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Is It Necessary to Learn Barre Chords?

It is pretty important to learn barre chords as learning them will allow you to use the same cord position and make the movement on the fretboard, simply up and down and new chords will be made. 

When you are trying to learn guitar, it is one of the most useful pieces of advice you would ever acknowledge. It’s necessary to learn barre chords if you are trying to play good guitar. 

Once you have mastered these chords, you’ll open a door for some exciting possibilities, and those will help you in the long run. 

You can use play chords in any key by just using one single shape. Moreover, learning them makes it easier to play multiple chord types as well, making it more interesting for you. 

Surfing on the internet, we’ve found that people who knew the art of barre chords were able to play guitar much more efficiently. Some famous guitarists such as Jimmy Page, Slash, Brian May, and many others surely know how to play barre chords. 

Can You Play Guitar Without Barre Chords?

Create unique and exciting sounds with barre chords

People can play guitar without barre chords, but that might leave them with limited options. Guitar players with an acoustic touch usually prefer playing only with open chords, but experienced professionals mostly learn barre chords, as they bring more options for them when it is to playing guitar. 

You can make great music only with open chords, but if you are aiming to make something unique and exciting, it is always suggested to learn barre chords. Otherwise, it is completely possible to play guitar without barre chords. 

Also Read: 7 Easy Tips To Strum Chords On a Bass Like a Pro

How To Avoid Barre Chords

Use block chords as alternatives for barre chords

Block chords are one of the finest alternatives to barre chords. Some people might find it hard to learn barre chords, but wish to be versatile. In such cases, it is best to learn block chords. Block chords are mostly associated with jazz guitar playing.

It’s where the melody line is to be followed. The best part about these chords is that you can use them in both electric and acoustic guitars. 

By learning block chords, your reliance on barre chords will become limited. You can avoid barre by playing as many strings as you can try with your individual fingers. Block chords are easy to play as you are required to play only four strings Sometimes, playing barre chords can be boring, but it is always beneficial to learn an alternative. 

How Long Does It Take To Learn Barre Chords?

You can learn barre chords in two weeks

If you practice daily, you can learn barre chords in only two weeks. You’ll have to take 15-20 sessions daily to complete learning the basics of barre chords in two weeks. You will have to give this time only to barre chords then.

However, once you have learned barre chords, don’t leave practicing them. It is extremely important to keep the rhythm going as you don’t want to forget what you’ve learned. If you are planning to master barre chords, it might take a daily practice of 120 days or more. Sometimes people even take 6 months to master these chords. The longer you practice, the more perfect you get. 

5 Tips To Play Barre Chords Well

Learning barre chords can be tricky sometimes. However, if you want to learn it properly. Here are a few tips; 

1. Don’t keep the “Action” too high 

Keep action low

One of the most common mistakes while learning barre chords is to keep the “Action” high. When it’s too high, it becomes harder to play the guitar. If you’re wondering what high action means, it is simply the distance of the strings from the fretboard, minimize it when you are trying to learn barre chords.  

2. Utilize the edge of your index finger 

Position your index finger properly

Barre chords are ruined if you use the flat surface of your index finger. As the flat surface is pretty soft, it becomes stiff to get clean sounds. The edge of your index finger is surely much harder, you can use this you can attain clearer sounds. You won’t even need to apply too much pressure here.

Using the index finger for barre chords is one of the finest tips you’ll ever hear. 

3. Tuck in your elbow 

Keep the elbow close to your body.

Your posture is surely important when it comes to playing the guitar. Try to keep your elbow as close to your body as possible. If your elbow is in mid-air, it is pretty tough to play these chords. Keeping your arm closer to your body will certainly make you feel more comfortable. 

4. Keep your wrist low 

Keep your wrist low from the guitar neck

Other than your elbow, you also need to keep in check your wrist. The palm of your hand should not be touching the neck, keep it low and use your fingers to grab the neck, most importantly, your thumb. Keep a decent space between your palm and the neck of the guitar. 

Also Read: Thickness Of Guitar Necks Compared: (Strats Vs Les Pauls)

5. Keep index finger closer to fret 

Don’t apply too much pressure on the strings

If the finger is not closer to the fret, you might need to put some extra pressure to play the chords. Make sure the distance between the fret and your finger is minimal. 


Q: Are Barre Chords Hard for Beginners?

It is a bit hard for beginners to learn barre chords as you are required to hold the strings all together at once to produce a good clear sound. It is spread over three frets which makes it harder to play. 


Q: Why Are Barre Chords So Hard?

The tensions of the strings make barre chords hard to play. Moreover, you need three fingers to play these chords, which is hard if you don’t know the tips for it. 


Q: Why Do Barre Chords Hurt My Wrist?

Immense tension is created in the wrist when you apply too much pressure while practicing barre chords – causing your wrist to hurt. Try to posture your body properly to avoid such pain. Keep your wrist lower to the neck of the guitar, it will help you a lot to tackle the pain. 

Ifandi S.

About Ifandi S.

Ifandi started Strumming Bars to answer all the questions of a guitarist. As a self-learned guitarist, he remembered how frustrating it was to not find answers to his many questions in the journey. With Strumming Bars, that's no longer the case!

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