What barre chords should I practice?

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Henry Jimdrix
KVRist
76 posts since 16 May, 2020 from That would be telling

Post Sun May 17, 2020 3:16 am

I haven't been playing guitar that long and I'm self taught. I'm just starting on barre chords now, so wondered if anyone had any advice on what chords to practice first and if you have any tips on mastering barre chords.

xtp
KVRian
966 posts since 4 Jun, 2006

Post Sun May 17, 2020 4:27 am

Hi Henry,

hope this helps.

Do you know your chromatic scale? If not it is this;

C, C# [Db], D, D# [Eb], E, F,F# [Gb], G, G# [Ab], A, A# [Bb], B, C

Each time you slide a chord up a fret it will move along the chromatic scale, so a F major barre chord on fret 1 is a F# [Gb] major barre chord on fret 2.

The maj7 examples are not barre chords as such, don't play the x notes, they slide up just the same as barre chords

The second Major type [Bb], is quite hard to get used to. Play the 3 notes on the right with a second barre using your third finger, main barre with the first, and force your second finger straight, like you would if you give someone the one finger salute.

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Barre Chords+.jpg
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EDIT: Changed second minor chord to easier shape and added C shape in light of lfm's suggestion.
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Last edited by xtp on Sun May 17, 2020 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Forgotten
KVRAF
11461 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Post Sun May 17, 2020 7:15 am

E Maj and E min are the most common shape to bar, then A Maj and A min. With those you should be good, but if you want to expand that you can add a lot more shapes.

There are two ways to play E Maj shapes: one is to use your second finger to bar across all 6 strings, and the other is to just play the top 2 strings with your second finger and use your thumb to play the bottom E. The latter is more comfortable for playing for longer periods.

lfm
KVRAF
5365 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Sun May 17, 2020 7:36 am

In addition to xtp excellent advice....

Three shapes I found really useful, the first two xtp mentioned( F and Bb above).

Also the open C chord is very useful, usually taken as open with index,middle and ring finger.
But if you do the same shape but with middle, ring and pinky instead as a start(index in the air).
Then you can move to first fret and bar that with index finger, and just move other fingers with it.

Very useful to do as inside chords as well - string 2-5 and mute the others.
Index finger on 3rd string, and the middle, ring and pinky on string 2, 4 and 5.

Just slide this up and down the neck.

And the second shape Bb above, the same usefulness as inside chord. Fret string 2-4 with ring finger, and string 5 with index finger. Mute the outer strings.

You probably see guitarplayers use inside chords in the real world more than barred chords. The only thing to look out for is that you get more power on strings doing inside chords, and easy to raise pitch so it sounds out of tune. But learn to adjust that so no more pressure than needed and all will be fine.

xtp
KVRian
966 posts since 4 Jun, 2006

Post Sun May 17, 2020 4:28 pm

lfm wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 7:36 am
Also the open C chord
Hi, I added this suggestion into the picture, hopefully I have drawn the shape you were meaning,

cheers.

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The Noodlist
KVRAF
2713 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Post Sun May 17, 2020 5:25 pm

I would also try the tricker when starting out chords, like partial barre chords, like a F with index finger across 2 strings, and a C shape barre, the shape (D) used on the intro to under the bridge by the RHCP.Image

Use others for variety, useful when recording a 2nd guitar parts, can also be used as arpeggios..
Image
Image
Image
After barres and for finger variation, I would also consider looking at triads. ImageImage
Last edited by The Noodlist on Tue May 19, 2020 3:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

xtp
KVRian
966 posts since 4 Jun, 2006

Post Sun May 17, 2020 10:44 pm

The Noodlist wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 5:25 pm
I would also try the tricker when starting out chords, like partial barre chords like a F with index finger across 2 strings as the last picture, a c shape barre, the shape (D) used on the intro to under the bridge by the RHCP.
Hi,

just curious, what does RHCP mean?
--------------------------

Also with this chord shape below, which I have never seen before, and has so far defeated both me and my fingers—how do you play it? With the note denoted by [ 3 ], do you use your thumb?
q1.jpg

When I play this inversion, I use just 4 of the notes, the [2, 1, 1, 4] and never play the notes seen here falling on the low and high E strings. This inversion sounds very nice in the bass position.

q1a.jpg
-----------------------

Below, are more the chord styles I use, which I assume you also use, but I never play a shape that leaves a non–playing string between playing–strings. I have always wondered, when you strum the chord, how do you prevent from striking the non-playing string while keeping the continuity of your stroke?

q2.jpg
-----------------------

Cheers.
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vurt
addled muppet weed
68421 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Mon May 18, 2020 4:46 am

red hot chili peppers.

