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  • Writer's pictureBilly Jones

How To Solve Your Barre Chord Problems

The dreaded barre chords! These bad boys seem to give even the most accomplished guitar player problems. This lesson includes a technique to make barre chords less terrible to practice.

What are barre chords?

Barre Chord is where you use your second, third, and pinky fingers to hold the main shape and your index fingers works like a barre and lays down across the whole fret board but you are only playing a few strings.

Why are they so hard?

They are uncomfortable in the beginning and they are especially difficult on acoustic because they are hard on your hands.

Why do we need them?

There are some chords like F sharp major or F sharp minor and B minor that only have barre chords. There are no open version of these chords. So if you have a song that requires one of these chords, you have to learn how do to a barre chord.

Let's Practice

First, start by playing an open chord. You can play anything but if you want a suggestion, try E Major.

Now move the shape around, up and down the fretboard. You’ll get lots of fun sounds with this.

Next, come to the fifth fret and make an A Major barre chord like this:

1. Start with the open E shape like this:

Open E string

7th Fret A String with ring finger

7th Fret D string with pinkie finger

6th Fret G string with middle finger

Open D and Open E

2. Don’t make a barre yet but put your index finger on the 5th fret E string and strum a few times.

3. Now, gently lay your index finger down on the whole string.

The Tip You Need

Slide your index finger so your fingertip is above the fretboard.

Keep your index finger curved, the way it normally curves. You don’t have to make your finger all the way flat if you slide your finger up so you are pressing down with more of the meaty part of your finger. That will stop the B string from making that weird sound.

Ta Da! There you go!

More Practice!

Want to try this with D Major, D Minor, and A Minor?

Watch our YouTube lesson!

The video also includes a walkthrough of Jimi Hendrix’s version of All Along the Watchtower, and two extra barre chord exercises with The Rooster and Here Comes My Girl.


Ready for more?

Join us in-person and take your guitar playing to the next level! Contact us to schedule your intro lesson.


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