I 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.