How To Play Guitar Bar Chords-9 Essential Barre Chords

Share

A barre chord, or bar chord, is a “movable” chord that requires you to press multiple strings at once with the same finger. Learning the barre chord shapes enables you to move between chords quickly, allowing you to play more songs.  Also, barring creates a unique sound for the chord.

Below we will cover nine bar chords that show up frequently enough to warrant you learning them. First, we will start with the nine basic shapes, and then where you can position your fingers to play the different chords.

Now Its Time To Know: How To Play Guitar Bar Chords

1) E Major-Shape

Also known as 6th root bar chords, these forms have roots on the 6th (low E) string. That means your finger extends over all six strings, ending on the low E. You strum all strings on the guitar when doing this barre shape.

how to play basic chords on guitar
  • Index finger: bar it over every string on the initial fret
  • Middle finger: place it on the 3rd (G) string and the fret beneath the bar
  • Ring finger: put it on the 5th (A) string and the 2nd fret under the barre
  • Pinky finger: set it on the 4th (D) string and the same fret as the ring finger

2) A Major-Shape

These are known as the 5th root bars because their root is on the 5th string. They are based on the open A chord.

guitar chord chart showing how to create the a shape barre chord.
  • Index finger: bar it over the indicated fret to the 5th (A) string
  • Middle finger: place it on the 4th (D) string, two frets below the bar
  • Ring finger: put it on the 3rd (G) string, two frets beneath the bar
  • Pinky finger: set it on the 2nd (B) string, two frets under the barre

3) E Minor-Shape

The 6th root minor barre chords have a root on the 6th (low E) string.

em barre chord shape shown in guitar chord chart.
  • Index finger: barre it over every string on the desired fret
  • Ring finger: set it on the 5th (A) string, two frets beneath the bar
  • Pinky finger: place it on the 4th (D) string, two frets under the barre.

4) A Minor-Shape

These barre chords have roots on the 5th (A) string.

  • Index finger: bar it over the indicated fret to the 5th (A) string
  • Middle finger: place it on the 2nd (B) string on the fret beneath the barre
  • Ring finger: put it on the 4th (D) string, two frets under the bar
  • Pinky finger: press down the 3rd (G) string, two frets below the bar

While the above four shapes are the most commonly used and will help with many songs.

5) E Major 7th-Shape

To play the major seventh in the 6th root, place your fingers in the following position.

  • Index finger: barre it over every string on the desired fret
  • Middle finger: place it on the 3rd (G) string beneath the bar
  • Ring finger: set it on the 5th (A) string, two frets below the barre

6) A Major 7th-Shape

To play the major seventh in the 5th root, position your fingers as such.

  • Index finger: bar it over the first five strings on the necessary fret
  • Ring finger: place it on the 4th (D) string, two frets beneath the bar
  • Pinky finger: put it on the 2nd (B) string, two frets under the bar

7) E Minor 7th-Shape

To play the minor seventh in the 6th root, position your fingers as follows.

  • Index finger: bar it over every string on the preferred fret
  • Ring finger: put it on the 5th (A) string, two frets under the barre

8) A Minor 7th-Shape

The minor seventh in the 5th root goes as follows.

  • Index finger: bar it over the first five strings on the chosen fret
  • Middle finger: set it on the 2nd (B) string on the fret under the barre
  • Ring finger: place it on the 4th (D) string, two frets beneath the barre

9) Esus4 Shape

To play an Esus4 barre chord in the 6th root, perform this fingering.

  • Index finger: barre it over every string on the desired fret
  • Middle finger: place it on the 5th (A) string, two frets below below the barre
  • Ring finger: place it on the 4th (D) string, two frets below the barre
  • Pinky finger: set it on the 3rd (G) string, two frets under the bar

Follow the same patterns mentioned above to play different guitar chords in various forms. Experiment with the sound you like best and the positioning you can most easily switch to while playing when learning how to play bar chords.

READ MORE