Why is learning Barre Chords important?



Why is learning Barre Chords important? 


Beginners generally start with open chords. They are easier to play and learn. They involve strings that are ‘open' meaning they are not fretted. They use the first three frets of the guitar. But they only offer a limited number of chords and hence limit the songs that can be played. One solution to playing open chords at any key or position is to use a capo.  

But instead of being dependent on a device, why not learn to play barre chords instead. A barre chord is essentially an open chord in a different position. It means the open chord is moved upward to the fretboard. For this, the index finger is used instead of the capo. All strings are pressed at the neck like a ‘barre’ using the fingers.

Preparation tips before starting

The barre chords are often tricky for beginners to learn. Especially the chords closer to the nut are challenging to play. As most songs have a B Minor or an F chord, the beginners should try to learn them eventually. Most beginners must have learned to play open chords so they will have an idea to learn the basics easily. The barre chords, when played roughly or without any technique, can damage not only the instrument but also the hands. 

One of the most challenging barre chords to play is the F barre chord. The position of it is incredibly close to the nut. Hence pushing the string down requires more strength. So, instead of starting from the hardest tray a more straightforward chord. The five-string minor barre chord in the seventh position is one of the easiest. The barre, instead of six, is stretched across five strings. So, it is easier to play for, especially beginners. Next, to learn the barre ay, six strings choose a chord that is higher up the neck. It should preferably be at the seventh position, which is B-chord. To play these chords first play an open E chord. The index finger must not be used. The barre must be placed in the seventh fret by sliding the fingers upwards.

Avoid “High Action”

Action pertains to the distance between the strings and the fretboard. If fretting a note requires too much effort, then the action is too high. In this case, the strings are unnecessarily high above the fretboard. More work will be necessary to press down the strings. Whereas, the action can’t be too low either. Otherwise, there won’t be any room for the strings to vibrate. They will create a buzzing sound or fret buzz. In this case, first, get your guitar checked from a good guitar tech/store or by a luthier. 

Essential Barre Chord Techniques


To get the chord sound right, the adjustment of technique is vital. This might sound basic, but the placement of fingers is where all the magic happens. Lowering the thumb will bring the wrist closer to the floor. Such placement of thumb, roughly halfway down, will help to play the chords smoother. It is better to use the edge of the index finger. The barre must be pushed away from the head-stock using the edge. It will help in reducing the effort and create a better sound. Keeping the arm and the elbow tucked in will help I better body movement and comfortable grip. To get a clear sound, the least amount of pressure needs to be put close to the fret. 

If the position of the index finger is not straight, then the D or G string probably won’t make any sound. The finger must be completely flat so that pressure can be equally applied to outer and middle strings. Similar adjustments need to be required while playing high e string or the b string. To hold the barre chords correctly, the palm must be directly underneath the neck, and the thumb must be in the middle. Otherwise, the sound won’t come as crisp and clear as required. Using some arm strength to pull backwards and hold the guitar in a ‘hugging’ gesture will avoid the hands getting too tired of playing for too long.

How to switch between Barre chords?

There are several types of barre chords like the “A” shaped barre chords that have root notes on the 5th string. There is also the “e” shape barre chords whose root notes are on the 6th string. During chord changes, it's better to release pressure from the strings than applying more. Instead of continuing with keeping the pressure on the string tries releasing gradually while switching. 

If the chords are the same then while switching, keep the fingers in the right shape. While sliding up and down the strings, the pressure must be gradually decreasing from one string and increasing on the other for a smooth sound. Off course remembering the root notes is essential so that switching can be seamless between them. In such cases, the guitar lesson lounge is very helpful.

Practice makes everything perfect


If you want to play any song, you wish to then barre chords are essential to learn. Practicing every day is the key because otherwise, you are starting from scratch every time. It is crucial to train your memory and muscles in your hand to play barre chords easily. It just simply will require a lot of dedication and regular practice. It will never happen overnight. Just practice barre chords every day for a few minutes.  

Things will eventually get easier thereon. Once the shape and the right position of the bar chords are memorized, the playing becomes smoother. Barre chords are one of the trickiest yet well-nurtured abilities of a real guitarist. So to learn it, one must practice a lot. Some guidance like Guitar Lesson Lounge is always a better plan, so check out our website for more such tips and tricks so that you can learn how to play guitar quickly. We provide quick and proficient learning tips that will help any beginners grasp the basics quickly. 


Publish Date: 01 Jul, 2019


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