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Barre Chord Tactics
If that was your initial response when you played your first bar chord, don't worry... It was mine too! But like with just about anything on guitar, time and practice will make it easier and before you know it, barre chords will not be a pain-infusing irritation to you anymore, but will actually seem quite simple and handy.
How to make it easier
In the beginning it might feel that your hand will never be strong enough to press down all those strings and have them resonate clearly - well there's a way to make it easier. When playing bar chords the most important finger is your thumb!
Look at this picture below. When playing a barre chord, your thumb needs to press against the back of the neck (in the centre is best) - you can now help you other fingers by exerting pressure with your thumb from the back, thereby helping your hand to press down harder against the strings. If you do it right, it makes a huge difference...
Barre Chords usually prove difficult for new players. These Barre Chord Tactics will alleviate some of your pain and show you how to use them...
Use your thumb to press hard against the centre of the back of the neck and you'll automatically help the rest of your hand to exert more pressure on the strings.
Some more barre chord tactics
Ok, these diagrams and videos will show you some more easy-to-remember barre chord diagrams you can use to increase your ability and style.
When playing the E-chord shape, lift your middle finger (2) to change the chord into a Minor
When playing the E-chord shape, lift your pinky finger (4) to change the chord into a seventh.
When playing the Am-chord shape, use this formation to change the chord into a major seventh (maj7).
Having a problem remembering this? Download the Extended guitar chord chart that maps out most of the barre chords you'll need and keep it as a handy reference.
Want to know how to use Barre Chords in songs?
Proceed to the Playing Barre Chords lesson.
The 5 at the top of the chart means the first bar represents the 5th fret on your guitar.
This is the Am Barre Chord
This is the A7 Barre Chord
This is the Amaj7 Barre Chord