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#1 2010-06-21 13:11:59

artic fox
Junior Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2010-05-21
Posts: 8

Barr chords

Hi,
I'm still learning so forgive me for a rather dumb question.  I am having trouble understanding barr chords. For instance when you do an 'F' (which is hell to do by the way) you barr the 1st fret with your pointing finger and form the E shape with the others....you know...and that makes your barr F. But I've read you can move the shape down (or is it up? towards the hole) the neck, so does it still remain an F, or does it then become another chord? And what makes it an F in the 1st place? And then when you use the other shapes to form other barr chords how do you know what they are? I hope you understand what I mean and I'm hoping someone can explain in an EASY to understand way.
Thanks

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#2 2010-06-21 15:18:18

tubatooter1940
Retired Beach Bar Entertainer
From: Alabama Gulf Coast
Registered: 2008-06-24
Posts: 1813
Website

Re: Barr chords

artic fox,
Yes you move the shape up (toward the hole).
You have your regular E, barre F - move up one more gives you F#, one more up is G, up one to G# (Ab) and so forth.


We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

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#3 2010-06-21 15:24:20

Russell_Harding
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From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 6415
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Re: Barr chords

articfox a guitar neck has frets each fret is 1/2 step apart the F shaped chord raised to the next fret is a F# or Gb understanding the major scale is important to identify how the neck is laid out but if you move the F chord 1/2 step up the neck (toward the hole) these are the chords:
1st fret F
2nd F#(or Gb)
3rd G
4th G#(or Ab)
5th A
6th Bb (or A#)
7th B
8th C 
9th C#(orDb)
10th D
11th D#(or Eb)
12th E
13th F so now your an octave from where you started
each major key is divided into 8 tones starting with C (no sharps or flats)
and they go's thru the musical alphabet
C D E F G A B C both the low and high C are the same only 8 tones apart (an octave) a book on musical theory is helpful but there are online sources to expain the sharps and flats of each key hope this helps as a starter smile


"Growing old is not for sissies"

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#4 2010-06-21 16:10:44

Russell_Harding
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From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 6415
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Re: Barr chords

the other question you asked "what makes it an F in the first place" is another part of basic music theory its easy to get lost understanding and sometimes trying to explain you have to take it a little at a time to really let it sink in but to start with a major chord is made up of three notes in the key: a F major scale uses the notes F G A Bb C D E F the reason the B is a Bb is because of the intervals in a major scale,if we use the C scale its easier to understand this formula 1 1 1/2 1 1 1 1/2 or whole whole half whole whole whole half each major key is laid out the same way now a simple C chord has the notes CEG the reason being a major triad is the Root (C) the 3rd (E) and the 5th (G) or 1 3 5 this is a C major chord  thats enough for now learn this much and you can use this formula later to figure out the notes in any scale and to constuct major chords, minor chords are 1 b3 5 or C Eb G like I said its a lot to learn but you have to start somewhere smile


"Growing old is not for sissies"

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#5 2010-06-21 20:57:52

Russell_Harding
Alien moderator
From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 6415
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Re: Barr chords

another point is it helps to number the notes in each scale as an example:
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8
C  D E  F  G  A  B C  now you can understand a 1 3 5 chord just look below the number you can do this in any key the most common chords played in a key are the 1 4 5 6 there are tons of songs that use the 1 4 5 and do wop songs that use 1 6 4 5 progressions you can substitute a minor 2nd for the 4th so the progression would be C Am Dm G (1st 6th m2 5th) otherwise its C Am F G another variation is to play C C6 Dm G the C6 is a substitute for a Am as its built on the 6th interval A (refer to the above chart)


"Growing old is not for sissies"

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#6 2010-06-22 03:12:56

ken cattell
Junior Member
From: swindon, wiltshire, england
Registered: 2008-03-25
Posts: 15

Re: Barr chords

Good question, brilliant replies, back in the dark days of the last centuary (you know about the time when England was last winning the world cup!) mum and dad gave me a guitar and a school teacher was kind enough to give up his lunch breaks to try and teach me some songs using chords.  Our family moved and I dropped out of guitar playing after a few years, never having progressed much. A couple of years ago I took it up again and a performer at our local pub said "learn barre chords its worth it in the long run" A few false starts and wow was he right.
Someone on Chordie, to my shame I can't remember who, was good enough to mail me a chart with all the finger positions for each type of note (major, minor, 7ths etc, etc, working off the root note (the position on the 5th or 6th string)  for barre chords, its been invaluable to me so I will pass it on to you vie e-mail as i dont know if I would be allowed to post it here or even how I could post it here! Hope it will be of assistance. Stick with it when you start getting the hang of it and they start sounding right it all suddenly makes sense!


Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill know to man.
Landing is the 1st.

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#7 2010-06-23 05:56:06

artic fox
Junior Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2010-05-21
Posts: 8

Re: Barr chords

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I'll have to kick my brain into gear. I'm working on it wink

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