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The Noodlist
KVRAF
2713 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Post Mon May 18, 2020 6:26 am

xtp wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:44 pm
Also with this chord shape below, which I have never seen before, and has so far defeated both me and my fingers—how do you play it? With the note denoted by [ 3 ], do you use your thumb?

q1.jpg

3 is the 3rd finger and it's also the root, it's G shape barre chord, I would only use the 4th finger on the thin/high E, barre the B with index along with the other two strings.
xtp wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:44 pm
Below, are more the chord styles I use, which I assume you also use, but I never play a shape that leaves a non–playing string between playing–strings. I have always wondered, when you strum the chord, how do you prevent from striking the non-playing string while keeping the continuity of your stroke?
q2.jpg
-----------------------
Cheers.
Mute the unwanted strings, like playing octaves on A and G, mute with first finger.
I know the chords, and have played them at some stage, but, I usually use a lot of power chords now, being into classic rock. I did get into Jazz guitar decades ago, but, keep going back to the pentatonic and basic barre chords. I'm already in my rut.

Don't limit yourself, you can do it. Learn a new chord shape each week or month.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

Henry Jimdrix
KVRist
76 posts since 16 May, 2020 from That would be telling

Post Mon May 18, 2020 8:37 am

O.k thanks guys.

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donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
7115 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Post Mon May 18, 2020 8:45 am

The Noodlist wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:26 am
xtp wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:44 pm
Also with this chord shape below, which I have never seen before, and has so far defeated both me and my fingers—how do you play it? With the note denoted by [ 3 ], do you use your thumb?

q1.jpg

3 is the 3rd finger and it's also the root, it's G shape barre chord, I would only use the 4th finger on the thin/high E, barre the B with index along with the other two strings.
xtp wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:44 pm
Below, are more the chord styles I use, which I assume you also use, but I never play a shape that leaves a non–playing string between playing–strings. I have always wondered, when you strum the chord, how do you prevent from striking the non-playing string while keeping the continuity of your stroke?
q2.jpg
-----------------------
Cheers.
Mute the unwanted strings, like playing octaves on A and G, mute with first finger.
I know the chords, and have played them at some stage, but, I usually use a lot of power chords now, being into classic rock. I did get into Jazz guitar decades ago, but, keep going back to the pentatonic and basic barre chords. I'm already in my rut.

Don't limit yourself, you can do it. Learn a new chord shape each week or month.
Now we're getting interesting... :hihi:

xtp
KVRian
966 posts since 4 Jun, 2006

Post Mon May 18, 2020 3:24 pm

vurt wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 4:46 am
red hot chili peppers.
Woops! It's a song name!
The Noodlist wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 5:25 pm
under the bridge by the RHCP.

I read that as under the bridge of the guitar, and the RH part of RHCP as being 'right hand.'

That's a bit embarrassing.
The Noodlist wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:26 am
Mute the unwanted strings
I have never been able to do that, unless I pick it—hit the bass with the pick and pick the remaining notes with my fingers.
The Noodlist wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 6:26 am
Learn a new chord shape each week or month.
I learn chords on a as-needed basis. Last week I came up with a riff, part of which goes - Cm->Ebm7 which I wanted to play in the bass position of the neck. I knew one Ebm7 shape
Ebm7.jpg
but didn't like it so high sounding, so came up with this.
Cm.jpg

I have never used that Ebm7, so am practicing it at the moment.
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Last edited by xtp on Mon May 18, 2020 4:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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an-electric-heart
KVRAF
2156 posts since 13 Jun, 2008 from Napier,New Zealand

Post Mon May 18, 2020 3:44 pm

If you know one, you know them all. But I think F major and B major get the most use from me. But F is the most important. I know some people play open F similar to an open C, but I think it needs to be done as the barre chord on first fret.

xtp
KVRian
966 posts since 4 Jun, 2006

Post Mon May 18, 2020 4:10 pm

Henry Jimdrix wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 8:37 am
O.k thanks guys.
Hi Henry, if you want to practice, here are two pop songs that use barre chords which are good for practicing when learning.

All along the watchtower by bob dylan. Two examples, using different shapes
watchtower.jpg
and Sweet Jane by the Velvet Underground.
Sweet Jane.jpg
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Henry Jimdrix
KVRist
76 posts since 16 May, 2020 from That would be telling

Post Tue May 19, 2020 7:08 am

an-electric-heart wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 3:44 pm
If you know one, you know them all. But I think F major and B major get the most use from me. But F is the most important. I know some people play open F similar to an open C, but I think it needs to be done as the barre chord on first fret.
I found B Major difficult, took me a couple of months to get it, mainly due to lack of strength in the fingers I think. Still I cannot tuck my middle finger back along the edge of the guitar neck as I always catch the E string, I just have to leave it free.

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