When to use different barre chord shapes?


mindexmaster
Full Access
Joined: 01/22/22
Posts: 2

I recently learned the A major shape, A miner shape, and E major barre chord shapes but I don't know which ones to use. For example if I want to do a B flat using these, I don't know which ones to use to play the chord. Do I just try to memorise which barre chord shape to use for each chord or is there some kind of method I just don't know? Thanks


# 1
ddiddler
Full Access
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 291

it gets even more complicated when you start using only parts of these barre chords utilising only 3 or 4 strings. The low strings or the high strings. Sometimes as an easier chord to make while you persevere learning full barre chords.

The barre chord chosen will depend on which areas of the fret board the song or melody is utilising.

It means the chosen chords stay closer together and are easier to change between.

Dave


# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,784
Originally Posted by: mindexmaster

I recently learned the A major shape, A miner shape, and E major barre chord shapes but I don't know which ones to use.[/quote]

This depends on skill level & musical context.

If one is easier for you to do, then do that one for now. It might be easier because of the shape or the fretboard position. It might be easier to use in order to get from the chord before it, and, or to the chord after it.

The chords have slightly different voicings & timbres. Both are B-flat major chords but there are many different ways to play any given chord on the guitar. Some are played lower on the fretboard, some higher, some with different sets of strings. All these factors result in slightly different variations on the same chord. One might be more appropriate than another in a certain song or musical context.

Originally Posted by: mindexmasterFor example if I want to do a B flat using these, I don't know which ones to use to play the chord.

Find the B-flat note on the E string, 6th fret. Play an E shaped barre chord.

|--6--(Bb)-------|

|--6--(F)---------|

|--7--(D)--------|

|--8--(Bb)-------|

|--8--(F)---------|

|--6--(Bb)-------|

Find the B-flat note on the A string, 1st fret. Play an A shaped baree chord.

|--1--(F)---------|

|--3--(D)--------|

|--3--(Bb)-------|

|--3--(F)---------|

|--1--(Bb)-------|

|------------------|

You can leave off the top note of that chord if it's too difficult for now. It's still a B-flat chord because it has all notes you need.

|------------------|

|--3--(D)--------|

|--3--(Bb)-------|

|--3--(F)---------|

|--1--(Bb)-------|

|------------------|

In fact you could just play the middle 3 strings.

|------------------|

|--3--(D)--------|

|--3--(Bb)-------|

|--3--(F)---------|

|------------------|

|------------------|

That's all you need for a B-flat chord because it has the 3 notes necessary to form the chord. But you might want to add the low B-flat to flesh out the sound. Especially if the other chords you are using have lower bass notes.

[quote=mindexmaster]Do I just try to memorise which barre chord shape to use for each chord or is there some kind of method I just don't know?

Yes, learn as many as you can. Ultimately you want as many options as possible at your fingertips in order to make your playing more musical.

For now start with both the E & A shaped barre chords. Learn the musical alphabet on both strings & practice playing both kinds of barre chords on every fret & what chord that is. Do it for all major & minor chords.

I cover that in this tutorial.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=450

And then show how to systemically practice it in this tutorial.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=464

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 3