Bm7 Guitar Chord: 7 Essential Chords You Must Know

Want to learn the Bm7 guitar chord? You’ve come to the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 7 essential ways to play the Bm7 guitar chord.
  • The no1 secret that will make your barre chords sound amazing.
  • 2 quick & easy guitar tricks that will enhance your musicality.

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So what is a Bm7 guitar chord?

A Bm7 chord is a Bm chord. Think of ‘Bm7’ as a more sophisticated version of a Bm chord.

A Bm chord has the following intervals:

  • B (Root)
  • D (Minor 3rd)
  • F# (5th)

Where as a Bm7 chord has:

  • B (Root)
  • D (Minor 3rd)
  • F# (5th)
  • A (Flattened 7th)

As you can see the only difference between a Bm and a Bm7 is that Bm7 has an A note.

Bonus Theory Tip!

To turn ANY minor chord into a minor 7 chord you simply add the note that’s one step below the root.

To learn more about guitar theory, go here: Guitar Theory: The 4 Step System For Rapid Progress

Easy Ways To Play The Bm7 Guitar Chord

If you’re a beginner guitarist and want an easy to play the Bm7 guitar chord, this voicing is perfect:

bm7 guitar chord

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

To play this chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

No complicated barring is required, just a great sounding Bm7 guitar chord.

Don’t worry if you accidentally hit the high E string. A Bm7 chord with an E note added to it is called a Bm11.

To learn this chord, go here: Bm Guitar Chord For Beginners

The low E string however, that string needs to be left out of the chord or it will very much pollute the sound of it.

Bm7 Guitar Chord – Open Voicing

This voicing of the Bm7 guitar chord is fantastic for beginners.

bm7 guitar chord

To play this chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

This version of the Bm7 guitar chord keeps all three fingers in one fret. It’s a bit like an A chord, except the fingers are more spread apart from each other.

For that reason, it changes very nicely to and from an A chord.

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Bm11 – A Two Finger Alternative

Some people struggle with three finger chords at first.

If that’s the case, you could try playing a Bm11 instead of a Bm7.

bm7 guitar chord

To play this chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum from the A string. (5th string.)

You’ll notice that either of our previous Bm7 guitar chords could be transformed into this chord by leaving out the 3rd finger.

If you’re struggling to use three fingers at present, try the Bm11 chord first and then try adding that third finger later on.

Learning the guitar is good for you mind and body, find out why in this article by Guitar World: 10 Reasons Why Playing Guitar Is Good For Your Mind And Body

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

  Stop struggling. Start making music.

  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly.

Bm7 Barre Chords

If you’re an intermediate guitarist, you may well be ready to try some Bm7 barre chords.

Discalimer: Barre chords are tough. If you’re a beginner, steer well clear for the moment and stick to the easier voicings we looked at in the previous section.

This is the most common Bm7 guitar chord:

bm7 guitar chord

  • Barre your first finger on the 2nd fret from the A string (5th string) to the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

If you find this chord tough, here are some tips and tricks which will help you master barre chords.

For more information on barre chords, go here: Barre Chords: The Ultimate Guide

Bm7 Guitar Chord (The Em7 Shape)

The second most common barre chord is the ‘Em7 shape’. Here’s the chord box:

bm7

To play this chord:

  • Barre your first finger across all of the strings on the 7th fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 9th fret of the A string. (5th string.)

Again, you may notice that this is an Em7 shape, but moved up the fretboard using a barre.

To learn the Em7 chord, go here: Em Guitar Chord – 4 Easy Ways To Play This Essential Chord

This one can be really tough because we have to press down all the strings with just one finger, but like a lot of things we learn, practice and patience is key.

 

Bm7 Guitar Chord (Easy Barre Version)

If you’re struggling a bit with barring, you could try this version:

bm7 guitar chord

To play this chord:

  • Barre your first finger across the 7th fret of the D (4th string), G (3rd string), B (2nd string) and E string. (1st string.)

This smaller barre chord of Bm7 can serve as a ‘stepping-stone’ between ordinary beginner versions of the Bm7 guitar chord and the full barre chord versions.

Note that we’re not having to barre across quite so many strings. This makes this barre chord slightly easier. This chord is perfect for styles of music like reggae, ska and funk.

Bm7 Guitar Chord (Funk Voicing)

If you like the funky sound of these chords, you might like this version of the Bm7 guitar chord:

bm7 guitar chord

To play this chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 9th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 11th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 10th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 10th fret of the high E string. (1st string.)

Notice that we’re getting progressively further up the guitar neck as we go with these chords. Acoustic guitarists may well not like this version of the Bm7 guitar chord too much as the action is very high in this area of the fretboard.

Therefore chords can be trickier to play. Also, if your acoustic guitar doesn’t have a cutaway you may also struggle to access this area of the fretboard.

bm7 guitar chord

However, electric guitarists will love this funky voicing of the Bm7 guitar chord. This chord is even approachable for beginner guitarists as it doesn’t require any barring.

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How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

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How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

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Gb Guitar Chord For Beginners

Want to learn how to play the Gb guitar chord? You’ve come to the right place!

In this free lesson you will learn:

  • The 6 essential ways to play the Gb guitar chord.
  • 3 tips for mastering guitar chords.
  • The number 1 secret to learning guitar chords quickly.

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What is a Gb guitar chord?

A Gb guitar chord is:

  • a major chord with a root note of Gb (G flat).

Gb is the same chord as F#. They’re what we call ‘enharmonic equivalents’. All this means is that there are two different names for the same chord.

The Gb guitar chord can be written any of the following ways:

  • Gb.
  • G flat.
  • F#.

Unless we actually see the word ‘minor’ or a lower-case ‘m’, it’s safe to assume that the chord is major.

The lower-case ‘b’ symbol is actually supposed to look like this:

gb guitar chord

The lower-case b should be pronounced like this, ‘flat’. So, Gb should be pronounced ‘G flat’.

How do you play the Gb guitar chord?

There are a number of ways you could play the Gb guitar chord. The two most common voicings are:

  • The E shaped barre chord.
  • The A shaped barre chord.

Barre chords can be tricky for most guitarists as you have to press down on more than one string with the same finger.

This can be very tricky, especially if you’re not used to it, so you might want to check out this video for some tips:

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

  Stop struggling. Start making music.

  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly.

Gb guitar chord (E Shape)

We call this voicing the ‘E shape’ because that’s the chord shape we form with our other fingers (ie. the ones that aren’t barring).

Check out this article if you’re not sure about the E chord: 4 Easy Ways To Play The E Chord On Guitar

F# Chord

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

  • Barre your index finger across every string at the 2nd fret.
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Put your 4th finger on the 4th fret of the D string.(4th string.)
  • Put your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)

As we said earlier, barre chords aren’t easy, so don’t worry if you struggle at first.

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Gb guitar chord (A Shape)

This voicing of the Gb guitar chord is called the ‘A shape’ because that’s the shape that goes after the barre.

Learn the A chord here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The A Chord

F# Sharp Guitar Chord

  • Barre your index finger across the first five strings at the 9th fret.
  • Put your 2nd finger on the 11th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 11th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Put your 4th finger on the 11th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

Let’s take at look at some easier versions of this chord.

1) Gb guitar chord (3 Finger Version)

This Gb guitar chord is ideal for beginners because:

  • It only requires 3 fingers.
  • It has a nice twinkly top-end sound.
  • It can be moved to find other chords.

F Sharp Guitar Chord

  • Put your 3rd finger on the 11th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Put your 4th finger on the 11th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Put your 1st finger on the 9th fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Strum the first three strings (leave the other three out).

If you know this shape and you know your musical alphabet, you can move this shape all over the fretboard to find other chords.

To learn more about the musical alphabet, go here: Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

2) Gb7

If you like the idea of a slightly bluesier sounding Gb guitar chord, then this chord is for you.

F# Chord

  • Put your 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Put your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Put your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • The high E string needs to ring open.

If you’re not too keen on the bluesy sound of this chord and you’d prefer a plain old Gb guitar chord, simply leave out that open high string.

3) Gb guitar chord (2 Finger Version)

This chord is ideal if you want to play barre chords, but don’t feel quite up to barring a lot of strings just yet:

Small F# Chord

  • Put your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Barre the B string (2nd string) and high E string (1st string) with your 1st finger.

Although this chord doesn’t sound huge, it has a crisp top end.

4) Gb11

This chord is basically what we get when we play an E shaped Gb guitar chord. However this time, we’re not going to barre down with our index finger.

F# Chord Open E and b

  • Put your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Put your 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Put your 4th finger on the 4th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Put your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum across every sting, including the open ones.

If you’re not too keen on that ’11’ sound or if you just don’t think it suits the song you’re playing then you can always just leave those two open strings out and you’ll have a plain Gb guitar chord again.

The only snag is, to leave those strings out, you have to be careful how you strum.

