|-0-|
|-0-|
|-2-|(M)
|-3-|(R)
|-3-|(P)
|-0-|
But now take your index finger (I) and place it on the first fret try and get all the strings and press down hard on them, don't worry if you don't get it the first time it takes some getting use to.
In tab form your doing this - |-1-|(I)
                              |-1-|(I)
                              |-2-|(M)
                              |-3-|(R)
                              |-3-|(P)
                              |-1-|(I)
remember I said know the notes on the E and A strings? the note on the first fret on you low E (thickest string) is F so what you have here is an F major barre chord. The great thing about these chords is that they are completely movable. So if you move the chord down a fret then you know that the chord is raised a half step. (example: C would be raised to C#). Let's look at this more in depth. NOTE - Im going to raise the chords a full step (2 frets)
F major - |-1-|(I)
          |-1-|(I)
          |-2-|(M)
          |-3-|(R)
          |-3-|(P)
          |-1-|(I)
 
G major - |-3-|(I)
          |-3-|(I)
          |-4-|(M)
          |-5-|(R)
          |-5-|(P)
          |-3-|(I)
 
A major - |-5-|(I)
          |-5-|(I)
          |-6-|(M)
          |-7-|(R)
          |-7-|(P)
          |-5-|(I)
 
B major - |-7-|(I)
          |-7-|(I)
          |-8-|(M)
          |-9-|(R)
          |-9-|(P)
          |-7-|(I)
 
C major - |-8-| (I)
          |-8-| (I)
          |-9-| (M)
          |-10-|(R)
          |-10-|(P)
          |-8-| (I)
 
D major - |-10-|(I)
          |-10-|(I)
          |-11-|(M)
          |-12-|(R)
          |-12-|(P)
          |-10-|(I)
 
E major - |-12-|(I)
          |-12-|(I)
          |-13-|(M)
          |-14-|(R)
          |-14-|(P)
          |-12-|(I)
Those were the Major barre chord shapes using the E chord form, with the Low E (Thickest string our root) Now I will show you the Minor chord shapes, keeping the E chord shape as well as the Low E our root.
F minor - |-1-|(I)
          |-1-|(I)
          |-1-|(I)   
          |-3-|(R)
          |-3-|(P)
          |-1-|(I)
 
G minor - |-3-|(I)
          |-3-|(I)
          |-3-|(I)
          |-5-|(R)
          |-5-|(P)
          |-3-|(I)
 
A minor - |-5-|(I)
          |-5-|(I)
          |-5-|(I)
          |-7-|(R)
          |-7-|(P)
          |-5-|(I)
 
B minor - |-7-|(I)
          |-7-|(I)
          |-7-|(I)
          |-9-|(R)
          |-9-|(P)
          |-7-|(I)
 
C minor - |-8-| (I)
          |-8-| (I)
          |-8-| (I)
          |-10-|(R)
          |-10-|(P)
          |-8-| (I)
 
D minor - |-10-|(I)
          |-10-|(I)
          |-10-|(I)
          |-12-|(R)
          |-12-|(P)
          |-10-|(I)
 
E minor - |-12-|(I)
          |-12-|(I)
          |-12-|(I)
          |-14-|(R)
          |-14-|(p)
          |-12-|(I)
Notice that the only difference between the Major and Minor chords is the note on the G string. Or in other words with Major chords you use your Middle finger and with Minor chords you don't. That concludes barre chords derived from the E chord shape. Now on to barre chords derived from the A chord shape. Here we are going to use all the notes on our A (5th) string here they are again - A|A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A Now to make the A shaped barre chords we won't change the fingering like we did with the E chord so
A chord - |-0-|
          |-2-|(P)
          |-2-|(M)
          |-2-|(R)
          |-0-|
          |-0-|
 
