Tag Archives for " bar chords made simple "

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1 Song You Can’t Touch

can't touch thisI was talking to a friend the other day who picked up guitar in the last year.

He knows that I teach, and so we got to talking about guitars, and how his playing was progressing.

He described to me how he goes about learning new guitar songs: basically he searches Youtube to see if anyone has done a guitar lesson on it.

In most cases, someone has hacked together a bit of a lesson, enough to kind of learn the chords from, anyway.

But the interesting part (to me) was that he said that about 40% of the song lessons he watched, he turned off within 60 seconds.

Why is that?

Because as soon as the teacher listed what chords were involved, red flags would start shooting up.

“Oh shoot – that song has a B minor in it? I don’t know that chord… it’s a bar chord!”

I’m serious – my friend was quite honest in sharing his thoughts with me… and I suspect there are many others out there in a similar situation, too.

The inability to play bar chords kept my friend from playing a large chunk of his favorite songs.

Learning bar chords can truly free you up to learn ANY SONG you please… because once you know just a small handful of chord shapes, you will literally know every common chord in the book.

Click here to learn more.

“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.

Your presentation of this course, in its efficient and practical format, would benefit anyone interested in climbing out of the routine “open chord syndrome” into a bar-chord world full of infinite variety and complexity.”

Alfred Bates
Louisiana, USA

Checkout Bar Chords Made Simple Here

The Quickest Way To Tune Up A Guitar Player

guitar2I was jamming with this fellow one day, and we came across a C#m chord.

Turns out he wasn’t familiar with C#m, so we went through the verse a couple times, until finally I stopped…

He looked at me sheepishly, and asked how to play a C#m.

Before I get to how I answered him, I should mention that a lot of guitar players suffer from “compartmentalization” of what they know about their instruments.

That’s a rather long word, but all it means is they’re not seeing the bigger picture of how everything fits together.

In this case, I had seen my friend play a Bm chord in the previous song… so I already KNEW he could play a C#m.

He just didn’t see the connection between the two.

So, I briefly explained to him how C#m was the exact same shape as a Bm, just moved up 2 more frets.

It was like a lightbulb came on and flooded the room.

He’d never related to bar chords in that manner before, always just seeing his Bm (a bar chord version of it) just like any other open chord.

The little shift in his approach made all the difference, as he quickly caught on to how many other chords he could now play with that same shape.

I teach all this stuff in my Bar Chords Made Simple course. If you struggle with your chords, or you’d like a quick way to add 100+ chords to your “vocabulary” then this is the course for you.

Why Using CAGED Can Get Your Guitar Locked Up

CagedThere’s this one particular to guitar that floats around A LOT in the guitar world.

It goes by the name of CAGED.

In a very small nutshell, it shows you how to play some different chord shapes in any key. (yeah, I know, it’s a bit more than that, but that’s the basic idea).

Is it useful?

Sure – some people swear by it.

But just because some people swear by something doesn’t mean its the best way… I mean, there’s still an official Flat Earth Society for Pete’s sake!

No no – I’m not comparing the CAGED folk to the Flat Earth Society – just making a point here…

But just because the crowd is doing a particular thing, doesn’t make it the right particular thing… or necessarily the best approach.

Just ask any (successful) investor and he’ll tell you all about it.

So what’s my beef with CAGED?

It boils down to the fact that it doesn’t (in my opinion) teach a complete, unified approach to the fretboard.

It teaches you pieces, which is nice, but not exactly the kind of foundation without any holes that you can build something on.

If you were training as a mechanic, and they only taught you about the motor and the brakes, would you be equipped for any problem that came in the door?

On top of that, I’ve seen people using it to teach bar chords…

Now have you ever tried barring an open G shape, or an open C shape?

I have, and it ain’t pretty.

Sure, it can be done, in fact jazz players do it all the time, but your average hobby player – or even semi-serious player – will never need to bar a G shape.

But that’s what the CAGED approach wants you to do. So, CAGED pushes you in unnecessary (and sometimes painful) directions.

And by not teaching you a solid, unified approach to the fretboard, it hampers future progress… essentially putting you in a cage. (sorry – pun intended).

Now I realize that may be flying in the face of the established dogma in some circles, but its my opinion and I’m stickin’ to it.

