Over 400 Barre Chords You Didn't Know Existed
Barre Chords, Grand Barre, Bar, or Moveable Chords are all terms used for the same technique of playing guitar. The most traditional way guitar players approach this method is to lay their index finger across all six strings (Grand barre) eliminating any use of open strings therefore making chord structures easy to move around the neck of the guitar (moveable chords).
A Barre chord is not restricted to using all six strings, it is quite common for a Barre chord to be just three or four strings and might look something like this ( B III 4 ) which to the guitar player would mean bar the third fret across the first four strings. Or another ex. ( B VIII 5 ) which means bar the eighth fret across the first five strings.
The Barre chord usually uses more complex voicing’s and also allows for playing in keys that are not suitable for basic open chord structures. The video that accompanies this article is derived from my last article and video on open chords. The concept that I tried to achieve is making the transition from open chords to Barre chords an easy one to follow musically and visually.
Most guitar players are familiar with the capo which is a tool that, when applied, raises the pitch of the overall sound of the guitar and allows you to play in a certain key without changing the chords that you have been using. The only difference between the capo and the Barre chord is that the capo is stationary and the Barre chord can be moved around. Both concepts produce the same results and both should be applied when learning to play guitar.
The Barre chord is a great way to advance your playing and explore the vast amount of chord possibilities available to you. It can help you move on from guitar chords for beginners and help you become a better player. At first the Barre chord is very physically challenging and demanding and will surely take up a lot of your time to perfect. When purchasing a guitar as a beginner, I would suggest holding out and saving your money to buy a well made guitar. The wait will be worth it and you will have a guitar that will last much longer and will be much easier to play making you a much better guitar player. It will make progressing from guitar chords for beginners to Barre chords and other techniques easier.
The origin of the word Barre has changed over the years. One theory is that the term comes from the Spanish because the guitar historically comes from Spain. Another theory is that the spelling “Barre” is as it is because the word Bar is traditionally used to indicate a measure of music and spelling both words the same way could be confusing. The last definition which makes the most sense to me personally would be the French definition of “Barre” which literally means barred. But whichever definition you prefer, the Barre chord (and all the possibilities it brings) is not leaving the guitar world and is an essential technique for any guitar player.
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