Help with smooth B chord

Hi everyone,

To set the stage, I finally got the chance to meet up with my jam buddy last Saturday. Of course he is far more advanced than I am so it is a challenge for me to do more complicated playing. To set the stage, we are at the beach and talking about a song we can jam together while some eager ladies are watching (that he hoped to get to know better). I am married, but still tried to be a good wing man.

He is a big Eagles fan so I thought Peaceful Easy Feeling per Justin’s lesson-well he likes the complicated way using a B chord and had no interest in the easy version. My fingers did not want to make a B chord. I tried using both my pinky and little finger and it sounded awful. On to Hotel California. I played this once or twice many months ago and used a capo on the 2nd fret back then. So I recognized the chords he was playing and that song was in B minor, but flopped on that one. I guess I am not quite at the level yet of listening to someone play and immediately joining in time. I really want to get there though. I redeemed myself by playing a few songs I know that were easier…lol. But for today, this was a long winded way of asking for any suggestions to find success in playing a B chord.



I think the best way is focusing on playing 1 minute changes between B min and A for example as this is a popular change. Doing perfect chords where you play note by note and then you strum the chord making sure all notes ring out. And in the end getting couple of songs involving this chord and just playing them over and over again every day. Don’t rush changes, slow the song down as much as you need even if its 25% speed and build the speed up. No shortcuts I’m afraid available here :wink: good luck!

Jeff, I assume you are working towards playing the B chord as an A-shaped barre chord. I think a common way to play this is with the mini-barre made with either ring or pinky, which I think is what you were trying. As Adrian says, no substitute for practice…and you thought it would all be plain sailing once you could play F as a full barre :grin:

So while you work on that, what else could you do in a jam session? Did you consider playing the B as an E-shape barre, root note at the 7th fret on 6 string? Depending on the chords before and after it may be a big jump. Or you could play a simple B5 power chord, which would sound OK irrespective of whether the chord your buddy is playing is B or Bm, since you are not playing the third of the chord (the third is what gives a chord a major or minor sound).

If neither of those work, then when he plays the B chord just mute your strings, keep strumming and then resume strumming chords when he changes.

I’ve had some success with this approach as well.

Sounds like you were being a good wingman to your buddy. I hope he returns the favour, recognizes that you are not quite at his level, and is a good wingman to you on your guitar journey.

Thanks guys for the tips. Good old fashioned practice seems to be the best answer. I will need to build more strength in my pinky for one thing. I like the B-5 power chord idea too. My goal is to take the training wheels off and move to more intermediate level songs that have more difficult chords. Yesterday evening I gave it a go at playing “when Love and Hate Collide” by Def Leppard. That has a lot of changes from A to B, which makes sense using the A shaped barre. It has C#minor and F#minor too, which help me practice those movable bar chords. I am not sure which lesson in the course talks about movable barre chords, but I found one random one on you tube provided by Justin. I think mastering this will take me to the next level out of beginner stage.

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Barre chords by definition are movable.

I’m sorry I read Bmin key and thought you are talking about the chord! Pretty much same applies for B maj A shaped chord, I guess you could play one minute changes between E major chord and B barre A shaped to make it more enjoyable as this is I-V progression.

Another option is as David suggested E shaped barre on 7th fret. All the best

Thanks for following up. To be honest, I could use improvement in B minor as well. Lots of songs have a B minor in it. A few of the songs I posted in the record yourself and progress section could have been better showing of changes from B minor to F or G to B minor. Have a great day :slight_smile:

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Hi Jeff what I have found working for me is perfect fast changes alternating between Bm-D, Bm-A, Bm-Em and Bm-G. Along with some changes from E shaped barre chord to Am shaped barre chord.