To learn how to skip strings while strumming, go here: How To Skip Strings While Strumming

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Tips for playing barre chords

Barre chords are difficult, but we have some tips that will make them easier to learn.

Learning guitar is one of the BEST things you can do in your life. Check out this article by Guitar World to find out why: Top 10 Reasons Playing Guitar Is Good For Your Mind And Body

Tip #1 Keep your thumb on the back of the neck, not peaking over the top

Your thumb should be in the middle of the back of the neck (the ‘spine’ if you will) and the thumb nail should be pointing towards the ceiling, not towards the headstock of the guitar.

This is what it should look like:

F sharp guitar chord

NOT this:

gb guitar chord

Tip #2 Use the tips, not the prints of your fingers

When you fret the Gb guitar chord (or any chord) you must press with the tips of your fingers. (Except the one that you’re barring .)

You must not use the prints of the fingers. Check that your finger nail is as close to the string as possible.

This will stop your fingers leaning untidily onto the other strings and muting off other notes.

Tip #3 Press as close to the fret as you can

If you’re pressing down in the back of the space between frets, it’s going to take a lot of pressure to make a note.

On the other hand, if you press right up close to the fret, you should get a note with much less effort.

Make life easy for yourself and get up close to the frets.

For more guidance on how to play guitar chords, go here: How To Play Guitar Chords: A Beginner’s Guide

What’s the quickest way to learn guitar chords?

There’s no quicker way to learn guitar chords than to learn the easier chords first.

An easier way to play a chord can always be found.

If you eventually wish to graduate to more advanced chords, you developed the necessary dexterity and technique from learning easier chords.

Trying chords that are too advanced too soon will only frustrate you and stunt your progress.

To learn easy chords, go here: 14 Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners

How to make sure you don’t forget any chord

A helpful trick for remembering guitar chords is:

  • Once you’ve learnt a new chord, squeeze your hand.

Why? Doing this will engage your hand’s muscle memory. This essentially tells your hand to memorise the shape you’ve just made.

For this to work of course, the chord has to be correct.

Squeeze your hand after playing an incorrect chord and you’ll be memorising an incorrect chord.

F Sharp Guitar Chord

Here are some other cool-sounding Gb chords
.
gb-guitar-chord

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

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Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

Learn about the National Guitar Academy: About Us

Visit our YouTube channel for fun guitar videos.

Join us on Facebook for daily guitar tips.

Listen to our Learn Guitar Podcast for rapid guitar progress.

Check out our free chord lessons.

 

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Gm7 Guitar Chord: 6 Essential Ways To Play This Chord

Want to learn the Gm7 guitar chord? You’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 6 essential ways to play the Gm7 guitar chord.
  • The no1 secret that will make your chords sound amazing.
  • 2 epic songs that will get ANY crowd up and dancing.
  • 3 practice tips that will accelerate your guitar progress.

Over 100,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

The most common ways to play the Gm7 guitar chord

The most common ways to play the Gm7 guitar chord are:

Gm7 (Em7 Barre Shape)

gm7 guitar chord

Gm7 (Am7 Barre Shape)

gm7 guitar chord

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

You’ll notice that both of these chords are barre chords.

Barre chords can be very tough on the fingers, so you should only attempt them if you’ve been playing guitar for a while.

If you want some help with barre chords you should check out this article: How To Play Barre Chords

In the guitar world, we refer to these barre chords as the ‘Em7 shape’ and the ‘Am7 shape’ because the heart of the barre chord uses these chord shapes.

To learn these chords, go here:

If you don’t feel quite ready for these chord voicings yet, you could learn some easier versions of the Gm7 guitar chord.

Gm7 Guitar Chord (Easy Em7 Shape)

gm7 guitar chord

The good thing about this voicing is that we only have to use one finger. We’re still barring, but we only have to barre across four strings rather than all six.

This voicing has a tight, snappy sound. It’s perfect for genres of music such as funk and soul.

If you want to expand your chord knowledge, you could also try this Gm7 guitar chord.

gm7 guitar chord

This is very much the same principle, except we’ve kept the lowest note in the chord and left out the highest.

This voicing doesn’t require us to barre anymore. With this chord voicing, you must mute the A string (5th string) with the fleshy part of your first finger.

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

  Stop struggling. Start making music.

  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly.

Gm7 Guitar Chord (Easy Am7 Shape)

gm7 guitar chord

With this chord voicing we’ve eliminated the barre. This makes it slightly easier on the fingers.

If you find this chord difficult, play a regular D shape and move it up to the 10th fret.

Once, you’ve done this. Adjust your fingering, and place your 1st finger on the 10th fret of the A string. (5th string.)

Like our previous voicing, this chord has a tight, snappy sound. It’s perfect for genres such as funk.

Gm7 Guitar Chord (Dm7 Shape)

gm7 guitar chord

We refer to this chord as the ‘Dm7 shape’ because it’s identical to the regular Dm7 shape. However, this time we’ve moved it up to the 5th fret.

To learn the Dm7 guitar chord, go here: Dm7 Guitar Chord: 7 Ways To Play This Chord

Although this shape has been moved up, we don’t need to barre it. This is because the only open string in Dm7 is the D string (4th string), so we just press that one down with the 1st finger.

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Which of These Voicings Should I Use?

This really depends on the circumstances. You may find that some chord voicings are better for songs than others.

The best way to find out which chord is best, is to try all the options. You’ll find out quickly which chord is right for you.

You may also find some of these voicings easier than others. As a general rule, go for the chord which is the easiest and sounds best.

Ideally, you want to reach a stage where you can pick and choose between ALL of the Gm7 guitar chords that are available.

dm7 guitar chord

The Advantage With Barre Chords

Barre chords are tough to learn at first, there’s no denying it. But once you get the hang of them, they’re a huge asset to your guitar skills.

This is because, barre chords are movable shapes. This means that you can play 11 different minor 7 chords with just one chord shape.

For example:

  • If you encounter a song with a G#m7 chord in it, all you have to do is move the Gm7 shape up by one fret.
  • If you encounter a song with an F#m7 chord in it, all you have to do is move the Gm7 shape down by one fret.

This also works with non-barre chords, just so long as they don’t feature any open strings.

Why Does This Work?

This works because you are changing the root note of a chord. If you change the root note of a chord, you are changing the key of a chord.

To master this method, you must learn the root notes on the E string (6th string) and A string. (5th string.) Here they are:

E String Root Notes

gm7 guitar chord

A String Root Notes

gm7 guitar chord

 

What’s The Difference Between Gm7 and Gm?

Put simply, the difference is that Gm7 has an F note added to it.

Here are the notes in a regular Gm chord:

  • G (Root)
  • Bb (Minor 3rd)
  • D (5th)

Here are the notes in a regular Gm7 chord:

  • G (Root)
  • Bb (Minor 3rd)
  • D (5th)
  • F (Flattened 7th)

Can you see how the Gm7 chord has an extra note? This gives the Gm chord an extra bit of colour. You can work out the rest of the notes in a chord by using the musical alphabet.

To learn more about the musical alphabet, go here: 

If you compare a Gm chord to a Gm7 chord, you’ll probably find that the Gm7 chord sounds more sophisticated than the G minor chord.

Minor 7 chords are used frequently in styles of music like jazz, soul and funk.

To learn more about jazz guitar, go here: Jazz Guitar Lessons: A 5 Step Program For Rapid Progress

Bonus Tip

Here’s a quick and easy way to get the Gm7 guitar chord into your playing:

  • Every time you see a regular G minor chord. Use a Gm7 instead.

This will add sophistication and musicality to your chord progressions.

how to play bar chords

Essential Practice Tips For The Gm7 Guitar Chord

One of the best ways to practice any new chord on the guitar is to try and learn a song that has that chord in it.

Here are a few songs which use the Gm7 guitar chord.

‘That’s Entertainment’ by The Jam

This track is fantastic, it’s vibrant and punchy. No wonder it was such a huge hit!

Here’s what it sounds like:

The chords for this song are:

Bb         | Gm7       | Bb           | Gm7        | Cm7        | Ab           |

This track’s a great one to play on an acoustic guitar.

To learn the rest of the chords to this song, go here:

‘Tainted Love’ by Soft Cell

This song is an 80s classic. Not only is it super easy to play, it also sounds great.

Here’s what it sounds like:

Here are the chords for ‘Tainted Love’ by Soft Cell.

Gm7     Bb    | Eb    Cm7     |

If you’re not sure how to play the Eb chord, go here: E Flat Guitar Chord For Beginners

The chord changes in this tune are really quick, so make sure you practice this song slowly.

To learn this song in more detail, go here: Tainted Love Chords

You may have noticed that this song also uses other barre chords. This is why it’s important to learn as many barre chords as possible. They enhance your musicality and make your job as a guitarist easier.

