Have you ever heard this before? Practice! Practice! Shut up and practice!
Now, that is great advice. Better advice is to practice the right things, the right way. Barre Chords Made Simple directs your guitar study with a goal to understanding the fretboard with confidence leading to competence. You still gotta practice, practice, practice.
Never quite "got it" before about how bar chords are rooted on different strings.
Now I get it and it's made a world of difference.
Thanks - 5 Stars.
You have done an excellent job on bar cord structure and understanding. It will open up a lot of great sounds once I get the hands and fingers stronger. I am still working on the hand and finger exercises. I really enjoy your presentation.
“I have learned more about playing in the last year with your courses than the previous 40 years”
Jonathan, I have purchased Unlocking I-IV- V, Guitar Scale Patterns and Bar Chords Made Simple. I bought my first Guitar in 1975. I started with a little Pop and Rock n Roll. Later I moved to Blue Grass. I love playing. But, I must say I have learned more about playing in the last year with your courses than the previous 40 years. Thank you. I would recommend them to anyone.
“Bar Chords Are My New Friends!”
I just wanted to thank you for making "Bar Chords Made Simple."
I write my own songs and usually stay fairly basic because I "feared" using bar chords. After watching your video I can now say that bar chords are my new friends and my songs are no longer basic.
In fact, I was working on a new song while I was watching your video and it allowed me to expand it and make it what I wanted it to be. The song "I Want It" was originally in the key of E... Each time I listened to it I just wanted more. I finally started playing with some bar chords and decided to start the song in E and them switch to the key of D and then slide back to E... I start the song with an open E and then slide up to a B on the 7th fret and then an A on the 5th fret... Talk about changing a song around and giving it new life!!!!
Thank you again Jonathan...
If you would like to listen to "I Want It" and see how it turned out just go to http://www.soundclick.com/daveevanssolo
Your bar cord course is what I have been looking for, I had been trying to master bar cords on my own and didn't get very far. This course is just what I need. I tried other DVD's and didn't get very much done but now I am on the right track.
Thank you for an excellent course but mostly for reminding this 71-year old one of the basics.
I bought myself a Christmas present two years ago- a Taylor 12 string that was, in all seriousness, beyond my current capabilities.
I played 'with it' rather than playing it for two years until I bought your Bar Chord lessons.
Having rebuilt several guitars over the years I thought buying a 'high end' guitar, it should be "good "out of the box!
Your reminder to check action height resulted in me lowering the action... a lot!
Can't believe how much easier it is to play and use bar chords!
Thank you again and keep up the good work!
Hi Jonathan, I bought your Bar Chords Made Simple course and I tell you it came at the right time for me, sick of playing everything with open chords and envious of people playing chords all over the neck. Now that you have given me the tools I need I'm slowly substituting open chords with bar cords on the songs I already know and feeling great when I venture up the neck.
Great course, thanks Jonathan.
P.S. I also have Unlocking 1 4 5 and Scale Patterns, these are by far the best courses out there, cheers.
My bar chords have always been hard to do, so I usually try to get by with variations (kinda works, but not great). With BAR CHORDS MADE SIMPLE, I'm getting much better and feel more comfortable using bar cords. Definitely pleased with my purchase.
Like many others, I've invested in your Guitar Scale Patterns, Bar Chords Made Simple & Unlocking I IV V DVD lessons and have found they all go together so well in making a comprehensive understanding of the guitar that it just makes sense. Where I used to play 'as instructed' without knowing why, now I UNDERSTAND how notes, chords and scales are built. I can build scales based on knowledge instead of just parrot fashion.
As for Bar Chords Made Simple, I now know chords patterns NOBODY ELSE even mentioned. While I haven't yet got to the point of using bar chords in songs, this is only due to my lack of finger strength and quick change ability, both of which will come with practice and using the included finger exercises.
Thanks so very much for delivering what many promise. BRILLIANT.
