Lesson 6: Basic Minor Chords, Barre Chords Part 1
In this lesson, you will learn the two basic minor chord forms: Em and Am. You will also learn two barre chord forms in addition to some exercises that will train your hands and brain for proper technique while playing barre chords.
Chapter 1: What is Covered
Here is a break down of what you will be working on today:
-Chords: Em and Am
Chapter 2: Basic Minor Chord Forms Em and Am
-Discussion about the new backing track
-Chord progression demonstration - strumming examples
-E form and A form barre chords
Tips to playing your first minor chords:
-You can experiment to find the fingering that works for you.
Chapter 3: The Backing Track
-I prefer to play the Em with my 3rd and 4th fingers and the Am so that my 1st finger is free, but it is best to learn and be comfortable with a variety of fingerings.
-You do not play the low E string on the Am chord
-Chord transitions: practice transitioning between the two minor chords and pay attention to how your finger moves positioning.
Some great pointers to successfully playing with the backing track:
-The chord progression: G, Am, C, D Em, C, D, G
Chapter 4: Introduction to Barre Chords
-Each chord is played for 2 measures.
-Refer to the note values, rhythm notes, and video from Lesson 5.
-Experiment with strumming in whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes and sixteenth notes as you play through the track.
This is where you get to learn your first barre chords:
-Practice moving your E major chord fret-by-fret up and down the neck.
-Make sure you are fretting the notes so that your 1st finger is free.
-Practice the 1st finger barre exercise. Refer to the tablature in this lesson.
-Practice moving A major fret-by-fret up and down the neck.
-When playing A major up and down the neck, practice barring across the D, G, and B strings with either your 3rd or 4th finger. You will have to slightly hyper-extend the joint on your finger to allow for the "e" string to ring out.
-You may also practice using your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers to fret the A chord and practice moving that around the neck. Remember that as you move into the higher frets, there is room for all three fingers.
Video Subtitles / Captions
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I am Chris Liepe.
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Lesson number six.
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Today we are talking about the two basic minor chord forms and we are going to be talking about basic bar chords.
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You are going to have a track to play along with and I'm going to show you a couple different exercises pertaining to bar chords
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that will help strengthen your hand and make things more comfortable for you.
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Let's get into the minor chords before we get into the rest of that stuff
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and you can check that out in the next section.
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So you guys at this point are comfortable with reading chord charts so be sure to check the supplemental material so you can
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check that against what I am doing here.
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I am going to go ahead and explain these two chords.
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The first one is E minor.
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The fingering I am going to be using is going to differ from the chord chart.
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You can either use the chord chart fingering or you can use this fingering.
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The reason I use this fingering is because it keeps my first finger free so that when I move up and down with bar chords
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as you will see in a minute you don't have to change positioning.
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Either fingering is fine.
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Here is E minor and that is going to be third finger second fret on your a string, fourth finger second fret on your D string.
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Strum all the notes.
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You can also play it like this or like this really.
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All of them are fine choose whichever is most comfortable for you.
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There is E minor.
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Remember the idea of doing chord pushups where you are getting it placed, strumming,
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making sure all the notes are clean, take your hand off and put it back on.
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Do that a number of times until you are comfortable with the way that chord feels.
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There is E minor.
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Again you are strumming all the strings.
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One of the easier chords to play on the guitar I think.
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The next is A minor.
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To get from E minor to A minor you're going to take these two fingers here
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and you are just going to move them to a different set of strings.
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It's going to be second fret on your D string with your third finger, second fret on your G string with your fourth finger
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and then you will come over here and take your second finger first fret B string.
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You are not going to play your low E string in this case.
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There is A minor.
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Here is E minor.
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Like we did with some of the other chords it is not only important to practice them by themselves
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but to practice transitions.
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If you set a metronome or set a tempo two, three, four.
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One, two, three, four.
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One, two, three, four.
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One, two, three, four.
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One, two, three, four.
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One. That's going to help you work the transition between those chords and make it a little more comfortable for you.
