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Guitar: barre grips

These grips are really not easy to learn. For every beginner they represent a hurdle that must first be overcome. It takes - depending on the exercise - a few weeks or months before success is achieved. This can of course be quite frustrating, but don't let it discourage you and keep practicing the barre chords. It should be noted that in the beginning it is better to train more often and not for as long as over-training these grips can quickly lead to tendinitis!

The reason for the increased difficulty of these grips is the lack of strength of the fingers. Therefore there is an exercise for the barre fingerings that can be used again and again while learning these chords.

As with an athlete, a lack of strength can only be compensated for by regular training of the affected muscles. The index finger of the grasping hand in particular lacks strength, so the exercise is aimed exclusively at this finger. The exercise should go as follows:

  • Fingering the low E string in the III. Bunch, then hit it and listen.
  • Grasping the strings E and A in the III. Fret, then hit one after the other and listen.
  • Fingering the strings E, A and D in the III. Fret, then hit one after the other and listen.
  • Fingering the strings E, A, D and G in the III. Fret, then hit one after the other and listen.
  • Fingering the strings E, A, D, G and B in the III. Fret, then hit one after the other and listen.
  • Grasping all strings in III. Fret, then hit one after the other and listen.

It is important that when you grasp several strings all Strings have to sound clean and not buzz. This is exactly what happens to every guitarist at the beginning when three strings are picked at the same time. If the strings do not all sound clean, stop the exercise and start over.

Once you have mastered how to make all six strings sound at the same time and cleanly, then it is not far to the goal. Only now can you concentrate properly on the actual grips and no longer have to struggle with your stamina, which is very helpful for quick learning.

Because a barre grips several strings with a single finger, a new symbol is necessary in the fingering diagrams.

Grip diagrams
You don't always have to grab a barre over all strings. It can often be less.
If all strings are grabbed with the index finger, then it looks like this.

We have already discussed the precursor to barre fingerings in the chapter "Movable chords". If you look closely, it becomes clear that barre fingerings are just an expanded form of it. So what justifies this enormous learning curve?

  • Barre chords can sound just as full as open chords.
  • There are chords that cannot be grasped without this technique.
  • Many grips can be played much more lazily and with less effort.

These advantages should actually convince every future guitarist who does not want to limit himself to very simple pieces. Here, too, the different fingering types are again named after their original chords, here there are only a few more than with the movable chords. Here, too, knowledge of the notes on the fingerboard is required!

The different major forms

The three most important representatives of this category are the E major, A major and D major forms, as they correspond to the standard tuning of the guitar and thus go relatively well with one another. The other two chords - G major form and C major form are both in their own separate group, as their fundamental notes are also directly above one another.

The different minor forms

Of course, there are also minor chords in the barre chords. However, it is a few less than with major.

Minor barre fingerings
E minor formThe open E minor basic chord by means of a barre in the III. Moving the fret results in G minor because the root is on the low E string.
A minor formThe open A minor basic chord by means of a barre in the III. Shifting the fret results in C minor because the root is on the A string.
D minor formThis chord is actually not a barre chord, but it clearly belongs here for harmonic reasons. If you move the open D minor base chord to the 2nd fret, you get E minor, because the root is on the D string.

Barre fingerings and sliding chords can also be easily extended with the seventh. The shape names come from the original chord, from which the simple barre fingering was derived. If you do not know this, you should look up the chapter "Barre grips" again beforehand.

Major chords [edit]

If we look up the barre chords, we immediately notice that the C major form is missing here. C7 needs all four fingers when the handle is open. A barre fingering for seventh chords based on this would therefore occupy five.

Minor chords [edit]

E minor form
A minor form
D minor form

If you take a closer look at this chapter, you will soon notice the relationship to the chapter "The first chord extensions". Actually, the procedure is the same, even the chord diagrams are very similar. The only difference between these two chapters is the fact that these are barre chords and not open chords!