So exams are sucking up all of my time lately but I still managed to write this helpful article and submit it to EzineArticles as usual. They won’t publish it for a day or two but you can read it below :P


If it’s your first time here, you can find some great tips, and technique advice, to help you get the hang of barre chords if you take a look through the Categories section in the sidebar. :)


Here’s my article on playing a proper B flat barre chord:


Of all the chords that require a double barre (A-based), the B flat barre chord is probably the most difficult to play. This is so for the same reason that the F Major barre chord is the most difficult of the E-based family – it’s played on the first fret. Barring the first fret will feel extremely difficult – in relation to the other frets as you go up the neck – because string tension is at its highest on this first fret. This, in turn, makes it the most physically demanding fret to barre, i.e. it requires the most pressure to get the strings to sound clearly.


A B flat barre chord is played by moving the Open A Major Chord (which this article assumes you know how to play since you’re delving into advanced barre chords) up by one fret, and laying down your index/barring finger on the bottom five strings of the first fret.* The only difference – although quite a challenging one- is that you now fret the strings used in the A Major Chord with your ring finger alone. This is where the second barre comes in.


*Note: Some people misunderstand and make the mistake of barring the adjacent first and second frets rather than the first (with the index) and the THIRD (with the ring finger) as it should be.


The first difficulty in play a b flat barre chord is properly barring all six strings of the first fret. You should try performing this barre by itself – before attempting the second – and pick all the strings to hear if they sound clearly. If they don’t, you simple need to make fine adjustments to your finger placement/pressure – practice makes perfect!:)


One you have that barre down, the real challenge begins. You play the remaining notes (remember that they’re on the third fret now) by fretting the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, strings – as you would normally do to play an A chord – with your ring finger. You use the area between the fingertip, and the first joint, to apply pressure to the barre and elevate the rest of the finger – right at that first joint – to get it completely off of the 1st string. This will probably take a LOT of practice to get right – the important thing is to stick to it and not give up as many beginners do.


When you’re done, pick all six strings again to make sure they ring clearly and – if they do – strum. Assuming it sounds right, you just played one of the most challenging chords that you’ll ever come across! If you can play a B flat barre chord you should be able to play any of the A-based barre chords – which in turn means you can now play any major chord as a barre by moving it up the neck!:)