If you’re interested in the way I teach bar chords (trust me – I’ll give you more useful shapes with easier fingerings and a complete approach to the fretboard) then head on over and check out Bar Chords Made Simple.

Don’t let your guitar get stuck in the cage…

Don’t Play Bar Chords Like THIS

bar-chordI was chatting with this guy the other day, Derek, and he mentioned that when he first learned how to play bar chords, he only learned one pattern… The one that looks like an E.

He wasn’t actually aware there WERE other bar chord patterns, but he was pretty thrilled with being able to move that one shape all over the fretboard, and essentially use it to cover all the chords he needed.

Unfortunately, that meant that a lot of the songs he played ended up bouncing all over the fretboard a whole bunch.

He’d start with an open E, and then have to zip all the way up to the 7th fret to catch the B chord…

So as a starting point, it wasn’t bad, but man was he excited the day he discovered that there were many more bar chords he could use… ones that would let him play all the chords he wanted in a tight range of just 3-4 frets.

After he learned the new patterns, Derek’s playing took a bit step forward, and today, he proudly told me he now plays about 90% of his songs using bar chords.

He just finds them that much more versatile than open chords.

Now you don’t HAVE to learn bar chords… but if you do, there’s a big reward.

If you don’t currently know how to use bar chords (or, like Derek, only have a limited knowledge of them) then adding bar chords will add a lot of versatility to your playing.

It’s a whole new world once you break past the 3rd fret 🙂

The place to start is right here.

Just ask Luis what it’s like:

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]quotes_greyHi 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.

~Luis Rubina, Australia[/box]

Learn About Bar Chords Made Simple Here

1 Learn how to play bar chords

Bar Chords Made Simple

Bar chords is one subject that stumps quite a few guitar players, mostly because initially they are harder to play than open chords.

A bar chord (sometimes also spelled barre chord) is called that because you essentially create a ‘bar’ with your index finger, fretting all six strings at once. Then, you create the chord shape after that with your remaining fingers. Naturally, this type of chord is going to require more finger strength, because you’re physically pressing down more strings than with open chords.

The fact that bar chords require a bit more strength to play however, should not be a deterrent. It should simply be a good healthy challenge to take your playing up a notch. Let me explain why.

Being able to play bar chords adds so much versatility to a guitar player. With bar chords in the bag, there are no limitations to which key you can play in, which chords you can use… everything becomes roughly equal. An Eb bar chord is just like playing an E, a Bb like a B.

For lead players, bar chords allow you to play along with the rhythm in a tight grouping close to where you’ll be soloing, allowing quicker and easier access to the scales you want.

For rhythm players jamming with others, bar chords allow you to play the same thing as the other players, and yet sound different. An open G sounds quite a bit different from a G played elsewhere on the fretboard, and the two played simultaneously sounds great. They really complement each other. So if you’re able to throw in the odd bar chord here and there, or even play your entire part using them, you’ll really be adding a new flavor to the song.

Because I’ve seen quite a few guitar players struggling to learn bar chords in particular, I decided to make a proper guitar lesson focusing on exactly that subject. The result is Bar Chords Made Simple, my newest 2 hour guitar lesson. At that link you’ll find a free guide that explains in detail how you can get started with your first bar chord.

Learn how to play bar chords

Who Should Learn Bar Chords?

This course is aimed at guitar players who have at least a minimum level of experience in playing open chords. If you’re comfortable playing chords like G, C, D, E, Am, Em, etc, then you’re ready for this course as a next step.

Likewise, perhaps you’ve played guitar for quite a while, but for whatever reason you’ve just never got around to mastering bar chords… if that is the case, then this course is also for you.

You’ll get a good, although brief, introduction to the fretboard, so this is a useful course for those who want to move on to soloing later on.

If you’ve ever attempted to learn bar chords before, and yet never quite managed to master them, then this course is for you. I’ve included a few “cheater” ways of getting part-way there without having to go all the way; nice half-way steps to get started with. I’ve also included finger exercises that will really build up your finger strength, stamina, and stretchability. (Sorry, I just had to throw another ‘s’ in there).

In Bar Chords Made Simple we’ll go through from the ground up, assuming nothing, so you’ll have a systematic approach to the fretboard and guitar chords that will serve you well, forming a great foundation for future studies.

Click Here To Get Started