Barre Chords Video Lesson

 

Beginners barre chord video lesson  

Undoubtly, this is one of the biggest obstacles for beginner guitarists. Barre chords are tricky because all six strings of the guitar need to be fretted with one finger - the barre.

The good news is, once you can play one of them, you will be able to play all. And not only will you be able to play all barre chords - you will also be able to play all essential chords just by moving around a couple of barre shapes. I am sure you have seen rock bands - or pop bands for that matter - who seem to simply move around one single chord shape throughout a whole song.

Either way, this lesson will hopefully be a huge eye-opener for you. As soon as you manage to play one barre chord, just use the rules presented here to start moving the chord around on the guitar - and thereby playing any chord in any key. And you know what - this lesson shouldn't take you more than 20-30 minutes to grasp - so let's get going.

 

     Barre fretting technique

 

Okay - let's dive directly into the trickiest part - how to fret the barre. A picture says more than thousand words - this especially true for barre chords. Pay more attention to the pictures and video here, to understand the explanations:

 

1. Here is an picture of extremely bad barring technique. The barring finger - index finger - has to be paralell to the fretboard, thereby fretting all six strings. Bad barre chord technique

 

2. In order to get strength from the "barring" index finger - it is important to let the tip of the finger go pass the "fretboard edge". Right barre fretting

 

3. Also, you don't want the "flat side" of the index finger to be paralell to the fretboard. In order to produce an even pressure on all six strings - rotate your finger. This picture is an exaggerated illustration of the correct rotation.

Correct barre chord technique

 

 

If you get these three steps down, the six strings should be fairly audible when strummed.

Barre chords are difficult for the beginnerBarre chords can be quite a hassle for beginners

Some barre chords only have a barre on 5 or 4 strings - if you get the six string barre chord down, the other barre chords will not be a problem for you.

The further down on the neck you go (=towards the lower frets, fret 1-3) the more left hand pressure will be required. Your first barre attempts should therefore be done higher up on the neck (frets 5-9) .

     Barre chords in different keys

 

If you manage to play the barre - it is time to play an actual barre chord. Let's try a Bb minor barre chord:

Bb minor barre chorde|-6---|
b|-6---|
g|-6---|
d|-8---|
a|-8---|
e|-6---|

 

By moving this shape down to the third fret (ie the barre on the third fret) - we get a G minor barre chord:

e|-3---|
b|-3---|
g|-3---|
d|-5---|
a|-5---|
e|-
3---|

 

If we move it to the first fret we get an F chord. See the following diagram of the notes on the e-string- to play a barre chord of any key.

Fretboard notes for barre chords

You can also use the diagram above to obtain a major barre chord in any key. Here is what a Bb major barre chord looks like:

e|-6---|
b|-6---|
g|-7---|
d|-8---|
a|-8---|
e|-6---|

By moving this shape down to the fourth fret (ie the barre on the fourth fret) - we get a G# major barre chord:

e|-4---|
b|-4---|
g|-5---|
d|-6---|
a|-6---|
e|-
4---|

 

Hopefully you start to get the picture - we are just moving the different barre shapes up or down, following the note names on the e-string. By doing so we get different chord names, without shanging the shapes... Easy, isn't it?

 

 

     More barre chords

 

If have come this far - you are about to start enjoying the fruits of barring. Use the following shapes to get all sorts of interesting chords.

Gmajor7 (= GM7)

G major 7 barre chorde|-3---|
b|-3---|
g|-4---|
d|-4---|
a|-5---|
e|-3---|

Gminor7 (=Gm7)

e|-3---|
b|-3---|
g|-3---|
d|-3---|
a|-5---|
e|-3---|

Gdominant7 (=G7)

e|-3---|
b|-3---|
g|-4---|
d|-3---|
a|-5---|
e|-3---|

Good luck - see you soon!

