Vintage Club #14: Barre Chords Conquest: E-Shape Minor & A-Shape Major

Hey Community :wave:

:guitar: Join Richard in his upcoming live class on mastering Barre chords! Despite their difficulty, they’re key to improving your guitar skills. Let’s conquer the E-Shape Minor to A-Shape Major together!

Happening Monday, June 3 - Register here!

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This session builds on Barre Chords 1 in which we used and played E-shape major and A-shape minor barre chords. These were grouped together as they contained the same 3-finger cluster. To make the most of this session, you need to be familiar and comfortable with those chords.

The E-shape minor and A-shape major are perhaps more challenging to form and play. As preparation, ensure you have viewed and practiced the two chord types from Justin’s lessons in Modules 4 and 6 respectively.

E-shape minor barre chords - Module 4

A-shape major barre chords - Module 6

It will also be beneficial if you can quickly find and name the natural notes on the 6th and 5th strings to fret 8.

6th string (E)

Fret 1 = F Fret 3 = G Fret 5 = A Fret 7 = B Fret 8 = C

5th string (A)

Fret 2 = B Fret 3 = C Fret 5 = D Fret 7 = E Fret 8 = F


I always assumed that the 1st string (high E string) was barred with the first finger ? Though, on that picture, it is muted.

Muted 1st string. Is it the normal way to play the A shape barre chord or is it simply an easier way for beginners to get started ?

I did watch the preparation module, but I’m still confused about that question.

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You can absolutely play the e string with the 1st finger barre, it’s the 5th of the chord The 5th is already in the chord as shown (played on the D string) so you don’t have to include it. I think it’s often muted as shown because it can be a challenge to have it ring clearly when using the third finger barre on the d,g and b strings.


Justin normally says if you can get the e string to ring out clean, fine. If not don’t worry about. Mine tends to be hit and miss depending on where I am on the neck and how lazy I am being !


Thanks Paul and Toby :slight_smile:


Your question is answered by Justin at 4:34 and 7:15 in the second video. He recommends muting the high e string in most cases and for most people and comes later to variations like what he calls “traditional” where the first finger plays 5th and 1st string. I think, at a point he mentions a personel preference not playing high e string, but I can’t find that any more. I guess, Richard will spread some light on this during the session anyway.


Thanks Andrea :slightly_smiling_face:

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Both are good.
Both are correct.
This is the A-shape.
Open position A major has high E string played - mostly.
1st finger barre A has high E string muted - mostly.

Convert those to movable shapes for barres.
I will address this in the session.


Both are fine and barring high E with index is not a problem. However barring D,G,B and not high E with the ring finger is really difficult! Expecially when switching fast between chords. Very, very fine motorics.


This was another great session, Richard! Although Justin covers almost everything in his lessons, I gain a lot out of your additional teaching and your own spin. Together with the provided materials and obviously now also the recording, you’re delivering far more than we could ever expect to get. Thanks for that, you guys are priceless :+1:t3: :+1:t3: :+1:t3:


Thanks @Helen0609 it’s always good to receive the positive feedback. :slight_smile:


Have to agree with Andrea, good session this evening Richard. Always good to go back over this type of material and jam along with Mr C.


This lesson was great. The jam along made the lesson really interactive. And the pace was just right; not too fast and not too slow. 10/10. I am looking forward to the practice material.


Thanks @math07

I have completed the Resources document as a follow up.
It should be available on the Archive page soon.

Another 16 page whopper.
Hours of loving care and attention devoted to all of you lovely people.

That’s gotta be worth a small donation of a penny or two right!


Not there yet. Looking to check this one out.

It was a very busy day yesterday - Fanny was caught up in all the BLIM activity. It should be today. Thanks Stuart.

The Resource document as follow up to Vintage Club #14 is now freely available to download here:
Thanks to @FannyJustinGuitar for the behind the scenes work.
The recording of the session has been hijacked by aliens and Fanny has just a two-hour video of a blank screen at the moment.
Pesky space invaders!

The document is 16 pages of notes, TAB, chord diagrams and links to backing tracks. Lots of juicy goodness for you all.
Put this together with the resources from Club #11 and you have a comprehensive learning tool to get to grips with E-shape and A-shape major and minor barre chords.
All for free.
Or for a modest donation if you are in a position to do so. :grinning:

Take me to your Leaders !