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The track that we're going to be doing here does not only include the A minor and the E minor
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but it also includes G, C and D.
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So we are going to be expanding the amount of chords we have for the progression for the track.
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Go ahead and take a listen to the track and then come back and I'll explain through the chord progression a little bit.
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Then we will get into bar chords.
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This track is going to be two measures per chord.
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The chord progression is going to be going G for a measure.
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G for another measure.
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A minor for two measures.
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Again everything two measures.
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Then it's going to go to E minor.
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Then to C.
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Then to D.
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I am going to go ahead and play through that right now just so you can get a feel and again the track will you a feel for this also
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but a feel for what that looks like technique wise.
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Here is my tempo.
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I'm going to play a little faster than the track.
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One, Two, Three, Four (x 17).
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We are getting into a little bit more complex transitions.
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Part of the reason this track is a little bit slower than the other ones is because we have more chords
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and you're still getting used to making those transitions.
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You can always practice to a metronome first at an even slower tempo to make the transitions.
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It is really important when you are learning these chords that you are practicing in time though
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because it's going to help you down the road when you're playing songs.
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Let's look at some different ways that we can divide the beat up.
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If you watched lesson four we talked about note values, whole notes, quarter notes, half notes, eighth notes
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and sixteenth notes.
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If you haven't watched that go back and take a look at that section because we are talking about subdividing a beat
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and doing things strumming wise that are different than just holding out a note.
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So if I'm going to play this chord progression here with quarter notes I'm going to be playing on every count if I'm in four, four.
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One, Two, Three, Four. (x 8).
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So there's quarter notes.
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If I want to get a little bit more creative let's say I'm going to strum the first two chords as quarter notes
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and I'm going to strum the second two chords as eighth notes.
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I'll play the first part of that again.
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One, Two, Three, Four (x 4).
One and two and three and four ( x 4).
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As you practice with the track try doing transitions and as you get comfortable with that
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try mixing up the note values that you are placing on your strums.
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You can get even more creative with it and add sixteenth notes in if you are feeling up to it.
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Again, sixteenth notes are counted:
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One ee and uh, two ee and uh, three ee and uh, four ee and uh.
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So it would be: One ee and uh, two ee and uh, three ee and uh, four ee and uh.
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If you were to play that against quarter notes and eighth notes it can sound kind of cool.
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Example. I am going to do a quarter note for G and then I'm going to do eighth notes for A minor
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and then sixteenth notes for C and D.
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The most important thing is that you are getting your transitions correctly.
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Once you're feeling good about that start practicing with subdividing the beats on the track and be creative with that.
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In lesson number seven we will get more into strum patterns
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and we will be writing out strum pattern ideas for you to practice over these tracks.
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For now work on getting the chords and just experiment on your own a little bit with that.
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Stay tuned for bar chords next.
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They are not as difficult as you might think.
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My goal today is to break down the basics of your two major form bar chords, help you with technique
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and help you with the understanding of how those are built.
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First thing to understand when we are looking at bar chords is that they are really just variations on chords you already know.
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We are going to be working on the E formation and the A formation bar chord today.
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Stay tuned for the next section.
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Let's tackle the E form first.
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When we were first looking at the E chord, I had you fret the E chord like this.
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With your pointer finger or your first finger free.
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Basically what we are going to do is practice moving this chord form around the neck before we even make it a bar chord.
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Take the E chord and then move everything up keeping them within the same fret range.
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Meaning you are going to have your second finger one fret behind your third and your fourth fingers
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but we are going to move the whole shape up the neck.
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Up to where our third and fourth fingers are up on the twelfth fret.
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That's going to look like this.
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Then back down.
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I'm sorry that was the fourteenth fret not the twelfth fret.
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Essentially what you are doing when you bar a chord is you're combining a bar technique
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with moving this same form around the neck.
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Here is that bar technique and what I recommend is that you practice that drill that we just did
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and look in the supplemental material section to get the exact tablature for that last drill.