Move the chord up 2 frets
 
A chord - |-0-|
          |-4-|(P)
          |-4-|(M)
          |-4-|(R)
          |-0-|
          |-0-|
Now like I said with the A shape barre chords our root is on the A (5th) string, we don't play the low E (6th) string here. NOTE: With A shape barre chords there are 2 issues 1, seeing that you don't play the low E (6th) string there is always a possibility that you might strike the low E string resulting in a bad sounding chord, what I do i move my index finger a bit closer to the low E string to mute it so if I hit it by accident its a dud sound instead of the open E. 2. its extremely hard to bar the A chord because there is a posibilty of your pinkie muting the high E (1st) string. But with a little practice and a lot of patience you'll get it. So take your (I) index finger and bar the second fret starting on your A (5th) string.
So you get - |-2-|(I)
             |-4-|(P)
             |-4-|(M)
             |-4-|(R)
             |-2-|(I)
             |-x-| - "x" means mute/don't play that string
We know the note on the second string second fret is B so the result is : a B major barre chord. Again these chords are move able so if you keep your root on the A (5th) string you can get different chords.
B major - |-2-|(I) 
          |-4-|(P) 
          |-4-|(M)
          |-4-|(R)
          |-2-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
C major - |-3-|(I)
          |-5-|(P)
          |-5-|(M)
          |-5-|(R)
          |-3-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
D major - |-5-|(I)
          |-7-|(P)
          |-7-|(M)
          |-7-|(R)
          |-5-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
E major - |-7-|(I)
          |-9-|(P)
          |-9-|(M)
          |-9-|(R)
          |-7-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
F major - |-8-|  (I)
          |-10-| (P)
          |-10-| (M)
          |-10-| (R)
          |-8-|  (I)
          |-x-|
 
G major - |-10-|(I)
          |-12-|(P)
          |-12-|(M)
          |-12-|(R)
          |-10-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
A major - |-12-|(I)
          |-14-|(P)
          |-14-|(M)
          |-14-|(R)
          |-12-|(I)
          |-x-|
So that's your Major barre chords on the A shape using the A (5th) string as our root. NOTE: For those of you that did some research there are other ways of playing A shape barre chords using your pinkie as another bar but I find it too difficult for beginners. On to Minor barre chords using the A shape and A (5th) string as our root. We also just change 1 note on the B string, (when we used the low E as our root we changed only the note on the G string) to make it easier to understand the "shape" here is exactly the same as the A minor chord.
A minor - |-0-|
          |-1-|(I)
          |-2-|(R)
          |-2-|(M)
          |-0-|
          |-x-|
Move the chord up 2 frets, and bar the second fret starting at the A (5th) string
Result - |-2-|(I)    
         |-3-|(M)
         |-4-|(R)
         |-4-|(P)
         |-2-|(I)
         |-x-|
Our root is exactly the same as with major chords, second fret 5th string which is B so you get a B minor barre chord. And we just move it along the fretboard as we did with all the other chords, keeping our shape and the root on the A (5th) string.
B minor - |-2-|(I)
          |-3-|(M)
          |-4-|(R)
          |-4-|(P)
          |-2-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
C minor - |-3-|(I)
          |-4-|(M)
          |-5-|(R)
          |-5-|(P)
          |-3-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
D minor - |-5-|(I)
          |-6-|(M)
          |-7-|(R)
          |-7-|(P)
          |-5-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
E minor - |-7-|(I)
          |-8-|(M)
          |-9-|(R)
          |-9-|(P)
          |-7-|(I)
          |-x-|
 
F minor - |-8-| (I)
          |-9-| (M)
          |-10-|(R)
          |-10-|(P)
          |-8-| (I)
          |-x-|
 
G minor - |-10-|(I)
          |-11-|(M)
          |-12-|(R)
          |-12-|(P)
          |-10-|(I) 
          |-x-|
 
A minor - |-12-|(I)
          |-13-|(M)
          |-14-|(R)
          |-14-|(P)
          |-12-|(I)
          |-x-|
So that concludes barre chords, pardon if you got bored half way, this is really a huge step for beginners and I'm pretty sure this will cause confusion. My advice would be to break it up in 2 parts first try and master the "E" shape barre chords and after them the "A" shape barre chords. Please feel free to ask or request anything you need help with, and thanks to each and everyone of you guys who actually appreciates my lessons, again I would like to add that all my lessons are strictly for BEGINNERS and I try to avoid stuffing too much theory into it. Rock on friends..