Kristofer Dahl

Barre Chords backing (80 bpm)
   
Backing track slow
   
Tab TAB

     Lesson Questions, Feedback & Comments





Guitar1969
post 28th November 2006


Member


I am relieved to see that its okay for my barring finger to extend past the fretboard as that's how I do it and I thought it was a bad habit that I would have to break. I see your teaching the "E" and "A" forms of Barre chords only. Kris, do yuo use only those two forms or do you use the others(C G D) as well for a different sound. The reason why I ask is I can only play the E and A and am wondering if I need to try and learn the other harder ones for a practical musical situation?
RIP Dime
post 28th November 2006


Member


It's cool that the simplest lessons help the most. Good lesson!
Kristofer Dahl
post 28th November 2006


Member


Guitar69: No I use more shapes - but for simplicity I chose to only explain those. If you have got the chords for this lesson down doing more barre chords shouldn't be a problem! smile.gif

--Kris
Guitar1969
post 30th November 2006


Member


I find the finger stretching for the D G and C shapes too difficult for me at this point(E and A are by far the easiest of the 5 but limiting)
Kristofer Dahl
post 30th November 2006


Member


Guitar1969: Do you mean for the open chords "D G and C"?
- If so, make sure you manage those before you attempt the ones in this lesson!
Ikaros
post 11th January 2007


Member


My biggest problem is my left thumb. I never thought about it before because I can barr fine but recently noticed that my thumb sticks out to the side parallel to the middle of the neck neck instead of in line with my first or middle finger like you are supposed to. It points toward the headstock if you see what I mean. I'm working on correcting that but its throwing my barr fingering position off a little as I retrain my thumb! When I do open chords and solo lines it is in the right position.
Kristofer Dahl
post 12th January 2007


Member


Ikaros's question is answered here in the forum

http://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...amp;#entry19247
JCJXXL
post 24th January 2007


Member


Good lesson Kris. Well explained. Got it!
adam1302
post 25th February 2007


Member


nice lesson.
J.E.
post 25th March 2007


Member


This was a nice lesson Kris Thanks it was easy to learn only the slight demping i found a bit hard but i think ill get it soon:)
Bitey
post 26th March 2007


Member


Great I was going at those the very wrong way I am glad I corrected my technique.
J.E.
post 27th March 2007


Member


hehe this lesson is so great cause i lost confidence about playing because i didnt start on chords but on scales and i found thst a bit hard now im leearning chords im totally happy:D only one problem i got a problem with my arm so i cannot play:(
Leviathan
post 30th March 2007


Member


Man Kris without this site man i don't know what i would do. Everything is so organized
topher
post 3rd April 2007


Member


kris

Great to be a part of this...
BARRE CHORDS KICK MY TAIL !
Anirudh
post 8th May 2007


Member


Wow, in last 2 months since i have started playing guitar, i have understood the barre chords for the 1st time, i looked for them evrerywhere but it was all mess but its only one day since i have joined gmc and i got it, its really cool playing them, thanks a lot gmc and keep rockin!!!!
floyo123
post 28th May 2007


Member


very nice thanks a lot!
sasori
post 30th May 2007


Member


this lesson roxs becouse after learning this u can play much better a lot of songs, one easy like let the cables sleep - bush - o/
SRV_is_GOD
post 5th June 2007


Member


I am really digging this site. Web lessons - BRILLIANT! Thanks Kris.

Dan
Kristofer Dahl
post 5th June 2007


Member


Thanks guys for the fantastic comments - and yes you are right, web lessons do ROCK!! biggrin.gif
mygeetar
post 30th June 2007


Member


nice lesson!!
i thought this was going to be a killer, but you made it easy. I only have an acoustic guitar right now so it is a little hard but I'm getting there.
Thank You So Much For GMC!!
extigy
post 16th August 2007


Member


is your hand surpost to hurt lol. good lesson. but my hand is dead lol.
Chief Rock
post 9th September 2007


Member


My god this is my hardest beginner lesson so far, having though time with lower chords (G and cool.gif. Any tips? My fingers are not long so even on the side, it's very though to have the finger parallel to the chords. Thanks.
Dr. Alcome
post 8th February 2008


Member


Great video!
I've been trying barre chords for 5 minutes now, and my index finger already hurts... also it changed colors to purple and blue *g*

But I'll go on practicing smile.gif
mattedk
post 3rd August 2008


Member


super lesson! smile.gif thanks kris smile.gif
Rob Wilson
post 8th December 2008


Member


Thanks for the lesson! I had a basic knowledge of barre's before, but the tips demonstrated (such as finger angle) helped a lot! Cheers Kris biggrin.gif


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