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The Quiz

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 100,000 other guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

Learn about the National Guitar Academy: About Us

Visit our YouTube channel for fun guitar videos.

Join us on Facebook for daily guitar tips.

Listen to our Learn Guitar Podcast for rapid guitar progress.

Check out our free chord lessons.

 
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Fm7 Guitar Chord: 6 Essential Voicings

Want to learn the Fm7 guitar chord? You’ve come to the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 6 essential ways to play the Fm7 guitar chord.
  • 5 must-know chord progressions that will enhance your musicality.
  • The no1 barre chord secret that will make your chords sound amazing.

Over 100,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

The two most common way to play the Fm7 are:

  • The ‘Em7 shaped barre chord’
  • The ‘Am7 shaped barre chord’

Here are the chord boxes for both of these chords.

Fm7 Guitar Chord (Em7 Shape)

Fm7

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

  • Barre your first finger across all of the strings on the 1st fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Strum all the strings.

Fm7 Guitar Chord (Am7 Shape)

Fm7 guitar chord

  • Barre your 1st finger across from the A string (5th string) to the high E string (1st string) on the 7th fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 10th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 9th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

We refer to these chords as the ‘Em7 shape’ and ‘Am7 shape’ because these are the chord shapes these barre chords are based on.

New to barre chords? Check out this article: How To Play Barre Chords

Barre chords aren’t easy, so if you’re a beginner you should steer clear and stick to ordinary chords.

If you’re struggling a bit with these two voicings, there are some slightly simpler versions of them we can try.

Fm7 Guitar Chord (Easy Version)

Here is a simplified version of the ‘Em7 shaped barre chord’:

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 10.21.53

Here, we’re still barring the chord, but we’re not having to barre all six strings. This is slightly easier as you don’t have to reach over to any other notes on the fret board.

If you still find this chord hard, try fretting each note with each finger.

You could also try this cool chord voicing:

fm7 guitar chord

To play this chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 1st fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 1st fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 1st fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

The principle here is the same ie. we’ve simplified the ‘Em7 shaped barre chord’, but kept the lowest note in and left out the highest.

Let’s check out some easier verisons of the ‘Am7 barre shape’.

Fm7 Guitar Chord (Easy Am7 Shape)

fm7 guitar chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 8th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 8th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 9th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 8th fret of the high E string. (1st string.)

If you find this chord difficult, try and think of it as a D shape on the 8th fret with an extra note added on the 8th fret of the A string. (5th string.)

Just remember that you’re putting this D shape together using your 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers rather than your 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers.

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Fm7 Guitar Chord (Dm7 Shape)

fm7 guitar chord

This voicing is basically the open position Dm7 guitar chord but moved up by three frets.

Unlike the Em7 shape and the Am7 shape though, it doesn’t require a barre.

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Which version of the Fm7 guitar chord should you use?

fm7 guitar chord

It can depend on a number of things:

  • Which do you find easier?
  • Which sounds best for the song you’re playing?
  • Which is easiest to change to from the other chords in the song?

It’s best to have a go at all the different voicings. Try and find out which one is easiest for you.

Ideally you want to eventually reach a stage where you can play a number of different Fm7 guitar chords to suit a variety of different songs.

The Advantages of Barre Chords

The non-barred versions of the Fm7 guitar chord are easier to play, but you will likely find that if the song you’re learning has an Fm7 guitar chord in it then the other chords are going to be chords such as Ab, Db, Eb, Bb and so on. These chords are usuaully played as barre chords.

For this reason, you must learn the Fm7 barre chord. Although barre chords are tough, once you can play them, changing one barre chord to the other can be a lot easier than changing between non-barre chords.

Note: if you’re a beginner and you’ve encountered a song with chords like Fm7, Ab, Db etc, you will be better off using a capo and playing the song using simpler open position shapes. To learn more about capos, go here: How To Use A Capo

The great thing about barre chords is that, once you know a chord like the Fm7 guitar chord, you instantly know how to play eleven other minor 7 guitar chords.

This is because this shape is movable.

For example, if you encounter a song that uses F#m7, all you have to do is move your Fm7 guitar chord up one fret.

This technique works fantastically on the low E string (6th string) and A string. (5th string.)

Here is a handy diagram that shows you the root notes on the low E string. You can use this diagram to move the ‘Em7 shape barre chord’ around the fret board.

fm7 guitar chord

Here is a handy diagram that shows you the root notes on the A string. (5th string.) You can use this diagram to move the ‘Am7 shape barre chord’ around the fret board.

fm7 guitar chord

This is possible because of the ‘musical alphabet’.

If you want to learn more about the musical alphabet, check out this article: Guitar Notes & The Musical Alphabet

What’s the difference between Fm7 and Fm?

The difference between an Fm7 guitar chord and a normal Fm guitar chord is that Fm7 has an Eb note added to it.

Here are the notes in a Fm chord:

  • F (Root)
  • Ab (Minor 3rd)
  • C (5th)

Here are the notes in a Fm7 chord:

  • F (Root)
  • Ab (Minor 3rd)
  • C (5th)
  • Eb (Flattened 7th)

Can you see how the Fm7 guitar chord has an Eb added to it?

Soundwise, what’s the difference?

The simplest way to describe the difference in sound is that the Fm7 guitar chord sounds a bit ‘grander’.

It’s a bigger chord this is because it has an extra note in it.

Minor 7 chords are very popular in styles of music such as jazz, funk and soul.

Can the Fm7 and Fm be used interchangeably?

Usually yes, this can depend on the sound you’re going for though.

For some styles of music such as jazz, funk and soul, an ordinary Fm might sound a bit plain.

In other cases though, an Fm7 chord might sound a bit much. Not all styles of music require big, grand sounding chords.

More often than not however, the two chords can be used fairly interchangeably.

The best way to see if one chord will work in place of the other is to try it and see how it sounds.

Tips for practicing the Fm7 guitar chord

Perhaps the most straight forward way to practice the Fm7 guitar chord is to pick a song with Fm7 in it and have a go at learning it.

Let’s take a look at some common chord progressions which feature the Fm7 guitar chord.

Changing between Fm7 and Abmaj7 

fm7 guitar chord

To turn our one finger Fm7 guitar chord into an Abmaj7, all we have to do is reach over with our 4th finger and press the high E string down at the 1st fret.

This is a fairly simple change and it has a nice jazzy sound to it.

Try the two chords in a sequence:

Fm7         | Abmaj7        | Fm7         | Abmaj7          |

You could also try adding an Eb7 chord.

The Eb7 Chord

Fm7 guitar chord

We can keep the barre at the 1st fret on when we change to and from this chord.

Try this sequence:

Fm7         | Eb7         | Abmaj7        | Fm7         |

If you’re at a stage where you feel comfortable playing the full ‘Em7 shaped barre chord’ of Fm7, you could try changing between Fm7 and Bb7.

fm7 guitar chord

Note how here, we’re keeping the barre at the 1st fret and simply changing the shape after it.

Try them in a sequence such as this:

Fm7       | Bb7        | Fm7        | Bb7        |

As for the ‘Am7 shaped barre chord’, you could try switching between Fm7 and Ab.

Like this:

fm7 guitar chord

You’ll notice here that all we have to do to change between Fm7 and Ab is add our little finger to the chord, on the A string at 11th fret.

This can be a bit of a stretch if you’re not used to it, but give it a go.

Try this change in a sequence such as:

Fm7        | Ab         | Fm7        | Ab          |

Be careful when playing these chords, make sure that you don’t strum the low E string. (6th string.) It will clash horribly.

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Dm7 Guitar Chord: 7 Ways To Play This Chord

Want to know how to play a Dm7 guitar chord? You’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 7 essential ways to play the Dm7 guitar chord.
  • The no1 practice tip that will enhance your musicality and progress.
  • 3 cool guitar songs which will make you sound amazing.

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The most common voicing of Dm7 is the open position Dm7 guitar chord. Here it is:

dm7

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

If there’s one Dm7 guitar chord you should definitely learn, it’s this one.

There are two ways that you can play this chord, you can either use your 1st, 2nd and 3rd finger.

Or, if you’re up for a challenge, try barring over the B (2nd string) and high E string (1st string) with your 1st finger, whilst still using your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)

Not sure which guitar string is which? Check out this lesson: Guitar String Notes – The Ultimate Guide

If you’re a new guitarist, try this voicing of the Dm7 guitar chord. The correct name for this chord is ‘Dsus9’. Even though the name of this chord sounds complicated, it’s actually one of the easiest chords you can play on guitar.

Here it is:

dm7 guitar chord

  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Strum from the D string. (4th string.)

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Other Ways To Play Dm7

There’s a couple of other ways we can play the Dm7 guitar chord. Let’s take a look at them.

Here’s the first voicing:

dm7 guitar chord

You may notice that this is a D chord which has been moved up to the 5th fret. So, if you already know how to play a D, this is a really simple way to play Dm7.

