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Barre chords, guitar boot camp

Updated on December 29, 2016
Joe Lustica profile image

Joe is a writer, music composer and guitar teacher. He has been writing professionally for the last 10 years. He resides in New York City.

The right way to start, don't skip anything

Barre chords are essential to learning how to play guitar. Without knowing barre chords a person's progress will be very limited and so will his knowledge of the guitar itself. It's very important to not skip over open chords to learn barre chords simply because open chords give one the proper introduction to playing guitar.


Barre chords not for a complete beginner, they are for someone who has taken enough time to get used to playing open chords and is ready to make that next step. By skipping open chords and going right to barre chords the student may have a big loss in learning how to play guitar because barre chords require you use one finger to hold down all the strings or most of the strings. Barre essentially is laying one finger across the entire fret or most of a fret to hold down all or most of the strings. By doing that the person is setting himself up to use the rest of his fingers to makes the shape that is going to be the chord desired to play. another reason why one should not just jump into a barre chords before they're ready is because barre chords can be a little painful to learn how to play and if you are already familiar with open chords then you're familiar with the pain that your fingers have already gone through just to hold chords down.

Because of the awkward position of Barre chords a new student will have a lot of difficulty learning a barre chord as his first chord because he would have to go through the pain of pushing down on the strings, his fingertips aren't used to pushing down on strings yet and so trying to incorporate in this awkward position at the same time as trying to learn how to push down on the strings comfortably but proved to be too much for the person to really handle. But do not let this deter you from learning how to play barre chords if you are up and ready for it these chords are essential to getting a full knowledge of guitar and a full ability to play across the entire fretboard barre chords are important. Without them a person may never get out of the beginning stage of guitar playing.

Benefits of barre chords

Learning barre chords gives one a huge benefit in playing guitar. one thing is that the person becomes more familiar with the entire fretboard because a Barre chord can be played anywhere on the fretboard and it would sound good as long as that figure is being held down correctly. Another thing about barre chords is that they give your hands the strength they need to play.

Because they're awkward to hold down your muscles become more developed and so makes it easier for you to play other things later on. A lot of popular songs for use barre chords throughout the entire song so because of that you have to build endurance holding them down. Once a person is comfortable playing barre chords he has the world at his fingertips. Barre chords allow a person to play virtually anything on guitar, of course there are other shapes and figures that one can learn how to play that are not necessarily barre chords but by learning Barre chords it does make it a lot easier to learn all these other shapes and figures later on.

A Barre chord shape

This is one of the shapes of the barre chord. There are many other shapes but this is the most popular.
This is one of the shapes of the barre chord. There are many other shapes but this is the most popular.

Exercises. Get pumped up!

One of the first things you can do to improve your ability to play barre chords is just to hold down a Barre chord for as long as you possibly can. It does take a little bit of time for your muscles to develop in holding the chord down.

Another thing you can do to improve your ability and playing barre chords is to play a barre chord all the way up and down the fretboard. This gives your muscles a lot of exercise in pushing down in that position. Also it's important to do that because the frets are closer together as you go higher up the fretboard and your hands will need to be able to compromise with the closeness of the frets. Eventually you will get comfortable playing higher up as well as lower down so just gradually going up the fretboard and then down the fretboard over and over again will give you more endurance in holding down and playing.

Another very wise thing to do would be to switch between playing barre chords and open chords this will give your fingers the dexterity needed not only just to do that in a song but also to do much more in playing guitar. Learning Barre chords can be a lot of work but the payoff is huge. Good luck!

A video clip for you

For lessons you can contact Joe Lustica at (201) 926-8210 or at www.facebook.com/educate.guitar Lessons are available thru Skype also

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