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Bar and Power Guitar Chords

Power Chords also know as "5" chords are a big part of rock guitar. They don't have a Major or minor tag on them, so they can fill in for either type of chord.

They are easy and fun to play and give a nice big sound especially on the electric guitar.

power Chords

Closed chords have no open strings in them. Also known as moveable chords. This means that once you learn the chord shape, you can move the shape up or down the neck to any fret on the 6th and 5th strings.

The open E5, A5 and D5 chords have open strings in them so they can't be moved.

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The Bar, or Barre chords

Bar chords use one finger to press on two or more strings at the same time. These chords are very hard to play for a beginner but once you get it, they become quite easy.

Lesson one shows the parts of the guitar. The nut is located behind the first fret. It has grooves in it that the strings rest in and it also allows the lowest pitch to ring from the open string. When we us our first finger to press all the strings together, your finger is now taking the role of the nut in a sense. When you use your first finger to bar all the strings you have to switch the usual fingerings to fret bar chords because your first finger is now being used for the bar.

'E' Form and 'A' Forms

A 6 string bar chord uses all six strings. This is called an E form bar chord. It gets it's name from the E chord because it has the shape of an E chord in it. You use your first finger or a capo to bar all 6 strings on a fret and then add the E shape chord after it.

guitar capo

Bar chords are moveable so you can move the chord shapes up and down the neck. When you move the shape to the 5th fret you now have an A Major Bar chord.

E major chord A major bar-chord


A bar chord using five or less strings is called an A form bar chord because it has the shape of an 'A' chord except you use your 3rd finger to bar the strings. Typically your first finger will be on one of the lower bass strings and the third finger will bar two or more strings under it. Sometimes the 1st string is not included in the chord. When you slide the shape up the neck to the 5th fret with your first finger and bar the third finger at the 8th fret, you now have an D Major chord

A major chord D major bar-chord

Minor Bar Chords
Minor Bar chords follow the same principle, using the E minor and A minor chord shapes.
bar chords

Print out Barre Chords. | Power Chords.

Find more chords and songs to play at the guitarist resources page.

Lesson 6

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