4 Tips For Easy Barre Chords That Helped Me Become Better
You probably heard of barre chords and maybe even avoided them for a long time because they’re known to be hard.
They are indeed more advanced and they involve a lot of practice but with these tips you will hopefully get a successful experience rather fast.
If you have more secret tips, please feel free to share them with me!
What Makes Barre Chords Hard To Play?
You got to place your index finger across all the strings of a fret. That costs a lot of power to keep the pressure up. Eventually your hand will feel tired very quickly. It’s not uncommon to get a cramp when learning these chords for the first time but don’t get discouraged.
Like everything new, it will take some time to master barre chords. Be nice to your hands and keep on practicing because the outcome is worth the pain. Switching between chords isn’t the easiest task and will take practice to getting used to.
Don’t rush with barre chords and much rather try to perfect your normal and easier chords. Learn how to play those very fluently and easily before you move on.
4 Tips For Easier Barre Chords
1. Practice makes perfect
As I already mentioned, these chords are a rather intermediate technique. At first it won’t feel easy and your hand might cramp rather quickly. That’s totally fine and normal though because your hand because our hand has to get used to the positions and movements.
The same happens when you start learning the guitar. Your fingers will hurt and you might get blisters on them because they need to develop that hard skin.
The more you practice, the faster you will progress. So don’t get discouraged, if it won’t work out perfectly fine the first few times.
2. All barre chords are based of the E and A chords
Once you get comfortable playing the chords, it’s really easy to play ANY chord you like. Just play the shape of an E chord and move further down the guitar neck placing your index finger on the root note. Tadaaa you can play any chord you like.
You don’t need to memorize lots of different chords and shapes. The basic shape of an A or E chord is enough plus the knowledge of the root notes. The shape will be the same for any chord.
3. Finger positioning is key
So in order to play barre chords, we need to push our index finger really hard against the whole set of strings on a specific fret. At the same time our thumb has to press really hard from the other side.
Sometimes, even after years of playing guitar, the chord doesn’t fully ring and the last string isn’t fully pressed down even though I’m pushing VERY hard.
Why is that?
The lower part of our finger is fleshy and rather soft. So even if we try our hardest to press, the soft part won’t push the strings completely. Only a few days ago I learned a trick that changed EVERYTHING.
In a YouTube video someone mentioned that you have to roll your index finger a little bit so you can press down the strings with the bony part of your index finger. That part of our finger is hard enough to push the strings down MUCH easier.
With that tip alone, my chords sound much cleaner and I can also play them so much easier and for a longer period of time because my hand doesn’t cramp at all.
4. Don’t hesitate to use simpler versions of barre chords
Sometimes you might feel the need to use a capo to transpose your song. If you don’t know much about capos or how to transpose songs I really recommend you to read my blog post about transposing right here.
When using a capo on a high fret, the place to put your fingers is very limited. I will be very hard and uncomfortable to play your barre chords down there. That’s when I use easier versions of these chords. Maybe you can only play the first 3 notes, that makes the power chord.
These are really easy to play even going down the guitar neck.
Why I Love Them
There are definitely benefits to barre chords that are undeniably useful.
With only one pattern of barre chords, you will be able to play any chord you like.
The root note of this barre chord is F but you can move it up the board to create any major chord.
The same principle applies to minor chords with another pattern.
You will get a lot of flexibility in your guitar play because you can play any chord freely.
Learning barre chords is not the easiest task, especially for beginners but let me tell you there a much harder techniques that make barre chords look super easy and the will give you a huge boost in your repertoire. When I was younger, I specialized on guitar only and arpeggios killed me back then…
I hope you enjoyed todays post and you learned something new.
Take care of yourself and I will talk to you soon.
Did you learn anything new today? If yes, let me know.
I would be super excited!