A Guide To Guitar Chords

Guitar Bar Chords

Guitar bar chords that have their bass note on the A string work in the same way as the bar chords with the root on the E string. There's one difference: don't play the E string because it is not part of the chord and it will not sound good most times.

The major bar chords start from the A chord:

Guitar chords: E Guitar chord picture: E

Now slide all the notes of the chord two frets higher on the neck. Then 'bar' all the strings on the second fret with your index finger. If you have followed my explanation correctly it should look something like this:

Guitar chords: E Guitar chord picture: E

The A chord becomes a B chord.
This is not a very easy chord to take in the beginning.

An alternative way of fretting this chord is using the little finger instead of fingers 2, 3 and 4. It depends a bit on the shape of your fingers if this alternative fretting works or not.
Here's the guitar chord picture and diagram:

Guitar chords: E Guitar chord picture: E

The difficulty with this chord voicing is the highest E string. You have to bend your little finger a bit to allow the high E to sound.

Like before, you can slide this chord up and down the guitar neck. Just remember there's always 2 half steps between the scale tones, except between E-F and B-C (1 half step).

The guitar neck with the notes of the A string:

Guitar chords: E

Now we used the A major chord, but like before we can also use the minor chord:

Guitar chords: E Guitar chord picture: E

Change the chord fingering like we did with the E chord on the previous page so you're index finger becomes available. This chord becomes a Bm guitar bar chord if we slide it up 2 frets and add the 'bar':

Guitar chords: E Guitar chord picture: E

Again, don't play the low E string.

If we slide the Bm chord 1 fret up we get a Cm chord, 2 frets more and it's a Dm chord, ...

Now let's start from the A7 chord:

Guitar chords: E Guitar chord picture: E

Again, change the fingering to liberate your index finger, slide it 2 frets up and add the 'bar':

Guitar chords: E Guitar chord picture: E

The result is a B7 guitar bar chord.

You can also do this with other chords like major7, minor7, major 9. Experiment and think logical and most important: don't get frustrated trying to figure guitar bar chords out, it takes some time.

Now, learn to play a song with bar chords, like Wild Thing