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Top 5 tunes to help you master this technique


Barre Chord Songs: Top 5 Tunes to help you master this technique  · 

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Barre chord songs can feel like a tedious task when you’re learning the guitar. Here are 5 examples of songs that will help you improve your barre chords.

Barre Chord Songs: Why are barre chords useful?

Have you ever been learning a song and come across a bump in the road? By bump, I of course mean an outlandish Bm chord, or perhaps a wild F# chord. Barre chords can get the better of some guitarists.

Barre Chord Shapes
Barre Chord Songs – E & A Shapes · Source: GuitarHabits.com

However! If you put in the hard work and dedication to master them, you’ll have achieved more than you think. Overall, we have E and A shapes. E shapes are barre chords played on the low E string, and A shapes are played across the A string.

Each string has either a minor or a major shape. Therefore, if you learn just four new chords, you’ll have unlocked a minimum of 48 chords! That’s 12 E major shapes, 12 E minor shapes, and the same across the A string.

All Along The Watchtower – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

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Released in 1968, All Along The Watchtower is a wicked psychedelic throwback. Other than Jimi’s typically impressive guitar licks, at its core, there are a series of barre chords that we can use to our advantage.

This barre chord song revolves around Cm, Bb and G#. However, that’s in concert pitch. The original recording is in Eb, therefore if you were to keep your guitar in standard tuning and want to play along to the track, you’d need to play C#m, B and A.

On its own, this is a great exercise to work through. As it allows you to explore the fretboard a little bit more than you otherwise would have done. Furthermore, you’ll have picked up a tasty set of chords for any jamming session.

Jimi Hendrix Barre Chords
Barre Chord Songs – All Along The Watchtower

By default, we’re looking at a *Fender Stratocaster when it comes to anything Hendrix. However, this is a signature model. Therefore, we’ve got the right orientation, plus 3 Vintage-style ’65s Strat single coil pickups and a maple fingerboard.

Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

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Moving into the next decade, we’ve got another repetitive pattern of barre chords, all on the low E string. Thus, making our initial barre chord practice that bit easier.

Across the main arpeggio intro and verse, we’ll be playing a series of E-shape barre chords. The chords in question are Am, G and F. During two bars, equal to eight beats, we’ll want to play two beats each per chord, repeating G at the end.

Other than helping with our barre chord shapes, this song acts as a great exercise to improve rhythm. Moreover, it allows us to move our new chord shapes quickly and effectively in a familiar part of the fretboard.

Chords for Don't Fear The Reaper
Barre Chord Songs – Don’t Fear The Reaper

In addition to a cowbell, this song isn’t complete without a generous helping of reverb. Naturally, *Thomann has loads to choose from.

Blues Songs

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Our next look at barre chord songs is somewhat less conventional but equally useable.

The vast majority of blues chord progressions revolve around what we call a I, IV, V. These Roman numerals refer to the order of the chords within a key. In English and in the key of A, it’s chords one, four and five. Thus, A, D and E.

For our barre chord practice, we can play these with one E shape barre chord, followed by two A shape barre chords for the IV and V chords. What’s most beneficial is that we can move this around the fretboard depending on what key you want to use. Go on, give it a try!

Summer Of ’69 – Brya Adams

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Similarly, we’re moving forward to the next decade. This time we’re in the 1980s with Bryan Adams and the Bridge section of Summer Of ’69.

I’ve always loved the middle eight in this song. It provides a great sense of excitement and a change of direction for the track. Both of these have been achieved via modulation and with some rhythmic changes.

However, as far as our barre chords are concerned, we’ll be playing F, Bb, C, and back to Bb again. Just like we looked at with the blues chord progression. Altogether, playing these three chords as barre chords will improve your speed and precision.

Summer Of 69 Barre Chords
Barre Chord Songs – Summer Of ’69 Bridge

The opening lyric of this song, ‘I got my first real six-string…’ refers back to Adams’ early guitar purchase back in 1970. He recalls first having a Fender Stratocaster. However, he deems his first real guitar to have been a Les Paul knockoff that he bought, as the lyric suggests, at a ‘Five and Dime’ store.

With *Thomann, you’ll find an abundance of genuine Les Pauls and some faithful replicas. All of which suit various budgets.

Ironic – Alanis Morissette

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Finally, we’re in the 1990s for our final look at barre chord songs. Isn’t it ironic that our last song is the most recent release?

Now, this song isn’t my cup of tea, and that could be the same for many others. However, it always goes down well at gigs and I have learnt a few valuable lessons from it as a guitarist.

What are we working with? Well, the verse and chorus use the same three chords; F#, B and G#. It can get a bit boring playing the same chords during the whole song. Therefore, during the chorus, it can be cool to play the chords in a higher octave. Such as with the F# on the 9th fret of the A string, and the B being played on the 7th fret of the E string. It really makes a difference.

Barre Chords for Ironic
Barre Chord Songs – Ironic Verse and Chorus Octaves

Barre Chord Songs: Ready to learn more?

As we’ve seen, barre chords can open up many doors when it comes to playing chords on guitar. Don’t let an unfamiliar chord defeat you!

Moreover, you’ll save yourself from having to use a capo converting to barre chords! Of course, there are a great number of other songs out there that can help you with your barre chord practice, these just illustrate different ideas and uses.

Videos:

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Barre Chord Songs

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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