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Introduction to Barre Chords on Guitar

Get an introduction to barre chords in this Howcast video for beginner guitar players.


OK, bar chords. Bar chords can be a very frustrating thing for guitarists. To me it separates the beginners from the intermediates. And you know, the thing about the guitar is all these open chords that we played, they sound beautiful, but there's no way to play sharps and flats as open chords. So I'm going to use my first finger almost like a capo, I'm bringing out a chord.

So in this case we're going to use A chords and we're going to use E chords, and we're going to use variations of those brought out through the guitar neck. So maybe I'm playing an E chord here. This happens to be F sharp. Right? But you can see the outline of the E chord, right? And then my first finger here is holding down all of these strings. That's going to be very hard. Your first instinct is to squeeze with all your might, which you are going to do anyways, but you want to try to relax and use leverage. You know, use your body as leverage rather than trying to squeeze.

So physically, it's hard just to make the chord and get the sound to come out. And then you have to think about how am I going to switch from let's say an open chord to that cord? So it can be very demanding and frustrating. And then another concept is now I have to remember what the names of all these chords are. Right?

So the idea here, bar chords are movable shapes. Right? So I'm taking one open chord shape and I'm moving it everywhere on the guitar. So for instance, here's E major, here's F major, here's F sharp major. As you can see, I've never moved. Right? G major, G sharp, and so on, all the way up the guitar neck. But now I have to remember each individual note. So in the next set of videos, let's try to learn some bar chords.

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