Here's where we take the next big step in our progress
as a guitarist... learning about a shape of chord referred to as a "barre
chord". The technique of playing barre chords is one which we have utilized
when playing the F major chord
- using one
finger to hold down more than one note.
B minor shape
We're going to put your first finger to work on this chord. Your first
finger has the job of covering the second fret, from the fifth to first
strings (we don't play the sixth string). Next, put your third finger
on the fourth fret of the fourth string. Then, add your fourth pinky finger
to the fourth fret of the third string. Lastly, place your second finger
on the third fret of the second string. Got it? Now, strum the chord,
and try not to get upset when most of the notes don't ring clearly.
This is a tough chord at first, no doubt about it! You're going to have
to have patience, it WILL sound good soon, but it's going to take some
work. Here are some tips that will help you:
- Very slightly
bend your first finger. A straight and rigid finger is not what we're
- Roll the
finger back slightly, so that more of the side of the index finger closest
to the thumb is in contact with the strings.
- Try slightly
pulling the body of the guitar towards your body, using the arm of your
picking hand. Also gently pull the neck towards you with your fretting
hand. This makes fretting barre chords somewhat easier.
One of the greatest things about the B minor chord shape is that it
is a "movable chord". This means that, unlike the chords we've learned
so far, we can slide the same shape around to different frets to create
different minor chords. The note we're interested in is the note on the
fifth string. Whatever note your finger is playing on the fifth string
is the type of minor chord it is. If you were to slide the chord up the
neck, so that your first finger was at the fifth fret, you'd be playing
a D minor chord, since the note on the fifth fret of the fifth string
is D. THIS is why learning the note names on the sixth and fifth strings
are so important. We'll be getting into different movable chords in the
the shape of the B minor chord, and play strings one at a time.
Correct any notes that aren't ringing clearly.
moving from other chords to a B minor chord, then back to other
chords. This will be a slow and difficult process at first. Keep
playing different minor chords by moving the B minor shape around
to different frets (eg. try playing C# minor, F minor, G minor,
Bb minor, etc.)
NOT play the sixth string when playing a B minor chord. Pay careful
attention to this.
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