To learn the D chord, go here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The D Chord On Guitar

Like the regular Dm7 guitar chord, this voicing has the open D string as its root note.

Another way you can play the Dm7 guitar chord is like this:

dm7 open at 8th fret

Like the previous two voicings, this one features the open D string as its root/bass note, but the actual fretted shape is higher up the fretboard.

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Which Dm7 Guitar Chord Should I Use?

This depends on a few things:

  • Which of them sounds best?
  • Which of them is nearest to the other chords in the song?
  • Which of them is easiest to play?

By no means should you feel limited to one of these voicings per song. If you think one of these voicings sounds good in the verse, but a different one sounds better in the chorus for example, then go for it.

The hardest part about strumming these chords is missing out the E and A strings. To learn how to do this, go here:

dm7 guitar chord

Dm7 Guitar Chord (Barre Chords)

If you’re an intermediate student, you may well be ready to try out some barre chords.

A barre chord serves a similar function to a capo. However, instead of using the capo to barre over a fret. You’re using your first finger.

Barring technique is tricky, if you find this difficult, watch this video for some essential tips and tricks from Mike:

Barre chords are tough on the fingers. Steer clear if you’re a beginner and stick with the open position shapes to begin with.

Let’s take at look at some Dm7 barre chords.

The two most common barre chords of Dm7 are:

  • Dm7 (Am7 barre shape)
  • Dm7 (Em7 barre shape)

Let’s learn them.

Dm7 (Am7 Barre Shape)

dm7 guitar chord

Dm7 (Em7 Barre Shape)

dm7 barre chord 10th fret

For more info on barre chords, check out this guitar lesson: How To Play Barre Chords

If you find these voicings too difficult, check out this voicing of the Dm7 guitar chord.

Dm7 Guitar Chord (1 Finger Barre)

dm7 guitar chord

With this voicing, you only have to barre across the top four strings. If you still find this voicing difficult, eliminate the barre and try and play this chord with four fingers. (1 finger per string.)

This voicing of Dm7 is bright and snappy, therefore it is perfect for styles of music such as funk, reggae and soul.

Barre Chord Tips

When learning the Dm7 guitar chord, it’s important that you can play the open position chords first, BEFORE you move onto barre chords.

When looking at barre chords, you must be patient with yourself. Here are some essential tips which will help you master barre chords.

  • Keep your thumb in the middle of the neck
  • Use your first finger and thumb to clamp the guitar neck. Try to think of your hand like a clothes peg, squeezing the chord together.
  • Don’t touch the guitar neck with the palm of your hand

In short, your hand should look like this when doing barre chords:

dm7 guitar chord

Not like this:

dm7 guitar chord

Barre Chords or Open Chords?

Given how many cool open position Dm7 guitar chord voicings we have, you might be forgiven for wondering why we need to bother with these tricky barre chords at all.

Open position chords are easier, however barre chords have more versatility.

Barre chords are ‘movable shapes’. This means that you can play over 11 different chords off of one simple chord shape.

For example, if you know a Dm7 barre chord then all you have to do is move it down two frets and you have a Cm7 barre chord or move it up two frets and you have an Em7 barre chord.

In the long run, it’s worth learning barre chords if you want to expand your chord vocabulary.

What’s The Difference Between Dm7 and Dm?

The difference between a Dm7 guitar chord and a plain, ordinary Dm guitar chord is that Dm7 has an extra note.

The notes in a Dm chord are:

  • D (Root)
  • F (Minor 3rd)
  • A (5th)

The notes in a Dm7 chord are:

  • D (Root)
  • F (Minor 3rd)
  • A (5th)
  • C (Flattened 7th)

The only difference between these chords is that there’s a C note in the Dm7.

Another way you can think of Dm7 is that it is an F chord with a D note in the bass.

The notes in an F chord are:

  • F (Root)
  • A (Minor 3rd)
  • C (5th)

Where as the notes in a Dm7 chord are:

  • D (Root)
  • F (Minor 3rd)
  • A (5th)
  • C (Flattened 7th)

Can you see how the notes of the F chord fit within the Dm7 chord?

Soundwise, what is the difference?

The main difference between these two chords is that Dm7 sounds more sophisticated than a regular Dm chord. It’s a ‘bigger’ chord because of that extra note.

The difference between the two can be subtle, but it can be very effective.

dm7 guitar chord

Are Dm and Dm7 interchangeable?

Yes, however it’s a matter of personal taste and whether it is stylistically appropriate.

You might not always require the big grand sound of a Dm7. A standard Dm may be just fine. However, you might want the big grand sound of the Dm7 guitar chord.

Dm7 is very popular in styles of music such as jazz, funk and soul etc. These are all genres which are known for their bigger chords.

If you want to know whether a Dm7 guitar chord will work in place of a normal Dm guitar chord then the best way is to just try it.

What’s The Best Way To Practice The Dm7 Guitar Chord?

Because Dm7 is basically an F with a D in the bass, you can change easily between Dm7 and F.

Let’s revisit the first Dm7 guitar chord and compare it to an F guitar chord:

dm7 guitar chord

Notice how we only have to add one finger to the Dm7 guitar chord to turn it into an F chord.

If you aren’t quite up to pressing those two strings down with just one finger, you can try the Dsus9 instead.

By opening up that high E string, this also turns the F chord into a F major 7 chord.

dsus9 and fmaj7

These chords have a nice jangly, atmospheric sound. Despite their complicated names they are actually easier to play than the normal Dm7 and F chords.

When playing these chords, try and practice moving between them.

Like this:

  • Play each chord for 8 beats.
  • Play each chord for 4 beats.
  • Play each chord for 2 beats.
  • Play each chord for 1 beat.

This is one of the best ways to practice guitar chords, it may seem difficult at first. But, you will become a better guitarist if you do this.

To learn more about guitar chords, go here: Guitar Chords: The Ultimate Guide

What Keys Does The Dm7 Guitar Chord Appear In?

Dm7 appears in three keys: F, C and Bb.

It explains which chords belong in which keys and why, as well as how to figure out the key of a song by looking at the chords.

To learn more about guitar keys, check out this article: Guitar Keys – An Essential Guide

Learning Songs Which Feature The Dm7 Guitar Chord

One of the best ways to practice the Dm7 guitar chord is to learn songs which use that chord. Let’s go through some examples.

‘Scar Tissue’ by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Here’s the chord progression:

| F            | Dm7        |

This song is perfect for beginner guitarists as it uses the same chords all the way through.

To learn this song in more detail, go here: Scar Tissue Tab

‘Like A Rolling Stone’ by Bob Dylan

The verse to the song goes like this:

| C   Dm7 | Em  F   | G          | G            |

For a full chord sheet of this song, go here: Like A Rolling Stone – Chord Sheet

‘Price Tag’ by Jessie J

The chords in this song are:

|F          | Am        | Dm7         | Bb         |

The Bb chord can be difficult for beginners, to learn it go here: Bb Guitar Chord For Beginners

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The Quiz

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

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Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

Learn about the National Guitar Academy: About Us

Visit our YouTube channel for fun guitar videos.

Join us on Facebook for daily guitar tips.

Listen to our Learn Guitar Podcast for rapid guitar progress.

Check out our free chord lessons.

 

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How To Play The A Bar Chord

Looking to learn the A bar chord? You’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 7 essential ways to play the A bar chord.
  • 6 must-know tips for clean & easy barre chords
  • The no1 secret to learning chords in ALL keys.
  • 3 practice tips that will boost your guitar progress.

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What’s the difference between the A bar chord and the normal A chord?

The difference between a bar chord and a normal chord is that the former involves us pressing down on more than one string with the same finger.

This technique is called ‘barring’.

With a ‘normal’ chord, we only press down one string with each of our fingers.

This technique of barring allows us to access chords higher up the fret board rather than confining us to the first few frets.

To learn more about barre chords, go here: Barre Chords: The Ultimate Guide

Why bother learning the A bar chord? Why not just use the normal chord?

Here are a few reasons why you should learn the A bar chord:

  • Learning just one version of a chord can limit your vocabulary. As a guitarist, you must be ready for ANY musical situation.
  • Different voicings of chords are more suitable for certain genres. (Higher voiced chords are perfect for funk, where as lower voiced chords are great for rock.)
  • Knowing a variety of guitar chords enhances your chord knowledge.

a bar chord

However, most importantly bar chords are movable shapes. This means that you can play ANY chord off of just one chord shape.

Once you’ve learned the A bar chord, you’ve instantly learned 11 other barre chords. Learning barre chords makes your guitar journey easier.

In many ways, learning barre chords marks a guitarists transition from beginner to intermediate.

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 100,000 other guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

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Learning The A Bar Chord

The most common way to play an A bar chord is the, “E shaped barre chord”.

