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How To Play Bar Chords – Rhythm Guitar Lesson #4

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Welcome to the fourth video of the Rhythm Guitar Quick-Start Series. This lesson covers everything you need to know in order to get started with bar chords. This is often one of the more intimidating aspects of playing the guitar, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ll show you how to develop the finger strength you need and how to make the rest of the bar chord shape sound great too.

In the next two lessons you’ll learn major bar chord shapes as well as minor bar chord shapes. If you are ready to get started you can use the link below to browse all of the rhythm guitar lessons in this series.


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48 thoughts on “How To Play Bar Chords – Rhythm Guitar Lesson #4

  1. Hi nate, I can play bar chords now on the 6th string and 5th string. Is it ok if i cannot play all the strings when I bar my index finger? I can only play the 6th, 5th, 1st, 2nd and 3rd or 4th. I cannot play them all at once just some selext strings.

  2. This is why I quit playing guitars. My 7 brothers however had more patience than I. They self taught themselves. They all had their own bands. I just got banned😭
    I know just basic chords…

  3. i learned chords and bar chords on a 30$ amazon guitar . toughend my strength and skin so fast when i went from that to an epiphone les paul it was like butter i learned bar chords within 2-3 months of playing from the 30$ guitar

  4. When u upload ur next helpful rhythm guitar tutorial. I m and my little brother waiting for it

  5. Hey Nate. I know that you most likely won't see this but do you guys have any videos on some rarely used chords? I'm practicing a favorite song of mine and it has some unfamiliar chords such as D6, Dmaj7, Dsus2, Aadd9, etc. So if there is any uploaded videos on chords like these it would be so helpful. Thanks!

  6. Why not learn open chords Am and Em using fingers 2, 3, and 4, instead of 1, 2, and 3, from the very beginning and never use 1, 2, 3? For the person who ends up adding bar chords to their bag of tricks, they will then already be using the correct fingers, only needing to learn the bar with the index finger. For the person who only learns open chords and does so using 2, 3, and 4, how can they lose later on if they believe that fingers 2, 3, and 4 for open chords is no more difficult that 1, 2, and 3? The only reason I can imagine is that transitions to other open chords are easier using 1, 2, and 3, if that indeed is the case. Should students always learn both ways just for that reason – to think ahead and choose their open Am or Em fingering based on surrounding chords in context?

    P.S. – Another factor I see in the case for using the Am bar shape all the time is transitioning from open chords A major to Am. You get to keep fingers 2 and 3 in place, then just raise the pinky and lower the index. The hand barely moves.

  7. Great tips as usual. How does a guitar player decide which chord shapes to use below their bar in a live performance situation when there are multiple choices? i.e. E major shape vs. A major shape. Are they suppose to sit down in advance and map out the easiest strategy based on the context of each chord, taking into consideration which chord they came from and which chord they're going to next? Plus, with sight reading and improvising, there's no time to map out a strategy. I hope you can upload a lesson explaining all that.

  8. oh my gash. i've been playing with a lot of bar chords before but it just now hit me how do they come with that name. great lesson. very easy to understand. thank you Nate.

  9. btw you are far the best guitar teacher on you tube I have seen … you are awesome … I learned everything about guitar from your videos … can you upload some song playing videos too!

  10. omigodude thank you so much this immediately made it easier. that side of the finger thing is key, I've never heard anybody use that. THANK YOU SO MUCH I'VE BEEN SO ANNOYED

  11. This is fantastic advice! I've been trying to learn multiple shapes on each fret rather than learning one shape at a time

  12. Nate there so many lessons — what is the best way to keep lessons in order for learning
    so when i am home at night i go to the right number lessons .
    so i have a two or more rounds with say lession number 8
    thank you this is great

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