A Shape Major Barre Chord Grip

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Although the D chord played at the fifth fret with the A shape major barre chord contains the note “A”, the first and sixth strings are muted. Is this one of those “it sounds better” things? Too many “A” notes spoil the broth?

Hi Dana,

Yes, fretting the high A on the 1st fret is not essential and a bit difficult anyway. Fretting it on the 6th string would turn the chord into D/A since the root note would not be the lowest note of the chord.

A similar question popped up earlier: Strange advice re Barre chords from external tutor

Just to elaborate a bit on Jozsef’s answer: generally (with many exceptions!) the lowest note in the chord is the root note, hence the thickest string is usually muted for A-shape barre chords.

Regarding the high e string, it would be fine to play it fretted on the 5th fret (i.e. by the index finger), in fact might even be preferred, but most people cannot barre the 4th, 3rd and 2nd strings with their ring finger and leave the 1st string untouched. So the 1st string gets muted by the ring finger.

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Is it okay to use finger 4 instead of finger 3 for this mini-barre? It seems more comfy

Welcome to the Community, Alex.

It is OK. You may find times when you want to add and extra note to embellish the chord and can’t do so if the 4th finger is making the barre. So I would use finger 4 to keep making progress and continue to work at using finger 3.

Lots of people play it that way. This is Clapton playing “Cocaine”: