A Bit More on Barre Chords (Guitar Lesson)


What are you waiting for? Get your membership now!
David Isaacs

A Bit More on Barre Chords

Learn a few more barre chord forms, and get more advanced with your strumming. As you've come to know and love with these lessons, you'll have a chance to learn a new song!

Taught by David Isaacs in Beginner Guitar With David Isaacs seriesLength: 13:51Difficulty: 2.0 of 5


In this lesson, you’ll learn another of the most useful and powerful barre chord forms. Up until now, we’ve been playing all our major barre chords using the big “F” form, with the root note on the sixth string. This new shape is also a major chord, but like the B minor you learned a couple lessons back the root note is now on the fifth string. This gives us two options to play every major chord!

Our breakdown of the fingering starts at 2:24. The tip of the index finger sits on the bass note at the fifth string; in this case, an E note at the seventh fret. The finger is extended, but as with the other barre chords we’ve played it doesn’t need to be completely flat. You may also find that using the pad of the finger works better to hold down that bass note, leaving the tip to lightly touch and mute the low E string. (This is helpful, because we won’t be including the low E most of the time).

The other primary notes we need are on the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings at the ninth fret. The most efficient way to do this is to lay the ring finger across these three strings as a barre, bending the tip segment back a little at the knuckle to add a little additional leverage. Some people will find this uncomfortable at first. Keep in mind that this fingering works best with fairly light strings and a smaller neck, so it’ll probably feel more natural on an electric guitar. But on any guitar, acoustic or electric, it will definitely be more challenging if your action is higher.

“Action” refers to the height of the strings: the distance off the neck, and therefore how much you have to work to hold them down. It’s a matter of preference for most players, but it’s very common for a beginner to struggle more that they need to because their action was too high. So keep this in mind…if you find you’re still having trouble making your notes ring out clearly, it’s possible your action may be too high.

Action isn’t the only factor, though: anatomy comes into play as well. Since everyone’s hands are proportioned a little differently, your fingers may not lay on the neck the same way as mine or someone else’s. We’re always looking for the approach that fits the shape of your hand most naturally. Sometimes you’ll just need to work to develop the ability to reach something, but sometimes a change in fingering is enough. In the case of this chord, some people find it more natural to use three fingers to hold down the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings. In this case, your index finger barre should also allow the first string to ring out. This note isn’t essential to the sound of the chord, but adds a nice satisfying chime. I would encourage you to practice it both ways, and it should become clear pretty quickly which works more naturally for you.

Regardless of which fingering you end up using, remember that this is a moveable chord. You’ll need to be able to release the pressure to glide to another fret, as we do in our track “T. Rex”.

As we move into the track, you’ll see that we’re using this new form to play an E chord at the seventh fret and a D chord at the 5th fret. Adding our six-string major barre chord form, the “F” shape, we get a B chord at the 7th fret and a A chord at the fifth.

The basic rhythm for “T. Rex” is relatively simple: two quarter notes followed by an eighth rest to create a syncopated strong beat on the “and” of 3: One, two, (rest) and four. This could be played by repeated downstrokes to keep a more consistent attack, which is a common sound in this particular rock style. This also allows us to use upstrokes for sixteenth note fills. Notice the use of fret hand muting with sixteenth note strums in the demonstration at 1:30. The lesson goes over the variations in some detail, and you should be comfortable enough with reading rhythms by now that the different patterns should be clear from the PDF.

One last, very important point regarding barre chords: in learning the location of the chords, you’re also learning the bass notes on the 5th and 6h strings. This is essential knowledge, not just for chords but for scales and lead work as well. There’s a breakdown of this idea and some of the specifics in the second video starting at 3:25…pay special attention to this section, you’ll keep using this information from now on!







Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


LionelDsLionelDs replied on November 3rd, 2016

Hi Dave Thanks for the tuition & training it was a wonderful experience. I got much experience and confidence through your training. I want to play Do Re Mi Fa Sola Thi Do... I cannot play easily can you explain me how to learn?

Don.SDon.S replied on December 29th, 2015

David, thanks so much for this lesson set. You're teaching presentation has really spoke to me, and I'll be going back through these lessons again on a regular basis.

hgb8956hgb8956 replied on November 26th, 2015

really enjoying your lessons even though I've been playing a while. I basically self taught and have several bad habits, the A form bar chord is one I use my pinky and I see the advantages of using the ring finger.

Southern CashSouthern Cash replied on November 3rd, 2015

I don't see a backing track in the supplemental?

jeannot18jeannot18 replied on September 29th, 2015

Excellent lesson, really enjoyed that!

tmayestmayes replied on September 19th, 2015

David, excellent sequence of lessons. Your presentations were detailed and perfectly paced. Your voice is most conducive to learning. Thank you so much.

