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Here’s some Barre Chord Shapes – The A-string rooted Bar Chords Explained.

Barre Chords pt.2

We’re going to blast through this chapter. These next 2 barre chords share the exact same concepts and approach. However, we will be using 2 fresh finger shapes, both of which are rooted from the A-string.

Quite simply, we’re going to play what you know already – an A Major and A Minor chord in their ‘open positions’ and just move them up 1 fret. Boom! Same chordal structure, that gets a different finger shape and therefore, providing us with a new chord.

So, by playing your A major and your A minor chordal shapes up 1 fret with these new fingerings, you’ll simply be playing an A# major chord and an A# Minor chord. This is because our root note is now on the 1st fret of the A string instead of our ‘open A’.

*because of those “enharmonics” that you learned about in the previous chapter on “notes on the fretboard”, these could also be called Bb major chord and a Bb Minor chord .

These charts below show the major and minor barre chord shapes that are played when starting on the A string.  Just like the major and minor shapes for the E string, these are simply a way to give the same chord, a different sound.

Caption: Don’t worry if your high
E string doesn’t ring clear on this
major shape. 4 notes is sufficient for
this chordal shape!

Very soon (if not already!), you’ll be able to play any major and any minor chord starting from your A string using these shapes and your knowledge of the notes on the fretboard. See if you can find a D Major barre chord starting from your A-string and compare it to your D major open position chord. And hey, while you’re at it – why not find a D major chord starting from your E-string major barre chord position!

Answer:

  • Play the A major barre chord shape from the 5th fret of the A string to get a D major.
  • Play the E-major barre chord shape from the 10th fret of the low E-string to get a D major.
  • Play the ‘open position D major chord, you’d use that shape we’ve played a lot like in songs like “Sweet Child O’ Mine” – (They are all the same chord!)

To Sum Up Barre Chords On The A-String

  • On these A string rooted barre chords, you do not play the low E string.
  • On the major shape, it’s nearly impossible to let the high e-string ring with the 3rd finger barre – so honestly, don’t worry about it! Just get 4 strings to ring clearly (the A, D, G, B strings). Additionally, you don’t have to barre your first finger – only your 3rd finger barres.
  • Some people find it best to mute the low E-string by touching it with the tip of their first finger while playing these A-string rooted barre chord shapes.
  • There is a power chord inside of each barre chord shape. You can think of any of the 4 barre chord shapes as “extensions of power chords”.
  • You will find your A Major and A Minor chordal shapes inside of these A-string rooted barre chords.
  • Barre just means using one finger to hold down strings.

Thanks for checking out the video and article of A Shape Barre Chords | Part II: Bar Chords Explained. 

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