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Here is the bar technique that you are going to use and you are going to move that up from open
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all the way up to the twelfth fret when you practice.
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Make sure that when you are doing this and we talked about hand positioning in another lesson
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but make sure you've got your hand position like this
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where your thumb is directly between your first and second finger so it's supporting those fingers.
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You're going to take your first finger on your left hand and for this example we are going to use the third fret.
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Place the thumb joint on the hump of the neck and then place your first finger over all of the strings
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and you're going to squeeze thumb to index finger, thumb to first finger.
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Do not put the rest of your fingers on there to support.
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You just want to be using your finger because these fingers are going to be fretting notes over here for a chord pretty soon.
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So go to the third fret hold that down and strum.
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Make sure all the strings are coming through cleanly and then you want to do the same thing you were doing before
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with the chords doing that chord pushup idea.
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Once you've got the third fret down then start with open then go first fret which is going to be by far the most difficult.
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Second fret, Third fret.
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Making sure it's clean all the way up the neck.
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Then back down.
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The tendency down here especially is going to be to want to get all those fingers over there to make that nice and tight
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but you can't do that because you are going to be using those fingers to do chords.
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Once you've done this exercise the bar exercise and you've moved your E chord around several times
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it's time to combine them.
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Now we are combining the bar with the chord.
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What we first want to do is fret our E chord.
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Then we are going to move our third and our fourth fingers on the same strings and in the same positions we're going to
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move those up to the fifth fret leaving our second finger on the fourth fret G string.
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Strum, make sure you've got it clean and then with the joint of your thumb being in the middle on the hump of the neck
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you're going to add the bar chord slowly so that is going to look like this.
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Now when you first do this it's not going to be pretty.
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So you really want to fool around with your hand a little bit and make sure you're getting the right support.
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Again, notice where my thumb is in relation to the rest of my hand.
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My thumb is not over here, it's not over here, it's directly in between my first and my second fingers.
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That's how I'm able to get that clean chord.
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Again the steps.
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Fret the chord.
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Add the bar.
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Take your hand off.
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Do it again.
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Once you've done that a number of times and you're feeling more comfortable with it try doing it all in one motion.
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Now we're going to do the same thing with these combined that we did with the other exercises
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so with the bar exercise and then the chord exercise.
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Now we're going to start with our E chord.
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Then work up a fret at a time.
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Then you are going to end with your first finger on the twelfth fret.
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Your third and fourth fingers with be on the fourteenth fret.
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The challenge is when you're up here you've got to squeeze in your fingers a lot more to make that clean.
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When you're down here you have to be applying a lot more strength to get everything clean.
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Be aware of that the easiest way to do them are really between the third and seventh frets with your bar.
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So when you're starting out if you just have to do this section to get it clean
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and then go with the higher and the lowers as you get more advanced that works to.
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Those are the three exercises for the A form that are going to help you get clean
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and help strengthen your hand as you figure those out.
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Let's go in the next section to the A formation bar chord.
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Ok. So the A formation bar chord based off of the A chord.
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We are going to do something a little bit different with this chord.
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We're going to take these three fingers and replace them with just the pinky.
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This can be done because all of the notes are on the same fret and they are right next to each other.
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So instead of fretting it like this take the pinky put our thumb behind and then we are going to
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bend or hyperextend our pinky so that we are hitting those three notes.
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That alone is kind of difficult and can even be somewhat painful if you haven't done it before but you are kind of bending your
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pinky back just a little bit and you're using this last section of your pinky to grab those three strings.
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We are going to do the same thing and those three strings are the D string, G string and B string.
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You want to make sure when you are doing this you are leaving room for your E string to be open.
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The tendency is to accidentally deaden that because you are not bending your finger enough.
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Bend your finger get it off that high e string a lot of that's going to be thumb position.
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If you're thumb is too high up over here it's going to be harder to do that if your thumb is behind it will be easier.
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We're going to do the exact same thing with that, that we did with the E form chord.
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We're going to start on the second fret though and we're going to move it around.