Bernie Mac JBernie Mac J replied on July 6th, 2015

I click on this link to start my lessons which should be 1 it started at lesson 36. looking at the lesson I don't know what chords he's playing or where what he is talking about.

jeannot18jeannot18 replied on September 29th, 2015

Do you check the Supplemental materials (see above), it has got PDF for the lesson and the strumming pattern too

Beginner Guitar With David Isaacs

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Whether you've never played before, or your coming back to guitar after brief startup attempt, you'll find everything you need to get going in this series. David uses real musical examples to teach even the most basic concepts and techniques.



Lesson 1

The Series Introduction

Don't get stuck learning chords, scales and theory with nowhere to apply the things you work on. Take the "David Isaacs" approach and learn the guitar by using real music. You'll be playing along with...

Length: 2:32 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Lesson 2

Strings & Things

Tune up, learn your way around your guitar, and explore a simple, musical picking exercise to help you learn the string names. You'll be playing right out of the gate!

Length: 22:20 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Hands on the Fretboard

Learn hand position, posture and see how to set up your playing for success when it comes to your fret hand. Dave goes in depth with his discussion and demonstration of hand mechanics. Don't miss this...

Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Your First Song!

Learn the E7 minor and Am chords and then immediately put them to use with a simple song. Play along to the provided backing track and feel like you're part of the band...It's only your 4th lesson! Keep...

Length: 15:32 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Power to the Chords

Power chords are some of the most simple and ubiquitous tools for playing and making great songs. Learn the most basic shapes and put them to use right here! Dave also discusses the beginnings of strumming...

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Music & Melody

Learn a simple melody and take in a little info about what a 'key' is. You can learn the melody and have a friend strum the rhythm. Or, do it the other way around!

Length: 18:07 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Two Finger Chords & More

These simple, musical tools can take you a long way. Use your index and middle fingers to play a simple Am chord and a simple E chord. You'll also learn how to read chord charts and play through another...

Length: 16:46 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

A Simple Melody

You will be introduced to a simple A minor scale and then learn a song that helps you get your new scale under your finger tips!

Length: 12:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Finger Independence

Do you ever feel like you are wearing mittens while you are trying to practice your guitar playing? If you have ever experienced this sensation, this lesson is for you!

Length: 11:04 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Let's Major on C Major

You'll be introduced to the C Major scale and then you'll be able to put it to use over a soothing acoustic guitar rhythm bed. Have fun!

Length: 10:37 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

The C Chord and G7 Chord

Here you'll get to spend some time applying some fundamental chord shapes. Dave shows how to switch between these two chords seamlessly and, as usual, has a creative example ready to go so you can put...

Length: 18:39 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

G and C Working Together

I know what you're thinking..."I just learned these!" Well, you did learn a C chord and a G chord, but this lesson goes over ways to play these chords together in a chord progression that REALLY sounds...

Length: 11:06 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Playing Most Songs

You've probably heard it before, but most songs out there can really be played with just 3 or 4 chords. In this lesson, Dave gives you the tools to play most of the songs you know and love!

Length: 14:04 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Rhythm & Charts

We're moving into some new territory with this series now. You'll now be focusing more and more on material that you can play in a band setting. Up until now, you've been applying the basics to real music,...

Length: 24:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

A Taste of the Blues

Learn about the blues form and strum along with a cool, laid back, bluesy track. You'll be able to take the material in this lesson a long way down the road! Don't forget to have fun with it now though...

Length: 12:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Major Pentatonic Music

Learn the C major pentatonic scale and put it to good use over a catchy tune! You'll be surprised how simple this is and how very musical you can be with just 5 notes arranged in a musically interesting...

Length: 8:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Four Fingers and a Chord

The mighty and intimidating F chord is one that most beginners see as a major hurdle in learning the basic chords on the guitar. Dave offers some ways to make the F chord more approachable. Once you examine...

Length: 15:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Chord Shapes & Arpeggios

Work on precision with your picking hand and more finger independence with your fretting hand using a soothing practice track called "Chimes". You'll get a good taste of combining melody and rhythm playing...

Length: 15:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Work Those Rhythms

Dave works you through eight different strumming variations, discusses how to feel the groove while keeping the rhythm, and shows you how to take a handful of examples and create any strum pattern you...

Length: 14:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Complete C

Look at the C major scale once again. This time however, you'll get to complete the first position C major pattern. You'll play every note within reach of your first 4 frets. You'll also learn a catchy...

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

The Return to Chords

Work in the Am, Dm, and Em chords and play them in a melancholy, yet soothing example. You'll also get to work on your basic strumming.

Length: 12:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Shifty Pentatonic

Learn the E minor pentatonic scale with a small position shift that will get you out of the open position and moving around the neck a little bit. This is where it really starts to feel like you are owning...

Length: 13:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Let's Major on A Minor

Earlier in the series, we explored the C major scale. In this lesson, the A minor will get some love. Learn the basic open position and use it in a new melody.

