Now that you have had a little taste of an introduction to bar chords, you are perhaps ready for a bit more stretching. If you have not worked on the introductory lesson to bar chords for the acoustic and electric guitar part 1, then you might want to view and practice it first. Otherwise, let's continue. Remember, in order to be a great intermediate player, you first must work to be a great beginner acoustic guitar player. In order to do this, be sure to practice consistently and daily as much as possible, utilizing both things that are fun and easy in balance with skills that may be challenging or more frustrating.
Also, be sure to have good equipment that is set right for your playability preferences. If your strings are too heavy or the action is set too high, you will experience unnecessary hurdles and frustration. Having your acoustic guitar reviewed and set by a technician is a good idea for a beginner. Having a substandard acoustic guitar versus evaluating and finding the best beginner acoustic guitar you could practice on for your budget and size can make a world of difference in your success, or the success of your student or child (for the parents reading this lesson).
Now on to more bar or barre chords!
In the previous lesson, we worked with the G open chord and compared it with the G bar chord as well as the G minor. Now, we will work on the A bar chord form playing a C Chord, but play it compared to a C open chord form.
First, recall playing the C open chord from a previous lesson. On the 1st fret 2nd string, place your first finger. On the 2nd fret 4th string place your 2nd finger, and on the 3rd fret 5th string place your 3rd finger. Now, strum all strings, but leave the 6th string open. Recall, this is the basic, open C chord.
Now, we're going to play the C chord barred. What you need to do is find the root of the C chord. It would be the bottom or lowest note, which is the 3rd fret 5th string. This will form the basis of your C barred chord. Simply bar strings 1-5 or 1-6, as long as you don't strum or play string 6 as it is not a part of this chord. Now, using fingertips 2, 3, and 4 (it's a bit of a stretch), create the A form from the previous lesson, on strings 2, 3 and 4 of the 5th fret. Now strum strings 5-1. Compare it to the sound when you strum the open C chord. Though they are the same major chord, the chord formation is a bit different giving it an alternative voicing.
Next, move this chord form up and down the fret and try to figure out, but the root, which chords you are playing. Each time you move 1 fret toward the nut or head, it will decrease the chord or pitch by ½ step. Likewise, each time you move the chord 1 fret toward the body, it will increase the pitch ½ step.
Finally, using the open A minor chord as a guide, create a barred Cm chord. This time, the first finger will bar all strings of the 3rd fret again or simply strings 1-5. Then, fingers 2, 3, and 4 will create the A minor form. Finger 2 goes on the 4th fret 2nd string, finger 4 goes on the 5th fret 3rd string and finger 3 goes on the 5th fret 4th string. Strum all strings 1-5, leaving 6 untouched. You have strummed the C m or C minor bar chord.
Again, practice this form on different locations of the fretboard while figuring out the name of the minor chord. Using other chord charts should help as well. Also, it doesn't hurt to practice using complete cord charts or reference manuals to help you learn.
About the author: Aaron Schulman is an avid guitar player, composer, and writer and has been loving the acoustic guitar since 1990. Before buying your next acoustic guitar, be sure to understand more about tonewoods, acoustic guitar body size, finish, and craftsmanship by reading more acoustic guitar reviews at http://www.StrumViews.com