In this lesson, we will be finishing up a list of common chords before learning how to do some other bar chords and other acoustic guitar techniques. Continue practicing consistently to become the best beginner acoustic guitar player you can be.
So far, we have learned, G, C, A, Am, E, Em, B, Bm, and some variations. In this lesson, we will learn to bar all 6 strings for a few major and minor chords that are commonly used. We will use the E form and Em forms from previous lessons to create some major and minor bar chords that are used in many songs. Additionally, these chords are also very similar to basic “power chords” that are commonly used in electric guitar techniques.
Starting with the common E chord played on the first and second frets, we would use an alternate fingering. Instead of using fingers 1-2-3, we will used fingers 2-3-4 to chord the E form because we need to use finger 1 (the index finger) as the bar (or nut).
Place finger 2 on the 3rd string 1st fret and fingers 3-4 on the 5th and 4th string of the second fret. This will create the E chord when all 6 strings are strummed. Now, slide these fingers up 3 frets toward the body of the acoustic guitar. Then place the index finger across all 6 strings of the 3rd fret and press firmly. When you strum, you will notice that the index finger is pressing on the largest E string of the 3rd fret. This note is the root of the chord and is a G (just like in previous lessons where we learned how to strum a non-barred G chord), and in this case produces a G chord.
Sliding this form down so that the index finger is barring all 6 strings of the first fret would produce the chord, F. Sliding this same form up so that the index finger is barring all 6 strings of the 5th fret will produce an “A” chord. Every fret that you move this E form barred up a fret (toward the guitar body), will increase the chord by ˝ step or a chromatic step. For every fret that you move this same form down (toward the head / nut) it will decrease the chord ˝ step or a chromatic step.
Repeat this same exercise with the Em (minor) form using the index finger (# 1) as the bar and fingers 3-4 as the Em form – on strings 5-4 consecutively, always remaining 2 frets above the bar. In other words when playing these minor chords in bar form, there will always be 1 empty fret between the the index finger and fingers 3-4. If you play this form while barring the first fret, this would be an Fm (F minor).
Continue to practice these E and Em forms of the bar chord up and down the neck of the guitar while learning what the names of the chords are.
This beginner acoustic guitar lesson was provided by Aaron Schulman, owner of an Ohio web design company and guitar enthusiast for over 20 years. Before purchasing a guitar, read many reviews including those at his acoustic guitar reviews site, StrumViews.com.