My System for Playing Bar Chords That Never
Fails – Guitar Lessons for Beginners Hi there, I’m Tomas Michaud. In this video,
I’m gonna show you a step by step systematic approach to learning bar chords now you can
use this video to learn how to play bar chords and it’ll save you a lot of time and frustration
but most importantly I want you to see what the system looks like. You really can learn
much faster and more efficiently by breaking things down and practicing them in a concentrated
fashion so watch this video, hopefully you’ll be able to use the stuff and make sure and
watch the very end of the video because I’m gonna come back explain a little more about
what I was doing (0:40) to your best advantage. The first step is to practice the chord form
in the open position so as you probably guess there are many chord forms depending on the
type of bar chord but were gonna stick to one chord form, this will be the A major.
Make you’re a major normal with the first finger, second finger and third fingers. This
is going to make bar chords that are called all major bar chords and the rule of the bar
chord or the name of the bar chord will be on sixth string so right now, you can actually
say this is not a bar chord but the rule is the E the low E. So we’re gonna reform that
chord to get rid of the first finger so you’ll put the second finger on the third string
first fret. The third finger stretch over to the fifth string second fret and the pinky
right next to it you see now you got my first finger free as for the bar, still an E Major
chord so you wanna practice that with just your second, third and fourth fingers . Go
and play it again. For step 2 we’re gonna practice the bar form.
A good way to practice that is just to put your first finger. I called this the bar chord
exercise across the first fret and then strum to see if all the strings are sounding. Usually
at first that’s how it goes to my students — some sounding some don’t so you wanna keep
adjusting your finger until you get most of them sounding. It’s okay if it doesn’t work
perfect the first times around you’re going to practice this so I’ll show you the exercise.
Don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect now but aim for 80% just about all sounding. The
hardest one is the first fret by the way as you go up it’s a leisure. Let’s do the second fret now that’s what you’re
aiming now so they’re all sounding. You can help with your second finger if you want.
Eventually you’re gonna have to take that off because you gonna need these fingers for
the bar chord. But at first, you could strengthen it with your second finger. Over time, your
finger will get stronger anyway so adjust your hand a little bit. You’ll find over time
that a little adjustment will help, third fret and so on. Now I’m gonna teach you another aspect to
this exercise still a part of the second step. Let’s go back to the first fret. As we play
this, you’re gonna name the note on the sixth string, that’s gonna be the name of the bar
chord so in this case it’s an F (3:12) open E this one is F so you play that then you
go up to the second fret and name that note. We will call this F sharp then the third fret
that’s G. Let’s gonna end up making a G bar chord and so on — G sharp, A, A sharp, B,
C that’s (3:42), C sharp and D this is far as we have to go. We hardly have bar chord
past that. Okay now we’re gonna go down and on the way
down the sharps are gonna turn into flats so let me explain that as I go. This is D.
When we go back to C sharp you can also call that D flat. It’s sort of just a different
way of looking at it. It sounds the same but you’d write it either C sharp or D flat. There’s
reasons you might use one or the other but not important now. We call that D flat, C.
Now, there’s nothing between B and C so it’s (4:23) there’s no flat or sharp then B flat
instead of A sharp, A just practicing the name of the note A flat. I called that ( 4:37)
harmonic by the way. When the note looks different on paper but it actually sounds the same –G
keep going G flat, F and F flat Noooo E between E and F there’s no flats or sharps. Okay,
so you wanna practice that up and down the neck, name the notes that’s step 2. Now for step 3, the fun part. We’re gonna
put it together. Start with the chord that we made. You might wanna start with the regular
E and then re finger it, get your bearings. Now slide it up one fret and put down the
bar that now becomes an F bar. The reason it’s a little more difficult, the tension
is higher right next to the knot. As you go up, it gets easier until you get way up here,
now that’s F so go up a half step. Remember the name of that base note. You will if you
practice it that’s F sharp. G, G sharp, A, A sharp, B, B sharp Nooo C, remember between
B and C half step, C sharp and D. Okay, we will stop there and go backwards that C sharp
gonna be D flat now D flat, C, B, B flat, A, A flat, G, G flat, F and E so that’s the
third and final step. Practice that up and down. So here’s a great practice exercise. Start
with the E chord like that then go to the G, A and then back to E and practice it so
you can do it faster so it gives you a sense (6:36) So here’s another one I’d like my student
practice. You’ll recognize this chord progression F, B flat, C — C, B flat, back to F listen
now with a little rhythm if you like. Okay, a little more advance that’s after you practice
the other exercises. So now you’ve seen kind of a concentrated
version of how I teach students bar chords. Now normally what I do is I take these steps
and I integrate them throughout my course so it’s not all at one time. For example,
I’ll show them how to play the open chords, how to switch the fingers around and then
integrate that bar chord exercise before they actually have to play bar chords. It’s much
easier that way. By the time we get the bar chords in the song, they’ve already practice
their fingers up and down the neck of the guitar. It’s strong. They know the name of
the chords. The bar chords seems to flow. The main points are find something that you
need to work on. Break it down to a concentrated exercise or technique then practice that over
and over starting slow building up and then apply that to a song. You can do this for
yourself or what’s great if you have a teacher that can either do it for you or has a series
of exercises that they can integrate at the right time. The best time to do this is before
you need it and that’s why a systematic approach to learning guitar is the most efficient way
to learn. Thanks for joining me.