I’ll be submitting this post to EzineArticles in a few hours but it’s here for my readers now :)


If it’s your first time here, you can find great beginner tips to help you play all types of barre chords if you look through the categories on the sidebar. Here’s the article. :)


The trickiest fingering – possibly in the history of guitar playing – is the common contortion of the ring finger that is required to fret A-based barre chords the usual way. This, as you might already know, calls for you to barre your index finger across all six strings – of a particular fret – while barring the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings (counting from the bottom) with your ring finger – two frets away. The part that complicates this is that you also need to elevate your ring finger off that 1st string to play the chord properly – requiring you to bend the first joint of your finger at an unusual angle. While this position is, arguably, the fastest to learn – many, if not most, people simply can’t get their fingers into that position. Fortunately, there is a simple alternative.


The best way to eliminate the problem of that 1st string when playing A-family barre chords is to simply not play it at all. You can accomplish this in one of two ways:


(1) Avoid hitting the 1st string as you strum the chord.


(2) Actively mute this string using the same ring finger.


The first option is pretty much self-explanatory. The second requires that your ring finger touches the bottom four strings – executing a firm barre on the 3 target strings – while maintaining just enough contact with that 1st string to mute it – a matter of trial and error followed by lots of practice.


Even better, you could combine the two methods to ensure that the 1st string behaves itself and doesn’t make a sound. :)


This fingering makes A-based barre chords a lot easier on your fingers but you should still consider the original method – despite the awkward position required of your ring finger. If you happen to find a natural talent for that particular fingering – as I did – you’ll save a lot of time learning. If not, this fingering requires far less practice than other possible alternatives – making A-family barre chords a lot easier, and quicker, to master. :)