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Likely your pinky will be very tired after that. Shake it off, don't over do it.
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Now you're going to combine this exercise with doing your first finger bar exercise.
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So essentially what we have is in this chord when you combine those two you've got a double bar chord.
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For your A chord though you don't need to worry necessarily about barring over your low E string
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because you're not going to play it.
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So your first finger bar only needs to be with your fifth through your first string.
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What you want to do this bar you want to rest so that your first finger is actually muting your low E string.
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Practice moving that around a little bit.
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You don't want to play your low E string anyway but in case you accidentally do it'll be muted.
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Now we're going to combine them.
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This is one of the harder things to get used to because you're bending your pinky in a weird way
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and it takes just a lot of hand strength.
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I really recommend starting this if you're not already following these lessons on an electric guitar, I really recommend
03:17.737 --> 03:23.191
starting on an electric because it takes a lot less hand strength to sound good doing it.
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Once you are comfortable on an electric moving these techniques to an acoustic is a little bit easier.
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Starting with an acoustic with some of these techniques is like starting with lifting weights that are too heavy for you
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and then working backward it just doesn't really make sense.
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What we are going to do is we are going to combine the bar with your first finger with the bar on your fourth finger.
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I find it easier to establish with this chord form to establish your first finger first, get that clean,
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then add your bar over to the side.
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Remember there is a fret in between here.
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You're not doing this.
04:05.703 --> 04:12.346
There is a fret in between and that makes sense because when you're playing your A chord there is a fret
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you're not playing anything on.
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We're going to come up here to your third fret, get your first finger in place, make sure that's clean
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and then put your fourth finger on and strum.
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Make sure again when you're doing it that you're bending this finger enough that you're letting those things ring through.
04:36.408 --> 04:38.462
Move that around.
04:38.462 --> 04:47.382
Then back down.
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Some people's fingers don't bend that way. Eventually you will probably develop the technique.
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If it's easier for you to play your A chord like this and then move your actual A chord up
05:04.897 --> 05:08.740
so your first finger is free and then bar like this.
05:08.740 --> 05:17.710
If that's easier for you that will work and you can certainly do that switching from your E to your A form
05:17.710 --> 05:27.894
and that makes a lot of sense until you start getting up here on these higher frets where it's awfully hard to fit all three of these
05:27.894 --> 05:32.090
fingers in that one fret and it gets kind of messy.
05:32.090 --> 05:35.181
Experiment either way.
05:35.181 --> 05:43.644
Experiment moving this A form chord around and then experiment moving it around with just your pinky.
05:43.644 --> 05:51.159
You can go to whichever one is more comfortable for you but it's a good idea to have both techniques down
05:51.159 --> 05:55.727
in case you're playing things up here.
05:55.727 --> 06:01.410
It helps to have that double bar positioning to get things clean.
06:01.410 --> 06:12.260
All of the exercises I outlined today, the first finger up and down, the moving your E chord around, moving your A chord
06:12.260 --> 06:23.364
around, double bar as well as the minor chord forms that we worked on earlier and the tablature for the track.
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All of that stuff in addition to an outline of this lesson is available in the supplemental material.
06:29.073 --> 06:34.889
So if you haven't been following along with those already during the lessons check those out.
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You can go back and review some of the things we've done in this video to see visuals.
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Feel free to message me questions as well as look me up on live Q and A or ask any of the teachers here questions.
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Hopefully the lessons so far have been beneficial to you.
06:53.799 --> 06:58.282
We will see you soon for beginner lesson seven.
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Scale LibraryOur 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 SheetsAt 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 TracksJam-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 GamesWe 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.
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
||$4 - $5
||$30 - $50
|Money Back Guarantee
|Number of Instructors
||1 – 3
|Interaction with Instructors
||Daily Webcam Sessions
||Luck of the Draw
||Luck of the Draw
|Learn Any Style
|Multiple Camera Angles
|Learn in Sweatpants
||~$4 / gallon!
"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!
"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
"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.
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