Hi Jonathan, after purchasing your BCMS course and having set aside time to study it over the past few weeks, I must conclude that the course is: well... simply marvelous! Thank you for a job well done. Your presentation of this course, in its efficient and practical format, would benefit anyone interested in climbing out of the routinely "open chord syndrome" into a bar-chord world full of infinite variety and complexity. The BCMS course is helping me tremendously. Since I have been following your clear-cut instructions on playing basic fundamentals of bar-chord structure, I have noticed that my playing has been progressively improving over time.
In addition, the finger exercises included in the course is very helpful in improving the dexterity, strength, endurance, and speed of my fingers.
Finally, I would like to say that I, like many of your customers, am the proud owner of your "Unlocking I-IV-V" and "Guitar Scale Patterns" courses. These courses are, by far, the best I have seen out there; they are a masterpiece and have helped improve my playing, as well.
Keep up the good work, Jonathan, and thanks, once again! God Bless!
Have enjoyed the lesson very much. Have found learning the chords very easy and quick. What is taking time is learning changing from chord to chord quickly and smoothly and that is just practice practice practice. Well done Jonathan......
“It’s my next step to freedom!”
I’m slowly building strength to finally, finally start to play bar cords. It’s my next step to freedom! Thanks it’s wonderful to be able to finally get it! ❤️
The Unlocking I-IV-V course is excellent! Great way to understand what notes make up chords and how to build them. Instruction is very clear and detailed. Also have Bar Chords Made Simple. Same result - Excellent. I have been playing about a year - acoustic guitars - 79 years young.
“Your teaching method for me is superior”
I am a beginner, 66 years old, purchased my first guitar (acoustic) 2 years ago, took lessons for short time, purchased Hal Leonard Beginner book. Struggled a lot. 6 months ago I was given two electric guitars. Then I purchased Guitar Theory DVD from Steve Stine, and I began to understand the theory and fretboard. More recently, I purchased 3 DVDs from you over 6 week period, starting with Bar Chords (Stine has limited info on Bar Chords). I thoroughly enjoyed the Bar Chord lesson, but then it led me to your Unlocking I, IV, V, DVD and more recently, your Guitar Scale Pattern DVD.
Your teaching method for me is superior, I had enough theory already for basic understanding, but you helped me understand in a way that has accelerated my learning and practice. I spend 3 hours per day, between replaying your DVDs and actual practice; sometimes more. I learn something new every time I replay one of your DVDs; something clicks. I can't thank you enough for the clarity and understanding your teaching provided me. No one is too old to learn!
These are really good lessons.
Very well explained
My playing of bar chords has definitely improved since buying the course. What I like most is the simplistic way in which you put the training across, making it easy to understand & pick up. It has helped me to change chords a lot quicker and easier although I did have to cheat a bit by writing the notes for the E and A strings on stickers and sticking them on the fret board.
I just finished going through your "Bar Chords Made Simple" course for the second time and I have improved tremendously. I have always struggled with Bar Chords but your course has made it simpler. I now know how to play all the Major, Minor, and 7th chords on the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings. I love the training strength building exercises at the end of the course and will start with those every time I practice. Thanks for the great course.
Hi Jonathan, since obtaining your Bar Chords Made Simple course, I am now able to preform brain surgery, although my first patient was a disaster, but he doesn't talk about it much, hmm. I don't think he can talk. ha.ha. Seriously, I think I have purchased every one of your instructional DVDs and I found them all excellent. At first I was far enough along that I thought I may not need the bar chord one, but I was mistaken, it has proven very useful to me. Please keep them coming, I will always be interested in whatever you have to offer, another job well done.
“Really Helped Me Start Making My Own Solos”
This has helped me starting to make up my own solos.
Courses: Slow Blues solo in A, Guitar Scale Patterns, Bar Chords Made Easy, Unlocking 1,4,5
There are plenty of keys in the above courses to help someone like me, who has always experimented with different sounds on my guitar, to make riffs and solos my own. It is nice to be able to do classic solos note for note, but the real enjoyment is changing them to how you are feeling in the moment.
After all, the pros do not play them the same way every time.
Understanding the fret board makes this possible. It frees you up to be able to play all over the fret board and UNDERSTAND why certain notes sound so sweet together.
