Time to talk about those "dreaded" barre (bar) chords again. Why? Because many beginner guitarists make the mistake of giving up on barre chords since they are not that easy to learn.

This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make, one that could ultimately lead to quitting the guitar altogether.

Learn those barre chords!

Learn those barre chords!

You see, barre chords are an integral part of playing the guitar!

They are used in many genres, many songs, so giving up on them will mean leaving a huge hole in your knowledge, one that you won't be able to fill with any bypass technique.

Unfortunately, a lot of beginners quit the guitar when they realize this fact. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that's just the way it is.

Don't feel down though, since YOU CAN learn these chords, just like I did, just like BB King did, just like every guitarist who you've ever seen did.

Here is my best advice on how you can learn barre chords.

So, how should you learn bar chords?

  1. First of all, watch our beginner guitar lesson on barre chords. You'll have a better understanding of what barre chords are, and you'll get a chance to see the best way of fretting these chords.
  2. Practice the things you see in the video guitar lesson, and go through the barre chords chapter of my Beginner's Guitar Guide.
  3. Practice the E-shaped and A-shaped major and minor barre chords for 5 minutes per day.
  4. Once you are somewhat comfortable with them, learn some songs that use barre chords, for example:
    - The Stand by Me (Ben E. King) guitar lesson will show you how to use just 4 barre chords to play the entire song.
    - The Hey Jude (The Beatles) guitar lesson is somewhat more advanced, and will, therefore, let you practice bar chords in a more advanced setting.
    - The Layla (Eric Clapton) guitar lesson will advance your use of barre chords even more.
  5. Practice, and practice some more 🙂
  6. Learn more songs with barre chords here

Keep in mind that to become a good guitarist, knowing how to fret barre chords is a must. All it takes is 5 minutes of practice per day, and in a couple of weeks, you be playing them like you never thought you would. So go ahead, watch the videos, and go practice.

7 replies
  1. Greg
    Greg says:

    these articles annoy me. for most people who have trouble with this the problem is more than just practice. I have been trying to learn barre chords for a year, and it’s not through lack of practice i haven’t been successful. I practice everyday. My fingers may aren’t capable of putting the required pressure at the required angle all along the first and fretting other frets with my other fingers. I don’t know whether it’s the shape of my bones or something to do with my tendons or what but, it’s not physically possible. I’ve tried different guitars, smaller and larger. ive Tried teachers. wish people would stop writing these smug articles just saying practice, everyone knows that’s how you learn something but some people just can’t do these. I wouldn’t let it stop me playing guitar, I find a work around to do the chord i need somehow. But I hate these arrogant articles that say theyre Easy and You just nerd to practice 5 a day for a week and thats all it takes. Its Not.

    • Tom - TheGuitarLesson.com
      Tom - TheGuitarLesson.com says:

      Hi Greg, no need to get annoyed 🙂
      For 97% of guitar students, the key is practice. Obviously, if your fingers are anatomically different, than that’s a different story.

      Nobody ever said barre chords are easy. They are not. They are actually the first major hurdle beginners need to tackle, which I say this in all of my articles, just like this one if you read it through, “not that easy to learn”.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Cause most show it the hardest way and want you to learn “F” chord first.

      1. F is the hardest bar cord with e-shape…why….because its nearest to the nut! So in the beginning i suggest goin down some frets. Iy you want to play songs this way just use a capo.
      2. Put your finger FLAT on the fret (with fret being in the middle of your finger) and then rotate your finger. This immediately gives you the right position)

      3. it may help playing some songs with E(m) and A(m) by playing the cords with finger 2,3 and 4 before (as you would do in a bar chord)

    • Greg’s guitar teacher
      Greg’s guitar teacher says:

      Hey Greg! How are those barre chords coming? It’s been almost a year and if you have been diligent in your practice you would have them down by now! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! … bones or tendons in my hand… lol!!

    • Jeromy
      Jeromy says:

      I hear what you’re saying. I honestly thought my fingers were just too short. But I kept at it and it took me two years to just start getting it. Still can’t transition but the fact that I can play almost all the Barre chords and make them sound clean is a huge win for me.

  2. Betty
    Betty says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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