Barre chord changes

I’ve been practicing my barre chords by playing a 1-6-4-5 (“doo wop”) chord progession in the key of C (C Am F G). I’m playing all 6th string barres because I suck at moving between 6th and 5th string barre chords. Almost none of my fingers land cleanly on the correct strings when shifting from the 5th to 6th string and vice versa (I know- practice!).

There’s a lot of movement up and down the neck between the F and the C barre on the 6th string. It would be more efficicient to use the 5th string C barre chord on the third fret. At this stage I’m just trying to strengthen the muscle between my thumb and index finger and trying to land on the correct fret.

Long term, is there anything inherently wrong with staying on the 6th string for barres? Or is it considered bad technique?

Long term I’d hope that you improve the A shape barre chords enough to combine E and A shaoed barre chords.
Short term there is nothing wrong with playing just E shaped barre chords. To make the jump from F to C why not try playing the C in open position. It will be good practice and help strengthen your thumb.

2 Likes

That’s a good suggestion. If I wasn’t focussing on practicing barre chords, I would normally play the C, Am and G as open chords with just the F as a barre. Changing from the open Am to the F barre is challenge too!

1 Like

In addition to what @stitch said, you choice of chord voicing in a song will depend both on what is most efficient to play eg a G to C change works well using an E shaped barre for the G and an A shape barre for the C, as well as the sound of the voicing. The A shape barre for the C sounds different to the E shape.

1 Like

Just realised that I still have so much to learn as I don’t understand most of that sentence :slight_smile:

Happy to elaborate, Stuart, so feel free to ask specific questions.

I understand a E shape barre (that’s the F chord, right?) but what is an A shape barre?

Yes and its is also a movable chord. Meaning if you slide it up one fret you get an F#, move it one more fret is G and so on all the way up the neck.
You can barre the A chord is just like the E chord and just like the E shape barre chord it is a movable chord. The first fret A shaped barre chord is a A#, move it up on fret is B one more fret is C and so on all the way up the neck.
This is the basic concept behind the CAGED system you can barre any of these chords aswell as they minor chord shape anywhere on the neck to create a barre chord.

An easy way to experiment with this concept is play just G B and e strings of the D chord. Move it up one fret this is D# move it up one more is E and so on all the way up the neck. Now do the same with the Dm chord. The D chord is the easiest chord to start with.

2 Likes

The following lessons give a very good introduction to the caged system. I just completed them last week and found them to be very insightful.

Thanks but if I am barring across all 6 strings with my first finger where do my others fingers go to form the A and D shapes?

image

1 Like

image

1 Like

To start with the don’t use a barre just play the D and Dm chord like you normally do and just play the G B e strings. The barre D shape is really hard and really not necessary. In the chord diagram the dot numbered 4 is the root noot

2 Likes

It should be noted (as Justin does in the A-shape barre chord lesson) that the high e string won’t ring out for most people.

2 Likes

Thanks to all but this is way way above my head. I have enough to worry about with open chords, power chords and trying to get to grips with the F barre chord never mind trying to sort this.

What I don’t get is why you would use a barre chord when a open chord would do? What songs (that I might know) would use these chord shapes?

What chord is this?

What chord is this one?

@Stuartw
Both chord charts James posted are movable shapes. The R stands for Root that is where the chord gets its name. So if you put the R of the A shape on the 3rd fret it would be a C chord. If you put the R of tge D shape on the 3rd it would be an F chord.

2 Likes

And hundreds more

Thanks. I understand about the root but as I can’t get my fingers to the positions shown then it is hopeless at this point. I have tried both A and D but can’t get either to ring out with any of the strings! I’m going to leave this discussion now as this is way beyond my capabilities at this point in my learning. Thanks for your help anyway. Made me realise that I am only just scratching the surface at the moment, and can’t see my self ever getting to the point of playing something with these chord shapes. Begs the question why use something like this when an open chord may do?