I also use songs playing on the radio as jam tracks. Since I do this at home with no one listening but my wife (she says I have become a lot better over the past several years), I am not worried about making mistakes. I start playing immediately as a song plays to try and find the key it is in. I have developed my ear so that I can hear it when I find the key. Since I have been doing this for the past few years, it only takes 2-3 seconds to find the key. This makes playing more fun and free.
Understanding how chords are made up allows me to find and play the same chords in different voicings all over the fretboard. Several years ago, I would have thought this would be impossible for me.
I would stress that progress comes from playing, and more playing. I play because it is fun and it relaxes me. Learning how the fretboard works will make it fun for others also. Also, playing in a band helps you get your timing down. I play in a band at my church, which is a safe place. (You do not have to worry about people throwing stuff if you make a mistake). I had only been playing for a couple of years when I joined the band and at first, could only keep up with every 3rd chord the band played. But when I found the correct chord I would accent it. I did this to express my joy at playing the right chord, but the band said it made things sound better. This helped my initial disappointment of not being able to keep up.
Today, I am able to fit in and add to a band's sound. To those just starting out, I would encourage them to enjoy the journey. After several years of steady playing, you will be having fun also.
Being able to play freely makes it more fun.
The bar chords course was not advanced enough for me. BUT, the section of the course that included the finger and hand exercises was very beneficial for me as I have been a guitarist for 40+ years but not professionally. Since I have been doing the exercises, my speed and accuracy has improved significantly. I never thought I could get faster but I have and I contribute the new speed and accuracy on the finger and hand exercises. I do them daily and even my bar chord strength is better. I play in church on Sundays and my hands used to get tired holding the many bar chords required for church music, now they do not.
“You Have Made Bar Chords So Freaking Easy!”
OMG. I have gotten through about halfway of the “bar chords made simple” lesson and I am having a such a blast. I have been afraid of bar chords for the past 2 years. I must say, I am still working on the finger strength exercises to gain strength (and you are right about the pain 😊). But it’s a happy pain. You have made bar chords so freaking easy I wish I would have found you a long time ago. Wow, I would rather play bar chords than open chords. It's really just that much easier.
I love electric blues music and one of my favorite blues song that is full of bar chords (as most blues songs are) that I always imagined myself playing. (Debora Coleman - My Heart Bleeds Blue). And can you believe it, I can hit most every chord and actually keep up (somewhat) after just a few days of practice. What a blast!! I never knew how much fun this is. And I can’t wait until I am so good that I can hit them all.
I'll tackle the solos in the near future (I'm also taking your “Guitar Scale Patterns courses). I'm 57 years old and my biggest regret is not picking up guitar 30 years ago.
So a big thank you for what you do. You are a gifted teacher. (now I have to get back to practice 😊)
I have looked at many online "learn Guitar Over-night" courses and have to say that the courses offered at PlayGuitar.com are very well laid out, easy to follow, and relevant to the material at hand. I have purchase most of the coursed offered and find them worth the money and time investment. Thank you!
I live in Shanghai and, due to language barriers, am teaching myself guitar with the help of the internet. I learned some open chords and could play a few easy songs but, because I couldn't play bar chords, the songs I could play were limited to easy, open chord songs. I tried to learn bar chords but my short, fat, inflexible Lisa Simpson fingers had other ideas and I feared I would be forever limited to those easy open bar chord songs.
I downloaded your Bar Chords Made Simple video and PDF and can now play dozens of bar chords! I am still pretty slow moving from one bar chord to the next and struggle with the harder ones, but am absolutely wrapped with my progress. I also found the music theory provided in the PDF invaluable.
Thanks so much.
I did purchase this bar chord lesson with a bit of reluctance as I had a fairly good knowledge thorough seeing these on the internet. I am glad that I did purchase it as I got a better understanding of these chords. You may not know I have purchased your I IV V and Guitar Scale Patterns, and now I know this instrument pretty well to play the right chords in any given key. Thank You
Tonight I restrung my guitar and sat down in front of the computer and watched the whole course. I have to say that I got more out of that 2 hours than I have gotten from anywhere recently. Barre chords were so confusing but you taught in such a manner that I was able to grasp and begin using them. What a pleasant surprise!
