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Quiz answer: Open Major Chords have a Happy sound.

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Bar Chords are commonly used chords which are based off of two of the Open Chord Shapes.  The “E chord SHAPE” and the “A Chord SHAPE”.

1st,    The “E Major SHAPED Bar Chord  is very versatile.  It can be moved Up & Down the fretboard to produce any of the Major chords.

-The “E Chord” shown in the following diagram, is used to form the E Shaped Bar Chords.

E Major (Open Chord Diagram)

Fig.1. The “E Major Chord”
Imagine ,if you will, that the Nut forms a Bar across all the strings.
The 2nd, 3rd & 1st fingers are used to fret the E Chord and that all 6 strings are strummed.

-This one SHAPE can be moved up the fretboard in the form of a “Bar Chord” to produce the 12 other Major chords.

If you move the E shape chromatically (1 fret at a time) up the fretboard the next position has the 2nd and 3rd fingers on the 3rd fret and the 1st finger on the 2nd fret.  THE OPEN STRING NOTES MUST BE MOVED UP 1 FRET ALSO.
To accomplish this the fingering must change to free up the Index finger to fret the 1st, 2nd & 6th Strings.
This is accomplished by forming a Bar with the Index finger (hence the name Bar Chord).
The E Shape which follows in front of the Bar is reformed using the 3rd, 4th & 2nd fingers as follows:

F Major Bar Chord

Fig.2. The “F Bar Chord” played on the 1st fret using the E Chord SHAPE.

-This same SHAPE can now be moved up the fretboard to produce the other chords.

Video 1. Moving the “E Shape” up and down the fretboard to play the Bar Chords.
Starting with “F# Chord” and moving Chromatically (1 fret at a time) up to the 12th fret “E Chord” then back down.
These may take some practice to master.  Be sure to learn them as they are commonly used.

Video 2. Using the E Shape Bar Chord to play a short song using the F, A# & C Chords. 

F Major Bar Chord with ROOT NOTE Indicated
Fig.3. With the “E Chord Shape” the note played by the Index finger on the 6th string is the Root Note of the chord and dictates the name of the Chord.
In the example above it is the “F note” therefore the “F Bar Chord” is played at this position.

The next note up the fretboard is the F# note therefore the F# Major Bar Chord is played here using the E Major Chord Shape (and so on up the fretboard).

F Chord from F Bar Chord

Fig.4. It should be noted that the “F Chord” is simply an extension of the “F Bar Chord” which uses the first 4 strings.  Like the Bar Chord it is also moveable up and down the fretboard.
Without the two bass notes of the 5th & 6th strings the note played on the 4th string becomes the ROOT Note.
Note: The 5th String Note may be played with the Ring Finger (the 4th string is now played with the Pinky) to create a fuller sounding INVERSION.

The 2nd type of Bar Chord is the A Major SHAPED Bar Chord:

a chord moved to a B ChordFig.5. The “A Formation Bar Chord” uses the A Chord Shape to form chords in the same way the E shape was used.
The above “B Chord” formation (Green) is difficult to fret so usually the Ring Finger is used to fret all 3 notes behind the Index Finger bar with both E Strings being muted or not played.

B Major Bar Chord off the 5th StringFig 6. Play the High E String if you can.  Usually it is not played.

Video 3. Moving the “A Shape” Bar Chord up the fretboard to play the
A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G-#A (Major Bar Chords).

Quiz:  What Are the two chord “SHAPES” used to create Major Bar Chords?


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