Lesson 5 Le Barre

 

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In this lesson, we will learn to hold a barre chord.

 

5.1 Barre Chords

 

Barre chords are chords that involve using your 1st finger to press all the strings across a single fret.

 

An example is the F chord.

 

F: 1-3-3-2-1-1

 

Barre chords are the nemesis of beginning guitarists.

 

It is very common to have difficulty in using a finger to hold down the entire fret across all strings.

 

But by now, I hope you are able to appreciate that to play a chord cleanly, it is more of pressing the strings in the correct manner than pressing it down with a lot of strength.

 

It is the same to barre a fret.

 

To build up the ability to barre a fret in the correct manner, it is advisable to start with the less common Fm chord.

 

 

F: 1-3-3-1-1-1

 

In holding the Fm chord, you can rest your 2nd finger on top of the 1st which helps to make the barring firmer.

 

Once again, make sure your fingers are as naturally rounded as possible.

 

Do not let your fingers collapse or joints to lock.

 

Exercise 5A

 

  • Set the metronome app to 4/4 and 60.
  • Hold down Fm chord.
  • Strum at every beat for 4 bars (i.e. 16 times).
  • In the diagram below, each / represents a downward strum.

 

Move on to Exercise 5B when you are able to hold the Fm chord for a clean sound.

 

Exercise 5B

 

  • Set the metronome app to 4/4 and 60.
  • Hold down F chord.
  • Strum at every beat for 4 bars (i.e. 16 times).
  • In the diagram below, each / represents a downward strum.

 

Exercise 5C

 

Now we will practice switching to and from the F chord using the song Leaving on a Jet Plane in C major key.

  • Set the metronome to 2/2 and 40.
  • Strum at every beat. Recall each / represents a downward strum.
  • Increase the tempo to 50 & then 60 when you get more comfortable at changing between the chords.

Leaving on a Jet Plane (C Key)

 

 

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