Barre Chord Basics

The ability to play guitar chords with your left-hand fingers "barred" across strings is one of the most important techniques to learn if you're interested venturing beyond the beginner stage. While barring can difficult to learn at first, the results are absolutely worth the initial effort. Here's a guide on how to get started with this technique.

The Most Common Barre Chords

When you're just getting started with guitar, you'll inevitably run into some chords that require barring (e.g. F, B-minor, F#-minor, etc). These may seem impossible at first, but with some practice they can absolutely be learned! Here's a quick list of some of the most common barre chords, with instructions on how to play them.

Strength Training Exercises

If you're just getting started with barre chords (or want to brush up on your technique), a little bit of strength training can go a long way in making things easier! Here's a few lessons I made showing some of the techniques I used when first learning these tricky chord voicings.

Barre Chord Alternatives

Let's face it, sometimes barre chords are a pain. Whether you're physically unable to play a specific barre chord, or you're simply looking for some alternate chord voicings for a certain song, here's some lessons that may help. These go to show how flexible the guitar can be! There's almost always viable alternatives to any tricky chord situation.

Understanding the Theory Behind Barre Chords

If you're curious about the fretboard patterns that make barre chords possible, here's some lessons that explain things. Be sure to check out my interactive fretboard tool FretMonster, which is incredibly helpful in enabling you to "see" the repeating patterns that power everything.

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