Here it is:
Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 14.24.21

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

We refer to this as the E shaped bar chord, because the shape we make with our 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers after the bar is an E chord shape.

Let’s compare, here’s a regular E chord:

Can you see how this shape fits in within the regular A bar chord?

If you’re struggling with this chord, here’s a few tips:

Get your thumb round the back of the neck.

When playing a bar chord, your thumb should look a bit like this:

a bar chord

NOT like this:

a bar chord

In the first image, the thumb is moved down the back of the neck to the middle and is pressing the back of the neck with just the tip/print.

In the second image the thumb is wrapped round the back of the neck and is peaking out over the top of the fretboard.

It’s very difficult to keep your barring finger straight and to stretch out and form a chord shape with your other fingers with this sort of deathgrip on the neck.


Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

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  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

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Still Finding It Difficult? Check Out These Essential Barre Chord Tips From Mike:

Easy A Bar Chord

Here’s a easier way of playing the A bar chord.

a bar chord

This version of the chord leaves out the low E string. (6th string.) To play this bar chord, you only have to barre the top two strings. The B string (2nd string) and the high E string. (1st string.)

This still sounds good and can make life just that little bit easier if you’re finding the transition from normal chords to bar chords too difficult.

The important thing here though is to be careful not to strum that low E string.

That’s the catch with making chords easier for our fretting hand, sometimes it makes things more difficult for our strumming hand.

Other Types of A Bar Chord

Although the E shaped A bar chord is the most common, it’s by no means the only way of playing an A bar chord.

Let’s have a look at some other shapes.

A Bar Chord – Higher Octave Voicing

This A bar chord is exactly the same as a standard open chord. However, we’ve just moved it up 12 frets.

a bar chord

To play this chord:

  • Place your 1st finger on the 12th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Barre your 3rd finger across the 14th fret of the D (4th string), G (3rd string) and B string. (2nd string.)

Alternatively you could play each string with a different finger, however it is a bit of squeeze.

The easiest way to play this chord is with your 3rd finger as a barre. This voicing of the A bar chord gives us a very bright, snappy sound and is great for styles of music like funk.

If you find this chord hard, try this voicing:

a bar chord

This shape is a great way to ease yourself into the idea of barring if you’re struggling to master this technique. With this shape, you only have to worry about one finger.

You can either barre this shape with your:

  • 1st finger.

Or:

  • 3rd finger.

The 1st finger may well be easier, plus it leaves your other fingers free to add extra notes to the chord if you’re feeling creative.

To give this chord extra oomph, you can leave the A string open.

A Bar Chord (D Shape)

d shaped a barre chord

This A bar chord is a variation on our standard D shape.

To play this chord:

  • Barre your first finger across the G (3rd string), B (2nd string) and high E string (1st string) on the 9th fret.
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 10th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 11th fret of the D string. (4th string.)

This is another great voicing if you’re struggling to bar across all six strings. Like the previous A bar chord, this one has a bright, percussive sound.

A Bar Chord (C Shape)

This one is very similar to the D shaped bar chord, except we’ve added an extra finger.

a bar chord

To play this chord:

  • Barre your first finger across the G (3rd string), B (2nd string) and high E string (1st string) on the 9th fret.
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 10th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 11th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 12th fret of the A string. (5th string.)

Notice how this chord uses the shape of a C chord after the barre. This can be a bit of a stretch so take your time with it.

A Bar Chord (G Shape)

a bar chord

To play this chord:

  • Place your 4th finger on the 5th fret of the low E string. (6th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Barre your 1st finger across the 2nd fret of the D (4th string), G (3rd string) and B string. (2nd string.)

If you’re struggling to reach that 5th fret with the 4th finger, you could try leaving the low E string out and just play the middle four strings.

Which A Bar Chord Should You Use?

This can depend on a number of things.

A good rule of thumb is to:

  • Choose the A bar chord that is nearest to the chord you are changing from or too. Ideally you don’t want to be leaping from a chord at the 2nd fret up to a chord at the 12th fret and then back down.

Another thing that might affect your choice of A bar chord is the genre.

  • For example, if you’re playing rock you may want to use a low voicing of the A bar chord.
  • Or if you’re playing funk, it may be a good idea to use a higher voicing.

You might even change voicings within the same song in order to provide some variety.

How Do I Practice The A Bar Chord?

One of the best ways to practice the A bar chord is to:

  • Choose a song you know with an A chord in it and try playing it using the A bar chord instead of the open A chord.

You might even find it easier to change the other chords of the song into bar chords as well.

That said, bar chords can be hard work to play at first so sometimes just sticking to one bar chord per song is a good idea.

You could also try:

  • Playing the A bar chord as an arpeggio as well as strumming it. To do this, play each note in the chord separately.

When you play a chord as an arpeggio you can hear if there are any notes that aren’t ringing out clearly.

Movable Barre Chord Shapes

One of the best things about barre chords is that they are movable shapes. To change the key of a barre chord, you must change the root note of a chord.

To do this, you must move the chord to a different fret. For reference, here are ALL of the notes on a guitar:

guitar notes

To learn the fretboard in detail, go here:Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How Do I Use This Diagram?

Okay, so let’s apply this to the E shaped A bar chord.

Let’s say that you wanted to play a Bb chord.

Currently the E shaped A bar chord starts on the 5th fret.

If you look at the diagram, the very next fret on the low E string is a Bb note. So to play a Bb chord, all you need do is move the A bar chord up a fret.

Let’s apply this to another chord, the ‘F#’ chord.

All you have to do is find where the ‘F#’ note, and move your E shaped barre chord to that fret. In this case, you will must move the A bar chord to the 2nd fret.

Pro Tip!

If you find this diagram hard to read, just concentrate on the 3rd, 5th and 7th frets. This is usually where the fret markers are on the side of a guitar neck.

To remember the note names on the low E string, just remember the phrase ‘GAB’. This relates to the note of each fret.

  • G. (3rd fret.)
  • A. (5th fret.)
  • B. (7th fret.)

To remember the note names on the A string, just remember the phrase ‘CDE’.

  • C. (3rd fret.)
  • D. (5th fret.)
  • E. (7th fret.)

Once you have these mastered, learning the fretboard will be a breeze.

Can I Do This With Other Chord Shapes?

Yes, this also works with the following chords:

  • The A shaped barre chord.
  • The C shaped barre chord.
  • The D shaped barre chord.
  • The G shaped barre chord.

All you have to do change the key of the chord is:

  • Find the root note within your chord shape.
  • Find the root note you want to go to.
  • Move your shape to the new root note.

If you want to find the root note of a chord, look for the red dots within the chord diagram. This is the root note.

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How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

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How To Play A C Bar Chord

Want to learn how to play a C bar chord? You’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • The two most common ways to play a C bar chord.
  • 3 essential tips for clean & easy barre chords.
  • The no1 secret to learning all guitar chords.
  • 2 must-know ninja chord hacks that boost progress.

Over 100,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

What is the difference between a C bar chord and a open C chord?

c bar chord

The difference between a barre chord and a open chord is that when you play barre chords you have to play more than one string with the same finger.

When you play an open C chord, you don’t have to do this.

Because we have to press down more than one string with the same finger, this means barre chords are tougher.

In many ways, barre chords mark the transition from beginner guitarists to intermediate guitarists.

If you’re interested in learning more about bar chords, go here: Barre Chords: The Ultimate Guide

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What do I need to learn the C bar chord?

Learning more than one C chord enhances your fret board knowledge.

Sometimes we might want to play a high up funky version of a chord. Other times we might prefer a low down rocky version of a chord.

Bonus Barre Chord Tip

By knowing one bar chord, we automatically know eleven other bar chords. This is because a bar chord is a movable shape.

For example, if we move a C bar chord up by one fret it becomes a C# barre chord and if we move it down by one fret it becomes a B barre chord.

This is especially important because we don’t have open position versions of either of those chords. If we want to play them, we have to use barre chords.

This makes barre chords one of the most useful tools in a guitarists toolbox.

c bar chord

The two most common ways to play a C bar chord

The two most common ways to play a C bar chord are:

  • The E shape barre chord.
  • The A shape barre chord.

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

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The E Shaped C Bar Chord

c bar chord

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

To play this chord, you must use your:

  • 1st finger to barre across all of the strings on the 8th fret.
  • 2nd finger to press the G string (3rd string) at the 9th fret.
  • 3rd finger to press the A string (the 5th string) at the 10th fret.
  • 4th finger to press the D string (the 4th string) at the 10th fret.

Our 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers are forming an E chord shape after the bar. That’s why we call this an E shaped bar chord.

The barring finger functions a bit like a capo does.

If you’re struggling to get that first finger to barre across the entire fret, here’s a couple of useful tips:

Your thumb should be round the back of the neck. Like this:

c bar chord

Not like this:

c bar chord

Note that also, only the tip or print of the thumb should ideally be touching the guitar neck, not the rest of the thumb or the palm of the hand.

