More stuff about barre chords

First of all lets stop calling them barre chords, from now on we will call them bar chords.

Okay so carrying on from the other post then, a bar chord is a chord where you use one or a couple of your fingers to hold down a whole bunch of strings and, by definition, there are no open strings sounding. The bar chords we are playing are all formed with a bar using your first finger and we are playing four kinds – the A, Am, E and Em type. This is a good way of describing a bar chord but unfortunately also a rather confusing one. For example an Em shape bar chord played with a 5th fret bar is called Am!! Now that is confusing.

Some of you have suggested that we should have a chart showing all of the bar chords on it which sounds like a good idea until you have a serious look at it. If we were to use this chart to memorize all of the bar chords up to the 8th fret then we would have 32 chords to remember. Then there are some with two names namely all those that are sharps or flats.There are 6 of those so that adds another 12 to memorize taking it to 50! And that is before we start on 7ths, major7ths, sus4, sus2 and all the rest. What we really need is a system for finding any bar chord we want from a few basic rules.

In spite of what I just said though there are a couple which we should just out and out memorize. Acoustic guitarists should start by memorizing these ones. F, Bm, F#m, C#m. These are pretty useful to know straight off and we can treat these ones as just an extension of all our other open chords.F is one of the first bar chords guitarists learn and also one of the hardest. I think starting with Bm is easier and it is a very useful chord to know

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~ by jdguitar on May 17, 2006.

2 Responses to “More stuff about barre chords”

  1. hey jeff i like the website very informative. dont you worry ive got all those important bar chords almost off by heart. all we need is some david gray to play! and also some red hot chili peppers as we all know they are the best. and to get sacha to stop punching me in class. i expect you to give her a stern word next time! just kiddin. thankzs 4 bein such a great teacher! see ya tuesday

  2. I was looking for some weekend project songs and I stumbled here. Great site man – lots of good info. I was going to subscribe and be gone, but then I saw this post. I strongly dislike bar chords. If I see a song with an F or a Bm, I usually move on. I know it’s just practice, but it throws off my whole rhythm. sigh. Anyway, thanks again for some great info. I’ll be back.

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