The evil barre chord

Beginner Guitar Tip: Beyond the evil barre chord.

When I first learned how to play guitar, barre chords were my biggest nemesis, you know the ones where you’ve got a finger down on all six strings and none of them rattle, buzz or are accidentally dampened.

I figured only the pros could play those. And I figured as soon as I could play barre chords, I would be a pro. Well, it took me awhile, but I finally mastered barre chords and I still didn’t sound anything like a pro. So what gives?

Well, I slowly learned that playing only chords using all six strings can sound a little monotonous after awhile. I learned that mixing it up is where it’s at: variety.

Sometimes a chord using only 3 or 4 strings is just the right touch. Adding to the mix, throw in a single note run once in awhile. Even a riff that uses only 2 strings may be more appropriate for your song than some complicated barre chord that requires 4 fingers, 2 capos, a thumb, a monkey wrench and a yoga position to execute.


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One Response to “The evil barre chord”

  1. Jeff Silberberg Says:


    I agree (except for maybe the monkey wrench!

    If you want to chat about Sunday, send me an e-mail or call me at 301-775-6468.


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