The B Bar Chord (Guitar Lesson)

Ah, that infamous B bar chord. Yes, it has a life and story of its own in the vivid imagination of every beginner guitar player. For beginners, oftentimes that B bar chord is one of the hardest to nail, and at times it can become a source of discouragement as well.

This lesson from Colin of RiffNinja.com is intended to thoroughly discuss the B chord, and put to rest any remaining doubts or questions you have about how to play that chord.

The B chord is essentially a “kink” bar, also called a double bar. This makes it hard, because you have not one, but two fingers that have to create bars, which takes more strength than regular bar chords. Additionally, because of the kink component, you have to really kink your middle finger up sharply in order to let the first string ring out as part of the chord. If you don’t get that part, the chord falls flat and doesn’t sound very good.

The other element that comes into play here is that the B bar chord, at least the root 5 version, is very low down on the fretboard, rooted on the second fret. The closer you get to the nut (ie fret #0), the farther apart each fret is from the next. This means that to span multiple frets, your fingers have to stretch further than they do at say the fifth fret to make the same chord shape.

The B bar chord is difficult, but it is also tremendously useful. B is the V chord in the key of E, and E is one of the more common keys you’ll find used on the guitar.

Learning the B Bar Chord

If you enjoyed that lesson with Colin, I recommend checking out his other lessons on guitar chords.