Thank you for giving me the incentive to take a chance on this course. It was well worth every cent. Even if I don't get another thing out of it, I am very pleased. Again, thank you.
“I'm Getting True Progress and Results!”
The courses are well organized and easy for me to follow along. I get true progress and results which helps me keep motivated and looking forward to the next session.
I have purchased most all of them and get great results from each of them.
My playing of bar chords has certainly improved since purchasing the course. What I liked most is the simplistic way in which you put the training across, making it easy to understand & pick up. However I wish there was a magic wand that could increase my accuracy & speed when going from an open chord to a bar chord.
The course was very good timing as I also have another online instructor that was teaching some riffs involving 4th position chords. The combination of instruction was powerful and I'm putting into practice many of the chords Jonathan put forth in the video.
Just learning, but your course on Bar Chords has been very helpful for me. I also have Guitar Scale Patterns which is very good.
I had all but given up trying to play Arlo Guthries Ring Around-a-Rosie Rag. The chord changes were too difficult for me. After watching Bar Chords Made Simple, I realized that Arlo must be playing bar chords. Once I started playing the song with bar chords rather than open chords I saw that the song was actually very easy to play. My bar chord playing has improved after just watching the DVD one time through. Thanks Jonathan.
“Anyone can grasp the way you explain things”
I would honestly say, that I bought BCMS just to complete my collections that you produced such as; Guitar Scale Patterns, I IV V, Bass, and Jam Tracks. But I was really happy that I discovered that I still have a 25% missing in my barre chord playing. Thank you for making my barre chord know how to its completeness.
You are a great teacher, and I am giving you an A++. Your style of teaching is universal that anyone can grasp the way you explain. You really want your students to learn and that is establishing a legacy. I spent on bundles of guitar books and it did not help me at all but one single 4 pages manual that illustrates the music theory in diagram and that is it and you are on your own. But you explained the missing link to me on your Guitar Scale Pattern. Without you I already gave up, it's been three years playing on and of with the scales and it did not do me any good. I asked myself, What is next after learning the scales? I think I am not the only one with that question. I found the answer in the Guitar Scale Pattern and Unlocking 145. Thank you for now and time for me to watch my favourite Decoding the Bass Guitar. My dream, that one day I can play a solo in a 5 or 6 string bass guitar. Thank you again and more power to you.
I'm just now having the opportunity to sit with the Bar Chords Made Easy file I received from you a couple of days ago. I'm only half way through it and had to write to say "I finally get it!!!"... I'm so excited! You've managed to demystify the whole barre chord thing for me!
I've been playing guitar off and on for years (mainly vocals) and writing with only open chords... would venture to the odd barre chord but seriously, avoided them like the plague! I would learn one and forget what it was called only because I was playing blindly, and without any theory or anything else to make sense of why it was called what it was. This is the absolute first time I'm actually understanding the concept and the why's, and can't believe that I've missed out on these all these years! Along with the bit of theory I've been picking up along the way, it's all coming together for me, finally! This is just way too cool! Before today, I didn't even realize that open chords were the foundation of barre chords... I thought open chords were merely the easy way out.
I'm going on to finish this vid and hoping you'll offer tips somewhere in it on how to increase finger and hand strength as well as speed and cleanly changing between open and barre chords. I get a lot of muffled sounds just now and the kink barre is out of the question for me, but at least I now know what they are, what they're called and why and can practice, knowing how to correctly play them and knowing where to go on the fretboard when I need one.
I'm also going to order the Unlocking I-IV-V vid over the next days and can't wait to get to it. I've taken guitar lessons before - none of it made sense and was super boring to learn (studying the Circle of Fifths), so of course, I resorted to old and safe habits.
I forget just how I happened upon your vids...may have just been in trying to find a way to play the guitar on YouTube... anyway, I struck gold!
Please, keep up the great work! You have no idea how exciting this is for me - I've broken a major barrier today!
Have seen the testimonials in your mails btw and wondered if those people even existed haha! I now believe they do!
Truly, can't thank you enough.