Learning barre (bar) chords is the first major hurdle beginner guitarists must overcome, and as with everything guitar related, it takes practice and time. I usually recommend learning everything on the steel string acoustic first, since if you can play on that, than you'll be able to play it on electric and nylon string as well.
BUT barre chords are a bit different, since they are really tough at first, and many beginners actually quit when they reach barre chords. So if you get frustrated with it on the acoustic, by all means, practice on your electric or nylon string guitars, it'll be a lot easier, but you may have difficulties holding barre chords afterwards on the steel string acoustic.
Now as for learning barre chords, it's a 2 step process:
- First you'll have to learn to form the chords, and be able to play them without any deadened or rattling strings. Watch the basic video lesson on learning how to form barre chords correctly, that'll give you the basics.
From there on, practice barre chords at different places on the neck for a couple minutes per day. Your hand will get very tired, but it's ok, since you'll really be strengthening your hand and building muscle memory. A good song to practice this is with our guitar lesson on Stand by Me.
- Secondly, once you can play your basic barre chords correctly, you'll have to get used to changing into barre chords.
This is somewhat difficult at first, since the actual barre shape means forming a rather unnatural natural hand and finger shape. But again, practice changing into barre chords until you get them right. This will take several weeks, but keep at it, it'll come with time. Just take it slow at first, and you'll build speed naturally the more you practice.
A couple of good songs to start out with are Hey Jude, Hey There Delilah, and so on. Once you can play Layla, you'll know that you've mastered barre chords 🙂
Now you have the outline of how to learn to play barre chords on your guitar, but the rest is up to you. It takes practice and dedication, but the results will come with time, thats a 100% guarantee.