Beginners Lesson 11

This lesson is about Barre chords. Guitar barre chords are a type of movable chord form. These are chords you can shift up and down the fretboard in their fixed
formation (known as a "chord shape" or "chord form"). This in turn allows you to use those same familiar chord fingerings in any key, simply by positioning them at a new fret.

The "barre" refers to positioning one of your fret fingers (most often your index finger) flat across more than one string. You'll see how different types of barre are used in different chord shapes throughout this course.
In this lesson we are going to look only at two types of chord shapes- E shape and A shape.

E shape guitar barre chords - the theory

The sequence below starts off showing us the E major open position chord.
This shape (the finger formation created on the fretboard) simply gets moved up, meaning we have to barre our index finger to represent where the nut (or capo) would be.
This shape can be positioned anywhere up the fretboard depending on what major chord you want to play. Here first frame of the image shows an E major chord, second frame of the image shows an F major chord and the third frame of the image shows an F# major chord.
 The lowest root note of the E form barre (the barred 1 no. dot) is always on the E string, so if that root note was positioned at fret 5, it would build an A major chord, since the root note would be the note A.
Numbers written in the diagram shows which finger to use. 1 is for index finger, 2 is for middle finger, 3 is for ring finger and 4 is for little finger.
The E-shape also has a minor chord shape taken, just remove your middle finger from the fretboard.

A shape barre chords

 When it comes to the basic major A shape chord, there are a couple of ways to finger it. The most common way, and the way that gets you the fullest voicing, is the following...



Or you can use your third finger (ring finger) to barre across D, G, B strings.


Here is fingering for A shape minor chord....
 Root note of A shape chords lies on A string.