So, you want to know how to play bar chords.
Fair enough, that’s a worthwhile goal for a guitar player.
Today we’re going to examine one particular aspect of learning how to play bar chords, and that is how to move the chords.
Knowing how to create the chord shapes is one issue, and if you look around on this site, you will find plenty of information on how you can go about doing that. But knowing how to move the bar chord shapes around once you can form them is a very crucial part of the whole equation.
So let’s start with some very basic fretboard knowledge. The strings are tuned E A D G B E, starting from the 6th (or lowest in pitch) and going up to the 1st string.
Every fret raises the pitch of that string by one semitone, sometimes called a half step. Two frets therefore equals one tone, sometimes called a whole step.
Right there, that is the key to understanding the location of everything on the fretboard.
Let’s look at an example, relating to bar chords. First, it is important to know where the root note is. We’ll take a G major chord, root 6. That means the root note is on the 6th string. So, we need to find a G on the 6th string from which to anchor our bar chord.
Start at the E in the open position on that 6th string, and start counting up. E, F, F#, G. There, we’ve found a G note on the 3rd fret. Now, simply form the major chord shape at that third fret, coming off the 6th string, and you’ll have a nice sounding G major.
Whichever string your root note is found on, simply count up from the open position on that string, and you can find the root note for your chord in this fashion. In the lesson, Colin goes into more detail on this and other things you need to know about how to play bar chords.
How To Move Bar Chords