When do you learn the b chord in this journey?

I’ve been looking around the courses, and I couldn’t figure out, when you learn it. Does anybody know when?


Welcome to the community Jonas. :slight_smile:

The answer is whenever you like. I’m not sure why people think things are set in stone, or that there’s a specific order to everything. Justin’s course gives structure and coherence and is a good basis for learning sure, but it doesn’t mean you have to follow it to the letter. If there is something you want or need for the things you want to play, then it’s perfectly fine to just get on and learn it.

I was practising power chords and finger style long before they showed up in the course, because I needed them for the songs I enjoy. Simple as that.


The B chord is an A shape or E shape barre chord. This means you’ll have to use a barre to play it. You can’t play it as an open chord in standard tuning.

The B root note is found on either the E or the A string, hence the name of the shapes.

In Grade 3 module 22 there is an introduction to E-shape and A-shape barre chords.


Hello @Joksy Joksy and welcome to the Community.
B major and B minor are formed by using the A-Shape barre chord which is taught in these places:


Does this mean, that a A barre chord and B chord is the same thing?

You can use an A-shape barre chord to play a B chord, or a C chord, or a D chord, etc. Depends on the position of the barre chord (i.e. which fret).

You can also use an E-shape barre to play a B chord, etc. Barre chords are moveable.

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Yes, as long as you place the root note on the 2nd fret of the 5th string :stuck_out_tongue:

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Only if you are describing the ‘shape’ and you need to be specific about that.

You can have an A-shape A major chord.
You can have an A-shape B major chord.
They are played in different places on the neck and involve different notes but the shapes are the same (albeit the A major chord involves open strings so no barre is needed).

That too, so look for lessons on E-shape barre chords.


Justin does not teach barre chords at an early stage because he feels you need to build up finger strength beforehand. So there is a specific order to these things. In addition the A shape barre chord is the more difficult so it’s a lot later down the learning path.


Hmm, I think in that lesson he actually says don’t bother with A shape barre chords yet, they’re hard, and they come back in later. Grade 5 I think? Grade 4 is E shape ones.

Reality is though, like @Goffik says, whenever you like. I found A shape not too bad and I decided to learn them somewhere around the start of Grade 3 (not in the curriculum though). If it’s too hard, come back to it later. I would say you would might want to at least get through Grade 2 first as you learn power chords which includes the notes on the 5th and 6th strings.

Because nobody else quite said it yet - B major is an A major shape barre chord with the root note on the second fret.


Welcome, @Joksy !

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True. It’s still an introduction to A shape barre chords though. I remember I practiced them along with the E shape ones and didn’t find one more difficult than the other. But that’s probably a personal choice.


Finish Justin’s beginner courseware and then jump into the intermediate courseware. E & A shape bar chords come into play early on in the intermediate lessons.

Nope, completely disagree. I know why Justin does not teach barre chords from day one, but that is not my point. Being a great teacher with an excellent coarse on offer does not mean people have to follow everything to the letter.

My point is that we are free to learn whatever we want, when we want. There is nothing to stop a complete beginner learning a barre chord or two if they need it for their favourite song, just like I did long before F came up on the coarse. It may be a bit harder to nail down, but so what? You’ll build finger strength just by trying. I’d put money on the only reason for Justin putting barre chords later in the coarse is because some people get dispirited and give up if they can’t do something after a day of practice. Hence he has you building finger strength with easier things first, to reduce practice time later.

I would also point out that Justin himself regularly promotes exploring things on your own, and looking into more advanced stuff whenever you feel like it. There’s nothing wrong with doing so as long as you can temper your expectations, and are willing to put in the time and effort.

At Grade 4 lessons re barre chords on JG, Justin acknowledges that the F Barre chord is the hardest chord because of its proximity to the nut where it’s hardest to fret. A considerable amount of beginners with an inexpensive guitar with a high action (which is probably what most have) are never going to get the F Barre chord. Some may well abandon their journey at that stage thinking it’s their fault.

I doubt that there is any guitar course anywhere that teaches barre chords from Day 1.

I learned B when I needed it for a song which by the course standards, ie where I’m at, is particularly early by the looks of it!! Having said that, alot of what I’ve wanted to play has involved barres so whilst I’m “only” coming into Grade 3, I’m actually quite happy with all barre chord shapes other than C.

Hi Jonas, unfortunately can’t help with that as I’m a newbie but welcome.

I found that as I got solidly into grade 3, my choices of songs started to need different cords. Now that is what drive the cords I learn. There are lots of cords and cord variations. So once past the basics, work on the cords and cord transitions you need to play what you want.

If you want to learn a specific cord for some reason, find a song with it and work on that. There is no better way.

I just listened to Justin’s lesson “the lifted barre trick” grade 3 module 20. A takeaway from that (not suggesting anyone jump there) is that there are many ways to play every cord and many variations on them as well. Many sound good, some not so much. Many are easy, some, not so much. ALL of them are fine and fun to use and you can learn and experiment with them in the songs that you think they might sound good in, or in your own idiom (right @CT?).

Clearly, you need to explore starting around your level and not frustrate yourself by jumping into too deep water. Build your strength, start with simpler cord shapes, but learn the cords you need for what you want and are ready to play.