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Bar chords are a huge stumbling block for many guitar players. In this video, we’ll take a look at some handy alternatives to bar chords as well as some tricks and tips for making your bar chords feel and sound a lot better.
The first thing we’ll do is break down our bar chords into their simplest form. To do this, we reduce the whole chord down to something called a triad, which is just the three notes used in the chord. This small shape can work in place of the full bar chord and requires no barring whatsoever.
To expand further on this idea, we can begin adding notes back in. We can add the note on the highest string by creating a mini-bar with our first finger. We can also add in the note on the A string by adjusting our third finger and including our fourth. The final step here is to bring your thumb over the top to grab the low E string giving you the full bar chord without needing to do a big bar at all.
Now, we’ll take a look at building proper bar chord technique. The key to making clean bar chords is mastering the bar. To do this, we’ll work on isolating the bar with our first finger and taking away all the other parts of the chord. Move the bar around the fretboard and make sure you place it right behind the fret. Clamp down hard with your thumb and make vertical adjustments with your finger to make sure none of the creases in your finger line up with the strings. Be sure to keep your elbow in!
Do this every day and focus on building up your strength. Bar chords take some time to really get down so don’t get discouraged! Implement these tips and try out the alternatives in your daily practice time.