Beginner’s Guide to Bar Chords on Guitar

Klaus Weedfelt / DigitalVision Collection / Getty Images

As most new guitar players develop their skills, they learn how to hold the instrument, which hand performs the function, and the name of the musical note for each string. Once they understand the basic concept of notes and scales, most guitar students will move to the next level in guitar playing: the strings.

A chord is a mixture of multiple tones that create a pleasing sound. Major chords tend to feel happy and bright, while minor chords can be identified as looking sad and more melancholy.

There is a large variety of chords that guitarists can learn to play to rock their favorite songs or play with other musicians during a playing session.

However, not all strings are created equal, and there is a specific reason why new guitar students should learn some strings before others when taking lessons or learning on their own.

Some strings require easier finger shapes to make each tone in the chord loop clear, while some involve a level of finger strength and coordination that most guitarists have to work on over time.

If you have already learned some basic guitar chords like E major, G major and D major, then you are on a great way to become an expert guitarist and be able to play some of the most famous and loved songs in the world.

However, once you’ve mastered some of the easiest guitar chords to play, it’s time to move on to the next level: guitar players love to play guitar chords.

What is a bar chord?

A strip chord is a guitar chord that involves dreading or “blocking” multiple strings with one finger. While most basic strings use only one finger per chord and keep one or more strings open, bar strings use one finger to move multiple strings at the same time while other fingers pick up different strings.

In general, the finger used is the first or index finger.

For many of the strings that guitar experts play, there are “easier” and “harder” versions that will be more or less suitable for novice players.

For example, you can play the major G chord simply by placing the second finger on the third fret of the low E string, the first finger on the second fret of the A string, and the third finger on the third fret of the high E string.

Conversely, the notes that make up the G chord (G, B, and D) can also be achieved by striking all the strings on the third fret with the first finger and then placing the third finger on the third fret of the A chord, and the fourth finger on the third fret of the D string , and the second finger on the second ferrite of the G series.

Although both options achieve all the required notes from the major G chord, the first option is more suitable for beginners. Once you develop the independence of your finger and the strength of your hand, you can choose from multiple finger chord options to precisely balance the notes you prefer phonetically.

As a reminder, here is a list of all the fingers of your left hand and the number that represents them in playing the guitar. If you are left-handed, you will use your right hand to worry, so these numbers will mean the fingers of your right hand instead.

  • The thumb has no number
  • The index finger is 1
  • The middle finger is 2
  • ring finger 3
  • Pinky finger is 4

As you can tell, the barre chord forms tend to be more complex than the basic chord forms, which is why they require a higher level of skill to succeed.

Fina Baby

Phina Pipia is a writer, teacher and performer. Her work can be found at

Fina Baby

Leave a Comment