Think of your hand as clamping the neck like a clothes peg rather than gripping it like a fist.

Follow this advice and you’ll find that your first finger will straighten out more easily and your other fingers will spread out further.

For more barre chord tips, watch this video:

The A Shape C bar Chord

c bar chord

Notice how this chord uses a barre at the 3rd fret with an A shape after it. You only need to bar your 1st finger across five strings here, not all six.

Some people find that stretch over with the 2nd finger a bit much, so another way we can do the A shaped C bar chord is like this:

c bar chord

With this version we’re barring the 5th fret using the 3rd finger and only pressing one note down with the 1st finger.

We don’t play either of the E strings in this version of the C bar chord. Try both and decide for yourself which one is easier.

Easier Ways To Play The C Bar Chord

If the above two shapes are a bit much, they can be made easier. With the E shaped C bar chord, we can leave out the low E string.

This means that you only need to barre the top two strings. Not all six.

Here’s the chord box:

c bar chord

This is easier and is a good stepping stone towards the full C bar chord. The only thing to be careful of with this version is to not strum the low E string.

As for the A shaped C bar chord, you could try this:

c bar chord

Here, we’ve left out the low E and A strings.

Technically this means this chord isn’t a barre chord any more, but it will still do the job. This version will serve as a good step towards the full version of the chord.

Another option you have is this:

c bar chord

Here, we’re just using one finger to bar across the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings at the 5th fret.

This can be a good introduction to barring as it allows you to focus on pressing down the barred strings without having to worry about playing any other strings.

You may well notice that these chords are a bit easier, but you’ll also notice, they can sound a bit thinner.

That’s the price we pay for simplifying a chord unfortunately. Sometimes we lose some of the chord’s fullness.

c bar chord

Other Voicings of The C Bar Chord

While the E shape and the A shape are the most common ways to do the C bar chord, there are others.

This one uses the G shape:

c bar chord

This voicing transitions nicely from the one finger version we just looked at. The stretch over the 7th and 8th frets can be a tough one, so don’t worry if you struggle with this at first.

You can try leaving the low E string out and just play the middle four strings if it makes life easier.

Here’s another version, this time using the D shape.

c bar chord

This one’s very high up the fretboard, so ideal for styles of music like funk.

Here, we only have to barre across the first three strings. Make sure that you leave out the two lower strings (the low E  and A strings) when you strum.

Which C Bar Chord Should You Use?

It entirely depends on the circumstances. A good rule of thumb is to try and go for the chord shape that’s nearest to where you already are on the fret board.

Leaping all over the fretboard can be very frantic and you can easily lose your place and make mistakes. Going for the nearest available voicing of a chord is far easier.

Another good rule of thumb is to play what sounds best.

A genre like funk may suit a higher up version of the C bar chord, whereas hard rock might suit a lower voicing (such as the A shape).

In some songs we might even switch between the two.

Ideally as a guitarist, you want to be able to get to a place where you are able to play whichever version of a chord is best suited to the task at hand.

c bar chord

How To Practice The C Bar Chord

The most straight forward way to practice a C bar chord is to replace all your open C chords with a C barre chord.

You may even find it easier to change the other chords into bar chords as well.

Moving The C Bar Chord

If you know your musical alphabet then you can move your C bar chord around the guitar fret board to find any major chord.

To learn more about the musical alphabet, have a look at this article: Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

You can also use this handy fretboard diagram:

Guitar String Notes

If you’re using the E shaped bar chord then you can find the root note you want on the low E string.

If you’re using the A shaped bar chord then you can find the root note you want on the A string.

So if you wanted to turn an A shaped C bar chord into and A shaped ‘D barre chord’, you’d simply move it up from the 3rd fret to the 5th fret on the A string. (5th string.)

A useful tip is to remember that the first three ‘dotted’ frets on the guitar are G, A and B on the E string and C, D and E on the A string.

As a challenge, try moving your E shaped barre chord to the following frets on the low E string. (6th string.)

  • 3rd fret. (G note.)
  • 5th fret. (A note.)
  • 7th fret. (B note.)

Now, move your A shaped barre chord to the following frets on the A string. (5th string.)

  • 3rd fret. (C note.)
  • 5th fret. (D note.)
  • 7th fret. (E note.)

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

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Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

Learn about the National Guitar Academy: About Us

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G Flat Minor Chord For Beginners

Want to learn how to play the G flat minor chord? You’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 6 essential ways to play the G flat minor chord.
  • The no1 secret to learning chords quickly.
  • 3 tips and tricks which are guaranteed to boost your guitar progress.

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What is a G Flat Minor Chord?

A G flat minor chord, is simply:

  • A minor chord with a G flat root note.

In music, chords are broken up into two main categories, major and minor.

There are twelve of each.

For today’s lesson we’re going to be focusing on the G flat minor chord.

Want to learn other chords? Go here: 14 Easy Chords For Beginners

How G Flat Minor is usually written

G flat minor looks like this when written in music:

g lat minor chord

Because we don’t have a flat symbol on a standard computer keyboard, we just use a lower case ‘b’.

A G flat minor chord is the same thing as an F sharp minor chord (F#m). They’re what’s known as ‘enharmonic equivalents’ ie. the same chord but with a different name.

How do I play a G Flat Minor Chord?

The two most common ways to play a G flat minor chord are:

  • The Em shaped barre chord.
  • The Am shaped barre chord.

Both of these chords are barre chords. If you’re new to this technique, watch this video for some tips and tricks on how to play barre chords:

G Flat Minor Chord (Em Shape)

To do a Gbm using an Em shape, it helps if we know the Em shape.

To learn an Em chord, go here: Easy Ways To Play An Em Chord

We’re barring this chord at the second fret and putting an Em shape after the barre.

The root note appears three times in this chord shape:

  • 2nd fret on the low E string. (6th string.)
  • 4th fret on the D string. (4th string.)
  • 2nd fret on the high E string. (1st string.)

 

g flat minor chord

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

  • Barre your first finger across all the strings on the 2nd fret.
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 4th fret on the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 4th fret on the D string. (4th string.)

Barre chords are tricky, so don’t fret if you can’t play this chord straight away. You’ll get there! 🙂

G Flat Minor Chord (Am Shape)

As with the Em shape, to do an barre chord with the Am shape, we need to know the Am shape.

To learn the Am chord, go here: Am Guitar Chord For Beginners

The root note (Gb) appears twice in this chord shape:

  • 9th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • 11th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)

g flat minor

  • Barre your first finger on the 9th fret. Start the barre on the A string (5th string) and continue it to the high E string (1st string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 11th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 11th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 10th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

Now we’ve learned two of the most common ways to play a G flat minor chord, let’s take a look at some easier versions.

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

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G Flat Minor Chord Version 1

This first chord is perfect for beginners. Here are a few reasons why:

  • It’s all in one fret.
  • It only uses 3 fingers.
  • It’s basically an ‘A’ shape moved over by one string.

gbm small

 

  • Place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the E string. (1st string.)
  • Strum the top 3 strings.

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G Flat Minor Chord Version 2

This G flat minor chord is much higher up.

gbm small

  • Place your 1st finger on the 9th fret of the high E string. (1st string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 10th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 10th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Strum the top 3 strings.

For more amazing acoustic guitar chords, go here: 6 Amazing Chords For Acoustic Guitars

G Flat Minor Chord Version 3

This chord is very similar to the previous shape.

All we’ve done is add one extra finger.

g flat minor chord

We’ve added a finger on the 11th fret on the D string. (the 4th string.)

The best way to play this chord is to use the 4th finger for the 3rd string and the 3rd finger for the 4th string.

G Flat Minor Chord Version 4

The final chord we’re going to learn has a rich tone.

g flat minor chord

  • Place your 1st finger on the 6th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 7th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 7th fret of the B string. (2nd string.)

What’s the fastest way to learn guitar chords?

The fastest way to learn guitar chords is to learn stepping-stone versions of chords.

Stepping-stone versions are easier versions of more advanced chords.

Here’s a classic example:

C sharp guitar chords

Ever wonder why playing guitar feels so good? Find out why in this article by Guitar World: 10 Reasons Playing Guitar Is Good For Your Mind And Body

I don’t want to learn easy versions. Give me the hard stuff!

Patience young padawan. Learning easier chords is the secret to successful guitar playing.

When you learn how to play easy chords, you are gradually developing your technique and dexterity.

When you come to learn more advanced chords, these will be FAR easier to play.

Guitar Chords Hacks

If you’re struggling to learn guitar chords, here are a few simple chord hacks which will boost your progress.

Chord Hack #1 Use The Tips of Your Fingers To Play A Chord

Make sure you use your tips when you play guitar chords, this will give you ultimate clarity.

