Bar (barre) Chords tip (4)

In this lesson I will teach you some tips which will help you learn bar chords.  If you don’t already know bar chords, this tip will be a huge benefit for you.  Again, by knowing all the notes along the low E string and A string, it is crucial for this lesson. I have the two strings and all notes listed along the lowest two strings below.  allnotesonguitar

Lets begin with some understanding about where bar chords got its name.  It is called bar (or barre) because when you play the chord, you take your index finger and bar it across a fret.  Your finger will take the place of the nut on the guitar.  The nut is what marks the end of the guitar directly above the first fret.

Knowing all the notes on the E and A string with the knowledge of how to play a BAR chord will give you the ability to play any chord.

I explain the basics of bar chords by first explaining the different forms of the E and A chords. To refresh your memory of the A and E chords, I put them below.


In the pictures I uploaded of the E and A chords, you see fingerings next to the notes.  Those are not the correct fingerings when making bar chords.  Since your index finger is occupied, you must make the forms with just your middle, ring and pinky finger.  I will show you how to adjust your fingers in the video.  You’re going to want to use the E form for the sixth string and the A form for the fifth string.

There are some issues you might encounter when first learning how to play bar chords.  One of the issues is strength.  I never see new guitarists with the strength to hit every note clearly with their index finger.  To master this you have to just keep practicing the bar chords and eventually you will have enough strength to hit every note clearly.  Once you finally have the strength to hit the chords, you might find that bar chords draw a lot of fatigue to your wrist.  This is another issue you can resolve with practice.  You will also need to break the habit of using your index finger in chord formations.  Your index finger is always going to play as the rut so you will need to relearn chord formations with your three other fingers you use (Sometimes even your thumb!).

If you have any questions on bar chords, make sure you leave a comment so I can explain in greater detail.

Weekly Challenge

Learn the RIFF of the week and SOLO of the week

The weekly riff I challenge you to learn is Kryptonite by 3 doors down.


The weekly solo I challenge you to learn is Fire and Rain by James Taylor


I hope my tip will help improve your playing and if you want more tricks and tips you can SUBSCRIBE in the upper-right hand corner.

Leave comment below if you have any questions or requests of tutorials, riffs, or solos.

– Josh Yager


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