Way back when I was in highschool, just learning how to play guitar, I distinctly remember spending an entire afternoon playing La Bamba on guitar.
It was great – the whole song is three chords, and even better – we were playing them all using the E major bar chord shape.
E, then barred at the 5th fret (A), and again at the 7th fret (B).
Back then, we (I had a couple friends who were all around the same level on guitar) thought it was a total blast to hammer out those three guitar chords for a whole afternoon.
Today? Ha, good luck!
These days, I like a little more variety in my playing, and I get that by adding other chords into the mix.
Sure, I use my open chords a TON – those are the bedrock that everything else really builds on.
But the very next level of the foundation is bar chords, in all shapes, sizes, and positions. Learning how to maximize my use of bar chords has been one of the most freeing and far-reaching lessons I’ve learned.
Bar chords extend your use of the fretboard as high as you want to go, giving new sounds you simply can’t get with open chords.
If you don’t know how to play bar chords, don’t be intimidated by the fact that they’re a little harder to get the hang of than open chords… while that may be true, their reward is great.
Plus, if you learn them the way I teach, they really shouldn’t be all that hard to learn.
My popular course – Bar Chords Made Simple – will teach you all the bar chord shapes you need to know, as well as easy ways to understand the fretboard.