As part of our “Riff Ninja Answers” series, one of the questions that came up had to do with which bar chords were the most widely used. That turned into a perfect springboard for a little bar chord lesson, which is what we’ve got right here.
We’ll start with the 6th string, looking at the E major and E minor shapes. When you’re using bar chords, it is very important to know where your root note is – both on the fretboard, and in the chord shape you’re using. With just these two shapes you can literally play every single major and minor chord in every key!
Then we’ll move to the 5th string, and look at major and minor shapes coming from that string too. These ones are based off the open A major and A minor shapes that you’re probably familiar with. Again, using just these two shapes, barred, you can play every major and minor chord.
Once you combine the options available to you on the 6th and 5th strings, all of a sudden the whole fretboard starts opening up!
If you have a hard time with these bar chords, you might like another lesson I did, where we cover common stumbling blocks to playing bar chords.
If you’ve been struggling to make your guitar playing sound like the music that you want to be playing – checkout Electric Blues for Beginners. We dig in and start rockin’ out right away, on some really easy tunes, but very quickly and methodically we start adding building blocks that will take your playing step by step, higher and higher. You’ll get the basics of chords, rhythm, theory and even some riffs and soloing! You can learn more about it here.