There's more than one way to "spell" a chord
Frustrated with guitar bar chords? These clear instructions include a free online video guitar lesson that will heal any frustration you feel.
Before we go further, I'd like to point out that "barre" is the correct spelling. Just in case you're looking it up elsewhere. Now you know that its one of those words that gets spelled 2 different ways. I actually have a different lesson on "barre chords" under the "Articles" section. You may like to read it sometime. It doesn't include a guitar lesson video though.
If you want the quick start guide to making bar chords easier, go to the video now. If you aren't sure, or want to know more about these chords, read on!
Why even bother with guitar bar chords?
I'm glad you asked :-) Here are a couple of very good reasons...
Chords with roots such as "F" or "B" can only be played as some type of barre chord.
You'll have more options when playing songs or jamming with others.
You'll begin to see more patterns on the fretboard.
Electric or Acoustic?
This brings us to another important point. If you play electric guitar, you have no option. You really do need to get the basic barre chord forms under your fingers. Not only for the reasons listed above, but because learning them will truly begin to open the guitar up for you :-)
If you play acoustic steel string it can a little trickier. And it depends upon your goals. This is because guitar bar chords can be physically demanding to play on a steel string guitar. Also, open strings sound so much better on an acoustic!
What some players do to offset this is to use mainly open position chord shapes. If they want to play in a different key, they simply use a capo. A capo is the device that you clamp onto the neck of a guitar. This way, a guitarist can still have the effect of open strings ringing through.
Or some players will play in "open tunings". This means they tune the strings of their guitar to different pitches than the standard tuning. It also means they will need to use different fingerings for various chords. If you're fairly serious about your guitar playing and you're drawn to this type of playing, go for it. Otherwise, I strongly suggest sticking with standard tuning.
The best way for most players to improve their playing on acoustic guitar is to learn the basics really well. And that definitely includes guitar bar chords. Fingerpicking is also a good skill to learn. It can really take your playing in new directions. As always, stay focused. If you jump around too much with curiosity, you won't get anywhere. By all means experiment and do your research. Then, narrow you focus and practice! When you're ready to expand a little, you'll know. It's like building a house. Make sure you have a solid foundation in place. Then it won't matter what styles you want to learn.
Is it Major, Minor or Dom7?
Dom is short for dominant. The "C dominant 7th" chord would be named simply C7. Major will usually be written as "ma" or upper case "M". Minor will be "mi" or lower case "m". Sometimes they will be