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Guitar lessonMore beginner and intermediate guitar lessons: Playing D form bar chords

Before learning about D form bar chords, recall previous lessons where we learned forms for A, Am, E, Em and simply changed the chord by sliding the bar chord up and down the fret. The same will be true for the D form bar chords, and each fret change is equivalent to chromatic step. To be come the best beginner acoustic guitar player you can be, continue to practice consistently and daily without over-doing it. Also, don't just practice what comes easy. Warm up with the easier chords for you, and then put most of your effort into the areas where you are having the most challenges. You'll grow more quickly and develop better guitar practice habits. Finally, don't forget to have fun.

First learn the D chord. D is perhaps one of the easiest chords to learn. On the second fret, place fingers 1 and 2 on strings 3 and 1 consecutively. Then on fret 3, place finger 3 on string 2 (please see the diagram D Chord). This is the common D chord for a 6 string guitar.

Now learn the D chord form appropriate for the bar chord. On the second fret, place fingers 2 and 3 on strings 3 and 1 consecutively. Then on the 3rd fret, place finger 4 on the 2nd string. (Please see the diagram D alternate)

Next, learn the D chord barred. Instead of using two fingers on the second fret, use the 3rd finger and bar it across strings 1-2-3. Then place the 4th finger on the 3rd fret, second string. (please see the Diagram D alternate 2)

Remember with the D chord, that you only strum strings 1-2-3-4. Strumming the 5th string will add an A bass, which is not incorrect, it's simply a different chord.

Finally, take both alternate D forms (1 at a a time) and slide them up 1 fret. Then with the first finger (index finger) bar strings 1-2-3-4 of the 1st fret. This will create the chord Eb (E flat).

Take some time, sliding these two forms up and down the fret. This bar chord takes time to learn and can be difficult on the fingers. If you tilt the chording hand (left for a right-handed player) toward the head or nut of the guitar slightly, this chord may be easier to perform, You will be using the side of the tips of your fingers, but it is easier to spread them out when they are slanted a bit versus being straight up and down in this form.

Aaron Schulman has played, taught and composed acoustic guitar songs for over 20 years. He also had a bad experience with his first guitar purchase, and has published an acoustic guitar reviews website to help other avoid these same pitfalls. Before buying your first guitar, be sure to read through his reports explaining how to buy an acoustic guitar at


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