Chord Hack #2 Use Your Arm To Play Chords

Most people think playing chords comes from just using their hands, however the secret to clear guitar chords is using your arm.

Make sure you:

  • Extend your fretting arm, don’t let it tuck into your chest.
  • Use your whole wrist to reach around chords.
  • Move your whole hand around the fret board!

If you can’t play a chord, all you have to do is adjust your wrist or arm.

Chord Hack #3 Clench your fist when you play a chord right

This engages your muscle memory. When you play a chord correctly, squeeze your first and your hand will be able to remember the chord.

Here are some other cool-sounding Gbm chords
.
g-flat-minor-chord

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The Quiz

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Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

Learn about the National Guitar Academy: About Us

Visit our YouTube channel for fun guitar videos.

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How To Play Guitar Songs

Want to know how to play guitar songs? You’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 2 essential tips that will enhance your chord reading skills.
  • A 5 step guide which will help you learn guitar songs quickly.
  • 3 must-know strumming lessons that will enhance your musicality.
  • The secrets of guitar tab.

Over 100,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

How To Play Guitar Songs #1 How Guitar Songs Are Written

You may have noticed that the way songs are often written out for guitar is quite different to how they’re written out for other instruments.

We often don’t have sheet music for a start.

Broadly, guitar playing can be divided into two camps: chord playing and melody/riff playing.

The former is called rhythm guitar and the latter is called lead guitar.

We’re going to look at rhythm guitar first.

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How To Play Guitar Songs #2 Learn To Read Chords

If we’re going to play chords, obviously we need to know how to read chords.

Chords are usually written out for us in diagrams that look a bit like this:

how to play guitar songs

These diagrams are called chord boxes.

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

Let’s break each image down:

  • The vertical lines in these diagrams represent our strings.
  • The horizontal lines represent our frets.
  • The circles with numbers in tell us where our fingers go.
  • Strings marked ‘X’ are not played.
  • Strings marked ‘O’ are played open (ie. not fretted).

You will usually find a layout of all the chords in a song at the top of the page.

how to play guitar songs

Other times, the chord boxes are written as and when the chord occurs in the song. This is especially common in piano music. For example:how to play guitar songs

There are pros and cons to both.

If the chord boxes are all written at the beginning of the song sheet, you’ll need to make sure you have them all learned before you start having a go at the song, otherwise you’ll have to keep referring back to the top of the page.

If you want to learn how to play guitar songs from a book, it’s best to pick a book that’s written specifically for guitarists, not a book written for pianists that happens to feature guitar chords as a bonus.

A lot of the time, guitar songs are written out as lyric sheets with the guitar chords written above the words like this example (‘Songbird’ by Oasis):

how to play guitar songs

This can be quite handy, as it means we can use the words as a helpful guide as to where to change chords, be warned though, some internet song sheets suffer from justification.

By this we mean that the chords and lyrics may get knocked out of sync with one another.

If you buy a chord songbook from a music shop instead of looking for song sheets on the internet, the words and chords are most likely to be in the right places.

This sort of layout is perfect for people who are looking to both play and sing the songs they’re learning, though even if you’re not a singer, singing the words along (even badly!) will help you know when to change chords.

c major scale guitar

Here’s a solid step-by-step guide for learning how to play guitar songs:

  • Find out what the chords of the song are.
  • Learn those chords.
  • Practice changing between those chords.
  • Learn to strum those chords in a way that’s suitable for the song.
  • Practice the song along to the record.

How To Play Guitar Songs #3 Strumming

Using a song sheet is perfect for identifying chord changes, however it doesn’t tell you WHAT to strum.

Strumming is what makes your chords come alive!

By far the best way to figure out how to strum the chords of a song is to listen to the song and copy the strumming by ear.

It’s important to note though that what we are trying to capture the ‘feel’ of the song, not a strum-by-strum carbon copy recreation of the record.

The former is a fun and straight forward way of learning to strum a song that allows you to add a bit of your own personality into it.

The latter is a very long winded and largely pointless exercise.

Try not to get lost in how many down strokes and how many up strokes you should be playing and instead focus on playing something that feels right and sounds right.

To learn more about strumming, go here: How To Strum A Guitar Correctly

This all very much ties in with playing the song along with the original record.

There’s no better way to know whether or not what you’re playing is in time by playing along with the record.

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

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  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly.

How To Play Guitar Songs #4 Tablature

Sometimes chords are written using tablature instead of using chord boxes.

To learn more about guitar tabs, go here: How To Read Guitar Tabs

How To Play Guitar Songs #5 How Lead Guitar Is Written

As mentioned earlier, lead guitar is where we play melodies or riffs or basically anything that uses (mostly) single notes rather than full chords.

Obviously chord boxes aren’t going to be any use to us for this sort of thing.

Instead, we need to use tab.

Here’s a classic example of a tab:

kids guitar lessons

Notice what we have here is lines and numbers.

We have six lines, each of these represent our guitar strings.

The lowest string in the tab represents our low E string (the thickest string on the guitar).

Not sure which string is which? Check out this article for some help: Guitar String Notes – The Ultimate Guide

What about the numbers? As well as knowing which strings to play, we also need to know which fret to press those strings down at so that’s what the numbers are for.

So if we see a number ‘2’ on the ‘A’ string in the tab, this means we press the A string down at the second fret and play it.

If a string has a ‘0’ written on it, this means we play it open. We can think of this either as ‘0’, meaning zero frets or as simply ‘o’ for open.

how to play guitar songs

Why not just use normal sheet music?

Sheet music is good for what it is, but it doesn’t lend itself that well to guitar playing.

That’s why most guitarists prefer to use tab and chord boxes when learning how to play guitar songs.

They’re simpler and more straightforward.

Sheet music will tell us what note to play and how long that note lasts, but it won’t tell us where to find that note on the guitar, which is what we need to know.

Chord boxes and tab will tell us exactly where our fingers need to go.

One thing chord boxes and tab don’t tell us though is the rhythm of the song we’re learning.

To figure that out, we need to listen to the record and learn it by ear as we discussed in our section on strumming.

If you’re a beginner guitarist who already plays another instrument and can already read standard sheet music, a lot of tabs (the more professionally transcribed ones) come with sheet music as well, so you can always get the rhythm from the sheet music and the fingering from the tab.

If you’re particularly interested in why guitarists generally don’t read standard sheet music, here is a somewhat more in-depth article from Woodpecker Media on the subject: Why Guitarists Can’t Read Music

How To Play Guitar Songs #6 Song Structures

When we talk about the structure of a song, we’re talking about how many times we play each part and where we play each part.

For example, a song could go: verse / chorus / verse / chorus / verse / chorus

Or it could go: verse / verse / chorus / verse / chorus / verse / chorus

Or: verse / bridge / chorus / verse / bridge / chorus

Or: verse / chorus / verse / chorus / middle 8 / verse / chorus

Some structures are easier to follow than others, and of course, there’s no rule that says someone can’t write a song with an unusual or tricky structure.

If the chorus of a song is the same every time, chances are the person writing the song out won’t bother writing it out every time.

Instead they’ll just write something like: “chorus 2 (as chorus 1)“.

In a tab with sheet music, you may see markers like this at the beginning and end of certain sections:

how to play guitar songs

This simply means we play that section again.

This both saves the person transcribing the song from having to write the same bit out again.

Sometimes there might be an instruction such as “play 3 times” written just after such a section.

Obviously if we see this it means we play that section three times in total. If there’s no such instruction then we are to assume we just play the section twice.

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First and second time endings

Sometimes there is a slight variation in the ending of a repeated section.

To save the transcriber from having to transcribe the whole thing again just for the sake of this slightly different ending they sometimes use markings like this:

how to play guitar songs

See how the last two bars of the repeated section are marked with a number ‘1’ and the bar just after the repeat section is marked with a number ‘2’?

This tells us to replace the last two bars of the section with the bar marked ‘2’ on the second time around.

D.C. al Coda and D.S. al Coda

These are instructions you may see sometimes in guitar tabs.

So, what on Earth do they mean?

how to read guitar songs

Firstly, let’s explain what a ‘coda’ is.

A coda is simply the end bit of a song. Sometimes called an ‘outro’.

If we see the instruction: D.C. al Coda This means that we are to return to the beginning of the piece of music and play until we see the instruction: to coda, then we play the coda.

It’s simply a way of repeating the beginning bit of a song before playing the outro.

NB: A coda is either simply labelled ‘coda’ or it is marked with this symbol:

how to play guitar songs

So what about D.S. al Coda?

D.S. al Coda is the same principle, except instead of returning to the beginning of the song, we return to wherever the ‘S’ marker is written.

This is what it actually looks like:

how to play guitar songs

So if we see the instruction D.S. al Coda, we go to where this symbol is and then play until it says ‘to coda’,then we play the coda.

What about D.C. al fine and D.S al fine?

