Lesson 9. Learn Guitar Chords
Barre Chords

Welcome to lesson 9 as you continue on your journey to learn guitar chords. In this lesson you will begin to learn barre chords. There are two commonly used forms of barre chords. In this lesson you will learn the E Forms with the root note located on the 6th or E string.
These forms are very important in your development as a guitarist. As you learn guitar chords like these, it begins to open up the fretboard. Barre chords are known as movable shapes. In other words, once you learn the basic shape, they can be moved up and down the guitar and played at any fret. As you move, the name of the chord changes depending on what fret you are in.

Let's take a look at how that works. In an earlier lesson on your quest to learn guitar chords, you learned the following chords. These are referred to as the "E forms." The three chords are E,  E minor and E7.

As you learn guitar chords like these, here are a few pointers to help you along.
  • When barring with your index finger, allow it to roll slightly on it's side, the side towards your thumb. By doing this it gives you a flatter surface to hold down the strings.
  • Let the weight of your arm help with the barre. Imagine that you have a weight attached to your elbow and let your whole arm assist in forming the sound of the chord.
  • Put your other fingers in place first and put your index finger in place last. This will help you stay relaxed.
  • Start by practicing your barre chords with your index finger in the 5th fret. They are much easier to play in the middle of the guitar where there is less tension on the strings.
  • Hang in there. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get them to sound but learning barre chords is essential. Persist and you will be successful.

Naming Barre Chords

Take a look at the following chart. This chart should definitely be memorized!

The numbers across the top represent the frets and the letters are the notes at each fret on the 6th string. At the 12th fret it starts all over at E again. The name of the chord is determined by the note at the fret your 1st finger is in.

If the major form is played with a barre in the 5th fret,
it would be an A major chord.

A chord barred at the 3rd fret using the minor form would be a G minor.

The 7th chord form barred at the 8th fret would be a C7.

Using this idea, you can see how easy it is to learn guitar chords. You can play all three forms at each fret, giving you a total of 36 chords to play.

That's it for lesson 9. In lesson 10 you will learn the "A form" of barre chords. Keep practicing! Click here for lesson 10 and learn guitar chords.