This lesson will show you how to be a genius songwriter with just two bar chords. Creativity is the essence of this lesson – be creative with what you’ve got! If you’re limited or just getting into things, here are a few hints.
The first bar chord you should learn is the F bar chord. There are a couple of tricks to getting it right. Hopefully you’ve already experimented a bit with the bar chord. Because it’s harder to get a successful bar chord closer to the string nut, it’s better to start practicing it further up the neck. When you’re barring, you’re not necessarily using the flat of your finger. You’re using more the edge of the finger, and sneaking the finger close to the fret that you’re behind. Centre the thumb in the middle of the chord you’re playing.
The F bar chord actually comes from the E chord. The E chord is played with the first finger on the third string first fret, second finger on the fifth string second fret, and the third finger on the fourth string second fret. You’ve probably seen that chord before. To create an F chord from that, slide that up one fret, move your fingers so that you’re now using your second, third, and fourth fingers, and use your first finger to create the bar. The bar is basically a movable nut.
There are so many songs you can play by just moving that chord up the fretboard. If you can get the F major chord down, right there you know 12 major chords. These 12 chords all follow the chromatic scale: F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E
To get an F# minor, you just remove your second finger from the chord. You can go back and forth between the major and minor of that chord by simply removing and replacing your second finger. You need to learn how to combine the major and minor chords with each other, but this will give you the stepping blocks to be able to do that.
Combine open chords with bar chords as well. There’s no point in straining yourself when an open chord will sound just as nice as a bar chord.
By the way, the relative minor is always three frets below the major key that you are in. For instance, if you are in the key of B, the relative minor is three frets below – G# minor.
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