6. Bar chords

So like…do chords hang out in bars like the rest of us? Or are there chords you can only play in a bar?

1. Topics of discussion

In this tutorial we will be taking a look at bar chords (which also go by the name barre chords). We will also play our first bar chord. So, let’s have some fun.

2. Bar chords explained

Bar chords are chords that you have to play by using one of your fingers (usually the index one) to apply pressure on at least two strings at the same time. More often than not, the index finger is used across the entire fretboard or the E, B, G, D and A strings.

And since images and graphical representations speak a thousand and one words, let’s continue our journey through the chords of the C major scale by playing the F chord:

E|---1---|
B|---1---|
G|---2---|
D|---3---|
A|---3---|
E|---1---|

Here it is played back:

Finger wise, the F chord is played like this:

F

Here is a picture showing you exactly how your fretboard hand should be positioned:

Barre_F

Another good example, this time outside of the C major scale, is the B chord:

E|---2---|
B|---4---|
G|---4---|
D|---4---|
A|---2---|
E|-------|

Here it is played back:

Finger wise, the B chord is played like this:

B

Here is a picture showing you exactly how your fretboard hand should be positioned:

Barre_B

The one thing you have to be wary of when playing bar chords is string muting caused by the barre finger. You need to accustom yourself to the position you need to hold your barre finger so as all strings sound clear when strumming them. You’ll get there with practice, so don’t worry.

Bar chords will become especially useful when we discuss about the CAGED system for chords further down the line. But for now, this is all for the tutorial. Next time we will be looking at the last chord in the C major scale when we talk about diminished chords. See you then.

Chord charts generated using this chord generator

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