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Rhythm Guitar:
Barre Chords



Q: I was wondering if you could do a video on barre chords? When I try and do them some of the strings dont get pressed down. My friends say I need to change my technique, others say, my fingers just need strengthening. Please help. Also thanks for making awesome videos.
- Andrew, San Diago, CA.

A: Thanks for writing in. Barre chords are a very important part of playing guitar. They exist in several types of chord qualities. The most popular are the Major and Minor barre chords built off of the 6th and 5th strings.

It is considered essential that players of all styles become familiar with doing barred chord types. This will allow the player the most versatility with being able to perform several different styles of guitar playing.


There are two major and two minor barre chords which are vital to know right away. We will begin with those found off of the 6th string.

Sixth String Barre Chords:



Next are the important barre chords found from the fifth string root.

Fifth String Barre Chords:

The major 5th string barre chord will often cause players a good deal of grief. For some players, getting the ring finger to curve inward can be very difficult. If this happens to you, simply take your time with this one. Try practicing the chord higher up on the neck. With practice, it will come.

Barre chords are essential. They occur in many styles of music. They also make quick work of establishing rhythms if you just so happen to be performing at an impromtu jam session and get tossed the job of back-up rhythm guitar player on the spot. The barre chords offer players instant access to any chord name or quality. They are considered the next step after learning all of the basic open chords on the guitar. Keep in mind that for some players, barre chords are a nightmare in the beginning. But, with determination, any player can get them up to speed. For others however, barre chords are a snap. If it takes you a month, but your friend nails them over a weekend - don't get mad. That's just the way it is with barring!


Download the FREE Lessons Material for this Video
Handout exercise below is available as both Powertab and PDF documents.

Barre Chord Exercises
rhythm chart
(Adobe PDF format)
Barre Chord Exercises
rhythm chart
(Power Tab editor document)