Length: 15:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

In 7th Heaven

Back to some chords now. In case you couldn't tell from the title, we'll be focusing on 7th chords for this lesson. You learned A7 a while back, and now you'll learn E7 and B7.

Length: 13:32 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Walkin' The Blues

Take a moment to pat yourself on the back! You've covered a lot of ground so far! You've been playing real music now for some time, and in this lesson, we're going to learn a walking blues line. What is...

Length: 10:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Moveable Chords

Chords that don't have any open strings in them AND chords whose open strings fit comfortably within the chord all called "moveable chords". Learn how to play a couple chords up the neck.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Moveable Pentatonic

In this lesson, you'll take another big step forward when it comes to working outside of the open position. You'll feel like doing some jamming too!

Length: 8:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Syncopated Strumming

There are eight more strum patterns for you to dig into in this lesson. This time, they are a bit trickier. Follow along with the rhythm charts and take each example in chunks if needed. Combine them with...

Length: 19:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

And Now...Barre Chords!

You knew it was coming! This is the lesson where we stop dancing around full fingered moveable chords and dive head first into the most common barre chord shapes. They're not as bad as you may be fearing....

Length: 19:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

Advancing with Blues

As the musical examples continue to distance themselves from that stereotypical beginner sound, Dave works through this track with a simple, moving melody inside a blues progression.

Length: 14:47 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Make It up as You Go

Some of you may have been waiting for this one! Now we'll focus on some improvisation...Some lead playing. It's not about knowing all the scales or trying to be fancy. It is about using what you know...

Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Like a Drummer

Learn how to create motion and percussive interest with your strumming. If you look at and listen to how drummers accent general grooves, there is a lot of insight there in to how to make your rhythm playing...

Length: 17:29 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

New Chords, New Strums

Learn B minor chord and continue developing your feel and grooviness when it comes to strumming. Be sure that you are combing over older lessons as well so that you can incorporate many ideas into what...

Length: 21:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

A Start to Alternate Picking

Develop precision in your picking. Learn when it's best to use alternate picking. Get comfortable with a few exercises and then apply the technique in a musical context!

Length: 20:26 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

A Little Bluegrass

We're going to continue with rhythm playing and 16th note strumming, but this time we're going to touch on some laid back bluegrass playing. This is another simple style of playing to add to your arsenal.

Length: 10:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

A Bit More on Barre Chords

Learn a few more barre chord forms and get more advanced with your strumming. As you've come to know and love with these lessons, you'll have a chance to learn a new song!

Length: 13:51 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Here You Are

You've made it a long way if you've made it to the end of this series! In this final lesson of Mr. Isaacs beginner course, you'll spend some dedicated time moving both major and minor barre chord formations...

Length: 21:58 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About David Isaacs View Full Biography Nashville-based Dave Isaacs has made a name for himself as one of Music City's top guitar instructors, working with both professional and aspiring songwriters and artists at his Music Row teaching studio. He is also an instructor in the music department at Tennessee State University and is the coordinator and artistic director of the annual TSU Guitar Summit.

A seasoned performer as well, Dave has released eight independent CDs and gigs steadily as a solo artist, bandleader, and sideman. He continues to write, record, and perform as well as arranging and producing projects for other artists.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.


Don Ross Don Ross

New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Calum Graham Calum Graham

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform...

Free LessonSeries Details
Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

Free LessonSeries Details
Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.

Free LessonSeries Details
Mary Flower Mary Flower

Mary talks about the key of F in this fantastic lesson.

Free LessonSeries Details
Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

Free LessonSeries Details
Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

Free LessonSeries Details
Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela Goldsmith Pamela Goldsmith

Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is...

Free LessonSeries Details
Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.


Lauren Passarelli Lauren Passarelli

Lauren Passarelli offers up her wisdom on purchasing a guitar. She also includes information regarding proper setup and care....

Free LessonSeries Details
DJ Phillips DJ Phillips

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

Free LessonSeries Details
Jane Miller Jane Miller

Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Matt Brown Matt Brown

Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.

Free LessonSeries Details
Paul Musso Paul Musso

JamPlay is proud to welcome senior professor and Coordinator of Guitar Studies at the University of Colorado at Denver,...

Free LessonSeries Details
Nick Greathouse Nick Greathouse

Nick starts his series with Alternate Picking part 1. Improve your timing, speed, and execution with this important lesson.

Free LessonSeries Details
Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

JamPlay introduces Nashville session player Guthrie Trapp! In this first segment, Guthrie talks a little about his influences,...

Free LessonSeries Details
Bumblefoot Bumblefoot

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense,...

Free LessonSeries Details
Glen Drover Glen Drover

Lesson 25 from Glen presents a detailed exercise that firmly builds up fret hand dexterity for both speed and accuracy.

Free LessonSeries Details
David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

Free LessonSeries Details




Join over 478887 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.



Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 83 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Community
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00

Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"
 

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!


Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"
 

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


Bill

"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."
 

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on JamPlay.com. Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.



Join thousands of others that LIKE JamPlay!