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    pHiLLa
    Lolcohol wrote: Ugh. Ignore me. I think that anular thing only really relates to the right hand in classical guitar. D: Looks like someone slammed your rating on this one
    yeah pretty bummed . .
    Lolcohol
    Ugh. Ignore me. I think that anular thing only really relates to the right hand in classical guitar. D: Looks like someone slammed your rating on this one
    Lolcohol
    moose1512 wrote: once you know barre chords, and open chords, you can play 85% of songs. I play lead mainly, love it. I picked up an acoustic, learned barre chords and open chords and a few chart songs/90's pop songs and its great for parties, get togethers and the like. Great fun for just strumming and singing along between gigs.
    Lolol. Have you ever played any Jazz? This is true for pop songs, as you suggested, but once you get to extended chords, barring isn't too helpful! Find The Real Book if you're at all interested. And as for the thing about the ring and pinky being backwards...? I'm not sure if I read it wrongly, but it looks totally right to me, man. Except for the Open A, which I play as I, M, A (A is the proper letter for the ring figer - it stands for "anular" , just so you know)
    teh_goon
    i've always wondered, are barre chords still barre chords if you fret the e/a with you thumb?
    Tauhid Davis
    Very nice lesson, explained barre chords pretty well for me. Will look forward to any future articles :')
    DragonAvenger7
    I'm a ground ZERO beginner, who's read through all your lessons, took notes on it all and couldn't be more glad I took the time to do so! THANK YOU for taking so much time to share all these lessons and not confusing with further details into things. You're lessons were the perfect doses for my start into guitar! I learned quick and easy from them!! I feel I'm on my way thanks to you sharing on a simple level beginners can grasp!
    AlexV5.0
    I found this, and all the other lesson great. I'm a total newbie but, this is giving me great practice and have really enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me learn!
    TONY617
    i once gave up learning the guitar because of barre chords but my teacher and a friend encouraged me along, still don't get the barre chords right but i'm improving.barre chords on the electric guitar is easier for me so i got to get an electric guitar.by thr way these lessons are great. thanks.
    bradwhiteuk
    pHiLLa wrote: hey yes! ugh how I wish the site will add an "edit" button thanks for pointing that out =)
    No problem. Hopefully people will realise themselves or check the comments and see the mistake. Shame cos the lesson is otherwise very useful for beginners.
    moose1512
    once you know barre chords, and open chords, you can play 85% of songs. I play lead mainly, love it. I picked up an acoustic, learned barre chords and open chords and a few chart songs/90's pop songs and its great for parties, get togethers and the like. Great fun for just strumming and singing along between gigs.
    Lolcohol
    Cool lesson, man! And for any newbies out there - barre chords are the most awful and painful things to play when you first learn them, but after a while, you don't even have to think about playing them. You'll get used to it with time. Oh and of course the method that you explained works with D, G and C shapes too (but those are harder!)
    kmilongo
    this is one thing no one ever told me and in the end figured out on my own. good to see someone actually explaining the whole barre chords thing! I'm sure beginners will absolutely appreciate this.
    g0dd4rd
    tip: make the A-shape first and then pull-on your index finger. that lets you use what you know (muscle memory, e string should stay open), then adjust the index finger, so you don't hold the E string or let it ring, on the other hand. plus, this way it sounds better even while you screw up the chord
    lmcd
    2fast748 wrote: I hate barre chords! The bastard things are giving me arthritis!
    I already have some arthritis - now I'm working on tendonitis. The barre chords with an e/em or am position is not a problem but the A positioning is kicking my butt. Normally I play an open A chord with just one finger holding the three strings, which makes my hand happy. But I'm in dire need of some "B" chords and really need to get this down. Once again, thanks for the basic theory on the fretboard, roots and how they relate to chord position; it's really helping.
    bradwhiteuk
    Not sure if this is a mistake, and I will admit now to not having read the entire article, but shouldn't the (P) and (R) be the other way round on most of these diagrams? So from 6th (top) string to 1st (bottom) it should be (I)(R)(P)(M)(I)(I), NOT (I)(P)(R)(M)(I)(I)?
    robertito696
    bradwhiteuk wrote: Not sure if this is a mistake, and I will admit now to not having read the entire article, but shouldn't the (P) and (R) be the other way round on most of these diagrams? So from 6th (top) string to 1st (bottom) it should be (I)(R)(P)(M)(I)(I), NOT (I)(P)(R)(M)(I)(I)?
    I thought that was weird too.Both ways work but I find it far more comfortable with my pinky on the 4th and ring on the 5th.
    corrda00
    Barre chords are the best things ever. I wish they were taught more at the beginner level.
    pHiLLa
    Lolcohol wrote: Cool lesson, man! And for any newbies out there - barre chords are the most awful and painful things to play when you first learn them, but after a while, you don't even have to think about playing them. You'll get used to it with time. Oh and of course the method that you explained works with D, G and C shapes too (but those are harder!)
    haha! yes I hated them soo much! I considered doing those other shapes as well but (personally, and maybe it's wrong) I felt that the E and A shape are the most common shapes. when is your next lesson?? =)
    pHiLLa
    bradwhiteuk wrote: Not sure if this is a mistake, and I will admit now to not having read the entire article, but shouldn't the (P) and (R) be the other way round on most of these diagrams? So from 6th (top) string to 1st (bottom) it should be (I)(R)(P)(M)(I)(I), NOT (I)(P)(R)(M)(I)(I)?
    hey yes! ugh how I wish the site will add an "edit" button thanks for pointing that out =)