Using Bar Chords And Extensions Song Examples

There could be a few variations on playing this song. For example you might want to start with using a Dm chord as an E (minor) shape on the 10th fret, instead of starting as an A (minor) shape on the 5th fret. The Question I always get asked is, "how do you know which shape to use?". Well it's simple, you don't. Most of the time standard chord charts won't tell you what bar chord shape to use, unless the rhythm is written in tablature with the chart.

There are a couple of ways to work out what shape bar chords to use. The 1st is by listening to an audio of the song , as you get better you'll be able to hear the difference in high or low bar chord.

These bar chord variations sound the same!

In the 1st example below you can see the E and A shapes that will sound similar when played, try them and see for your self.


bar sound same print    bar sound same print02

These bar chord variations sound differnt!

In this next example the E and A shapes sound different. The 1st chord will be low sounding and the second will sound high. When listening to a song to try and work out which bar chord to use, high or low. Some times it's obvious and sometimes it's not. After playing these chords repeatly you will start to get more of an idea how they sound.


bar sound hi lo print    bar sound hi lo print 

The other way to work out what shaped bar chord to use is simply by finding the closest chord to the one that you are playing. For example if you're playing a F major chord as an E shape on the 1st fret and the next chord is C major, then you won't play the C on the 8th fret because the C major as an A shape on the 3rd fret will be closer and quicker to get to. This rule doesn't always apply but it is a common one.

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