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- How To Play Bar Chords On Guitar | Beginner Guitarist Academy on How Long Does It Take To Learn Barre Chords
- kaoticnick on Barre Chords – A Complete Guide (hopefully!)
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- Samuel Lafontaine on The Two Major Barre Chord Shapes You Need to Know
- kaoticnick on Why You Need Barre Chords
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So all my posts lately seem to be my articles for EzineArticles. I just submitted this one. I really do my best work for them though and it feels good to leak my advice here a few days earlier to my loyal readers Title says it all and I hope you find it useful!
By the way, I always point out at the beginning of my posts that if it’s your first time here you can go through the categories section of the sidebar to get at some great beginner tips and techniques to help you get the hang of playing barre chords (you’ll need to be able to play a decent barre chord before this article will be of any use to you). Anyways, on to the article!
Initially, when you were learning to play the guitar, you will undoubtedly have been told that the best way to improve quickly is to get better at chord changes. The easiest way to do this is through progressions – and barre chords are no different. Rather than simply giving you a progression to practice, however, I hope this article will teach you what you need to know to come up with your own barre chord progressions – allowing you to pick one that emphasizes what you want to work on while sounding nice to you.:)
To do this, the first thing you need to know is that the whole selling point behind these chords is that they’re “movable”. This means that you can move a barre chord form up and down the neck of the guitar to create new chords – but in a fairly easy to follow pattern. Each fret that you move up the neck raises the chord by half a “step” (you might not understand this unless you know some music theory). Using this, you can create a barre chord progression that’s easy to remember.
Let’s use E-based barre chords (usually the first ones you learn – except maybe B minor) as an example. The first E-based barre chord is played on the first fret and is an F Major barre chord. It’ call E-based because you’re effectively playing an E-Major Chord – but a fret higher up the neck and with a barre in front of it – which in turn requires that you finger it differently. Incidentally, this means that you use your index finger to barre that first fret and use your other three fingers to play the chord. Now I’ll illustrate how easily you can create a barre chord progression using E-based chords alone.
I mentioned earlier that each fret that you move the chord up the neck raises it by half a step. An F Major would change on each fret like this (starting with the first fret); F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, and then back to F again. Incidentally, I didn’t forget B# or E # – there just aren’t any and I honestly don’t know why – that’s just how it is!:)
Now that you can move this chord and know exactly what you’re playing, you can let your creativity run wild. A good idea is to move up by the same number of frets each time but it’s entirely up to you. I recommend that – if you’re just starting out – your barre chord progressions should involve moving up by one or two frets at a time. Once you get too high (to the point where the body of the guitar gets in the way) you should go back to the original fret and simply repeat for a minute or so. Here’s what your progression would look like if you increased in by two frets each time – starting from F.
F Major, G Major, A Major, B Major, C# Major – and at this point it would be a good idea to start at F again.
The same rule applies with all barre chords (A- based, D- based, etc.). The scale above would simple start with A, or D, respectively but progress the same way as shown above. Using this model you can pick any sequence you like and come up with your own unique barre chord progressions that you can change as you improve. I recommended earlier that you might find it easiest to start with moving up one, or two, frets at a time but you can increase this when you’re ready and even vary the pattern wildly to really put your co-ordination to the test.