Monday, August 23, 2010

Barre Chords Made Easy

Barre Chords - made easy!

Struggling with barre chords? If you've been frustrated,here's a great free guitar lesson that reveals important tips you need to know. With a little practice these "moveable chord shapes" will be something you look forward to playing and using in your music.

I remember growing up as a teenager, being able to play them was some kind of a benchmark. "Can you play barre chord shapes?" - "Oh yeah..." I'd coolly respond ;-)

What's a Moveable Chord?

" Moveable chord" is just another name for barre chord - speaking of which, why is it spelled like that? I've heard that the spelling is from the French. Here in Canada, we have French on all the packaging. I learned to speak a little French from reading cereal boxes as a kid:-)

These moveable chord shapes that can be played just about anywhere on the neck of the guitar. The great thing about them is that they are symmetrical. Once you've learned one shape, you've got a whole bunch of useful guitar chords.

The most important thing to realize about barre chords(and possibly even music in general) is that there are 2 types: major and minor. See guitar music theory if you don't understand the difference between major and minor chords.

The second most important thing to know about barre chords is which string the root of the chord is being played on. For our purposes, there are 2 strings that the root could be located on. Some people call the root the bass note. As always, a picture speaks a thousand words, so check out the guitar chord charts below.

Are things making a little more sense now?

Do you understand how there are major and minor? Do you know what the root of the chord means? An excellent way to train your musical ear is to sing the roots of the chords while you play them. I strongly suggest investigating ear training further if you are serious about developing as a guitarist/musician.


place the index finger of your fretting hand in 5th position(5th fret)

barre the first two strings with this finger

check and see that both strings are ringing clearly

feel the "weight" - or pressure - that you're applying with your index finger. Make sure that your finger is as close to the fret as possible. This means you don't have to apply as much pressure, and you'll also produce a much better sound.

so far so good? OK, now place the 2nd finger of your fretting hand(don't count your thumb)on the 6th fret of string 3 while still barring the first 2 strings!

if you're still with me, relax your hand for a sec...shake it out a bit 'cos here we go with some more "finger yoga" :-)

Hold the first 3 strings down as described above. Once you have a good sound, place the 4th finger of your fretting hand on fret 7 of string 4. Got it? Good!!

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