A barre chord, also known as a bar chord, is a type of chord where one or more fingers are used to press multiple string across the fretboard (like a bar pressing down on the strings).
What’s great about this type of chord, is that once learned, this one chord can be moved up and down the fretboard to make other chords. One little variation here and there and you have 7ths, minors, etc.
For beginners new to these chords, they tend to be a little hard to play at first. You have to press a little harder, it seems, and then you have to get those other fingers in the right place…. it can be discouraging.
So what I would like you all to try – is to start with a simple one finger barre across the entire fretboard. (see attached video). Let’s do your first finger across all string on the 2nd fret. For ukers you will cover all four strings, and for guitarists – cover all six.
Make it sound nice and clean. Now with your hand in the SAME place, try doing the same with your 3rd finger on the 4th fret.
Then back and forth at whatever interval you wish. This will get your fingers used to barring, and you can build up the muscles and muscle memory to add more detail later. That’s all for now. Just this simple exercise.
And while you’re at it, know that for a uker, this simple barre on the 2nd fret is actually a couple of chords. It could be a Bm7, or even a D6 depending on the context of the song you might encounter. For a guitarist – this chord could be an F#m7.
Let’s keep this lesson short. Just work on making a simple barre sound nice and clean.
Here’s the video explanation: