The Best Way To Learn Barre Chords in 1 Hour

Barre chords are a popular choice for players who want to play in various keys and styles.

In this article, we’ll show you the best way to learn barre chords with the time you have for the day. We’ll also give you some exercises and tips to help make the process easier.

Make your first day learning barre chords as quick and effective as possible.

the best way to learn barre chords

How do I get started learning barre chords?

We’re scared away from learning barre chords by a slew of questions that soon become excuses. Perhaps you believe you have tiny hands and can’t stretch your fingers, and that you don’t have enough strength to fret all notes. You’re wondering whether you can skip this portion. Don’t give up yet; two barre chords will unlock the rest of the 90% chords in the chart.

You don’t have to worry about how long or if you can complete it because, like everyone else, you can. Put your time in and have fun with it. Look forward to the day when you can finally ring your first barre chord. It may be tough, but it doesn’t have to be complicated; proper technique and finger placement can remove any unnecessary tensions.

Best Way to Learn Barre Chords

If you’re a guitar player, barre chords are an essential skill. They allow you to play a wider range of chords and can be used in many different styles of music.

However, barre chords can be tricky to learn, especially if you’re a beginner. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll show you how to make barre chords in the most efficient manner possible in just one hour.

Barre Chord Definition

First, let’s start with a quick definition. Barre chords are simply chords that use your index finger to barre (press down) multiple strings or place your index finger across all of the strings on a particular fret. This creates a more stable chord and makes it easier to move between chords. Barre chords are important for both rhythm and lead guitar playing, so they are worth learning.

This can be tricky at first, but with a little practice, you’ll be barre chording like a pro in no time.

Now that we know what barre chords are, let’s talk about the best way to learn them. The key is to start slow and practice regularly. We recommend that you set aside at least 15 minutes each day to practice barre chords.

Now that we know what barre chords are, let’s talk about the best way to learn them. The key is to start slow and practice regularly. We recommend that you set aside at least 15 minutes each day to practice barre chords.

Proper Placement and Techniques

It takes more pressure pushing the strings down on an acoustic guitar due to string height and thickness and pressing harder and squeezing won’t help. You can avoid all extreme pains if you learn to properly position every part of your body needed to play your guitar successfully.

Shoulder down. Try putting your right hand on your left shoulder to make it relaxed. If it rises while you’re fretting the chord then that’s a sign you’re doing it all wrong. You’re probably using too much strength from your fingers and thumb.

Arm, Elbow, Wrist. Pay attention to your elbow, keep it low and close to your body. Make sure you are relaxing your entire arm, and avoid forming a chicken wing. Keeping your arm hanging next to your body makes it more comfortable and easier to move your hand to the fretboard. Your wrist should also be in a nice and relaxed position, in resting state, and slightly bent forward.

Thumb & Palm. Your thumb should be halfway down at the back of the neck, opposite your index finger, or in between your index and ring finger. It’s generally pointed upward, almost perpendicular to the neck of the guitar; don’t stretch it out parallel with the neck. Your palm should be directly underneath the guitar neck, holding the fretboard like holding a hamburger.

Fingers. Curve your fingers; middle, ring and pinkie. Make a fist with your right hand and wrap your left hand around it. When fretting a barre chord, avoid the tendency of flattening the 1st knuckle of your middle finger. For your index finger, it should be parallel to the fret and slightly arched or angled, not diagonal. Fret slightly towards the outer edge of your index, it’s easier to bar with the bonier and harder part of your index finger. Check your G & D strings, the middle strings, to know if your index is fretting it right.

Other Techniques In Playing Barre Chords

  • Angle your guitar’s neck up or tilt your guitar a bit upwards so you can easily fret a barre chord and comfortably move up and down the fretboard.
  • When forming your first barre chord, you will be doing a lot of ring tests, ringing the string individually. Thus, picking is better than strumming for this early stage.
  • Barre higher up the fretboard when forming your first barre chord. The closer to the nut, the harder it gets to fret a barre chord. As you move toward the bridge, your guitar neck gets thinner, the frets get smaller and the string tension gets looser. As soon as you can fret your barre chord well, slowly work your way down the neck (frets closer to the nut). 
  • Lower your guitar action, the distance between your strings and the fretboard.
  • Don’t squeeze the guitar neck with your fingers and thumb like a clamp but pull the strings with the weight of your arm. Squeezing will lead to a sore thumb and constrict your arm and shoulder resulting in unnecessary excess tensions. Simply relax your shoulder and arm, this way it will transfer the weight to the strings.
  • Fret slightly below the fingertip and place your fingers slightly behind the fret wire.

Exercises

Now that we’ve gone over proper barre chord techniques, let’s try some exercises. These exercises will help you to get comfortable with barre chords and build up the strength in your fingers.

Start by practicing the following exercise for two minutes each day. As you get better, you can increase the amount of time you spend on the exercise.

Index Finger Exercises

Since barre chord is all about fretting multiple strings in a single fret, let’s work on your index finger first. Don’t worry about the rest of your fingers because you’ve been practicing fretting it with your open chords early on. The goal of this exercise is to strengthen the index finger and build good string contact that will result in ringing all strings clearly.

Level 1: Ring Test

  • Barre all six strings with your index finger on the 7th fret.
  • Ring the strings individually. 
  • Do this several times taking your index finger on and off the fret.

Level 2: Moving through the neck.

  • Move your index from 5th to 9th fret.
  • Ring the strings individually through picking.
  • Pick the strings all down on the 5th fret and all up on the 6th.
  • Do this alternately until you reach the 9th fret.

Level 3: Moving closer to the nut.

  • Do part 2 starting from the 1st to 9th fret, the fret beside the nut of your guitar.
  • Then move back from 9th to 1st fret.

Do these exercises following the stages accordingly. We want to properly transition your index finger from the easy level to the hardest where you have to go through the most part of the fretboard. The exercises are quite easy but ringing all strings is the challenge. You can’t move to the next level without properly fretting and ringing all strings cleanly. If you hear a buzzing sound then always check the proper placement from your shoulder down to your fingers. Be careful to follow the techniques listed above.

Level Up!

Now that you’ve practiced barre chords and built up some strength in your fingers, it’s time to level up! Here are some tips to help you take your barre chord playing to the next level.

Use a metronome: This will help you to keep a steady rhythm while you’re playing.

Practice, practice, practice: The more you play, the better you’ll get at barre chords.

Take your time: Don’t try to rush through a song. Instead, take your time and focus on each chord.

Listen to music: Not only will this help you to improve your ear, but it will also give you some inspiration.

Experiment: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different voicings and fingerings.

Get a guitar teacher: A guitar teacher can help you to learn barre chords, and they can also give you feedback on your playing.

You are one step closer to playing your barre chords. If you get your index finger working well then the rest will not be as hard as you think. Focus on strength building rather than all the pain you will encounter. It is only a temporary condition while you’re gaining muscles and building calluses on your fingers. You are indeed getting stronger!

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