If you see ‘al fine’ instead of ‘al coda’ it’s the same principle except we don’t have a coda, so we just return to either the beginning (D.C) or the S symbol (D.S) and then play ’til it says ‘fine’. Then we finish.

Still a bit confused?

how to play guitar songs

It can take a little while to get your head around this kind of stuff, so take your time with it.

To be honest, one of the best ways to figure out the structure of a song is to listen to the song and simply count how many times you hear each bit.

There’s nothing wrong with getting a piece of paper out and writing “first riff x 4; second riff x 2” or similar on it if that’s what works for you.

This is one of the benefits of practicing along with the record. It helps us pick up the structure.

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Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

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Guitar Techniques: 8 Tricks Which Make You Sound Amazing

Want to learn some awesome guitar techniques? You’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 18 guitar tricks that will enhance your musicality and phrasing.
  • Guitar fundamentals such as; hammer-ons and pull-offs, string bending, sliding, fingerpicking, tapping & harmonics.
  • The no1 secret to playing guitar fast.

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1) Guitar Techniques: Hammer-ons & Pull-offs

Hammer-ons and pull-offs are a great technique for creating fluidity in your guitar playing.

To play a hammer-on you quite simply hammer your finger tip onto a string in order to produce a note, rather than pluck it with a guitar pick.

A pull-off is the reverse: when you produce a note by lifting your finger off the string.

Here’s a video of Andy playing the open E minor pentatonic scale using hammer-ons and pull-offs.

 If you’re a more advanced student, you might want to try using a closed position scale.

2) Guitar Techniques: Sliding

Sliding is exactly what it sounds like: playing a note then sliding your finger over to a higher or lower note.

To learn more about sliding technique, watch this video:

It’s important to be careful when sliding, not to ‘under-shoot’ or ‘over-shoot’ ie. slide too little or too far.

Make sure you end up at the fret you were heading for.

Sliding with chords

Sliding doesn’t just have to be done with single notes. It can also be done with chords.

If you’re an intermediate player, you might want to try sliding with barre chords.

Want to learn barre chords? Check out this article: Barre Chords: The Ultimate Guide

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

Sliding with a slide

Sliding is also sometimes done with something called a bottleneck or fingerslide and is very popular in styles like blues and country.

This is something you might want to try if you’re a more advanced student.

Check out this article if you’re interested in learning to play with a slide: 5 Essential Slide Guitar Lessons For Intermediate Guitarists

guitar techniques

3) Guitar Techniques: Vibrato

Vibrato is used to add character to your single note lines.

You can do this by simply pushing the string you’re fretting gently but quickly up and down while its ringing out.

To learn how to do this, watch this video:

You can also do vibrato using a whammy bar if your guitar has one. Just gently but quickly push the bar in and out as your note rings.

guitar techniques

Another slighly quirkier way to play vibrato is to press down the string behind the nut of the guitar.

Check out this video from Total Guitar to see how it’s done:

4) Guitar Techniques: Double-stops

A double-stop is where a guitarist plays two notes together, producing a short, sharp stabbing sound. They’re ideal for blues and old-style rock ‘n’ roll.

To play a double-stop we simply need to strum two notes together such as in this example:

guitar techniques

This exercise is based upon the A minor pentatonic or A blues scale.

5) Guitar Techniques: Arpeggios

An arpeggio is when we separate the notes of a chord out rather than playing them all in one strum.

This often gives us a jangly sound.

To play a basic arpeggio, simply pick a chord (preferably an ordinary open position chord) and try separating the notes out.

You can do them in order at first, but as you get more adventurous, you might want to try mixing the order of the notes about a bit.

To learn more about guitar arpeggios, go here: Guitar Arpeggios: The Ultimate Guide

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Kids Guitar Lessons: Everything You Need To Get Started On Your Guitar Journey

If kids guitar lessons are what you’re after, you’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 7 super-easy guitar chords that are perfect for kids or new guitar learners!
  • 6 easy songs which will make you sound amazing. (Complete with tabs and chord diagrams.)
  • The secrets of the guitar anatomy.

Your kids will love these free guitar lessons that are both fun and educational.

Although these are kids guitar lessons, you could have a go with them. Who knows? You might be tempted to take up the guitar as well!

Let’s go!

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Is your child old enough to learn guitar?

kids guitar lessons

If you ask us, about 9 or 10 is the best age to start learning guitar. However, plenty of kids start learning even younger (and let’s not forget those who learn later in life!).

Children younger than 5 will struggle with guitar and might manage better with a ukulele. If they manage well with the ukulele, they can always graduate onto a guitar when they’re bigger.

Luckily, guitars are available in a range of sizes. We cover them in this article: Guitar Sizes – A Guide To The 10 Sizes of Guitar

Check it out if you’re uncertain what guitar your child needs.

If you’re on the fence about whether your child should learn guitar or not, we’d recommend this article which goes through a number of the pros of learning an instrument such as building confidence, developing social skills, improving general academic skills, as well as discipline, patience and time management: The 6 Benefits Of Music Lessons

So, which bit of the guitar is which?

Before we get stuck into any chords, let’s very quickly learn which bit of the guitar is which.

This will help us avoid any confusion.

Here’s a useful diagram:

kids guitar lessons

The frets are the most importnat bit of the guitar for us to learn as they’re what we press the strings against.

What are the guitar string names?

kids guitar lessons

This phrase will help you remember the guitar string names:

Eddie.

Ate.

Dynamite.

Good.

Bye.

Eddie.

kids guitar lessonsor…

Elephants.

And.

Donkeys.

Grow.

Big.

Ears.

kids guitar lessons

You might have noticed, we have two E strings?

This might confuse you.

The thickest string is called the low E because the sound it makes is a low sound.

The thinnest string is called the high E because the sound it makes is a high sound.

To learn more about guitar string notes, go here: Guitar String Notes: The Ultimate Guide

NB: Your child’s guitar needs to be properly tuned. Little kids will struggle to do this themselves, so it’s a good idea to ask someone who already knows how to play guitar to help you out.

Here’s an article we have that will help you: How To Tune A Guitar

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Kids Guitar Lessons: Learn Super-Easy Chords

You may be asking, “What’s a chord?”

A chord is several strings played together instead of one string at a time.

In kids guitar lessons, these are the chords we like to teach them.

They’re ideal for smaller fingers.

Let’s try a G chord.

This chord only needs ONE finger.

kids guitar lessons

Here, the string we’re pressing is the thinnest string (the high E string) on the third fret.

You’ll notice on the diagram, the two thickest strings (the low E and the A strings) are marked with an ‘X’.

This tells us not to play those. Give it a go. Strum the G chord!

Want to learn how to read chord diagrams? Check out this article: How To Read Chord Boxes.

How was that?

If you’re struggling to not strum the ‘X’ marked strings, here’s a suggestion:

Strum lighter.

Strumming a guitar doesn’t need a load of wallop. Just a nice light strum will get the job done and give us a little more control of our playing.

If you have this sort of image of a guitarist in your head, try to forget it.

kids guitar lessons

This is more like it. Keeping the arm on the guitar body:

kids guitar lessons

It’s most likely easiest to strum using with your thumb or your index finger at the moment. However, as you progress, it’s FAR easier to use a guitar pick.

To learn more about guitar picks, go here: How To Hold A Guitar Pick In 3 Easy Steps

Let’s have a go at another chord.

This chord’s name is C. It’s perfect for beginners because it only uses 1 finger.

kids guitar lessons

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

We’re pressing down the second string (the B string) at the first fret here.

You’ll also notice, like with the G chord that some strings are marked ‘X’. As with the G, don’t play anything marked with an ‘X’.

Strum the C chord!

Now… don’t lift your finger off yet. There’s a super fast change we can make to turn the C chord into an Am chord.

kids guitar lessons

All we’ve done here is add the second finger to the second fret on the third string (the G string).

So changing between C and Am just means we lift the second finger up and down.

Have you  noticed that the G and the C chords sound quite happy and bright, but the Am sounds quite sad and moody?

That’s how we tell the difference between major chords and minor chords.

Minor chords sound sad.


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So now we’ve learned our first chords, it’s time to learn a song.

We’re going to look at a number of songs in these kids guitar lesson, so there should be something in here that you’ll enjoy playing.

If you’re a pop fan, you’ll love this song.

‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift

For this song, we need our Am, C and G chords.

If you need a reminder, here they are:

kids guitar lessons

Here’s a simple chord chart of the song:

| Am       |  C           | G          |              |

We want to play:

  • The Am chord four times.
  • The C chord four times.
  • The G chord eight times.

The sequence goes round and round and round and round. Try it!

Here’s a video demonstration to help you:

Let’s look at another song…

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5 Essential Slide Guitar Lessons For Intermediate Guitarists

Looking for slide guitar lessons? You’re in the right place!

In this free guitar lesson, you will learn:

  • Slide guitar fundamentals; what slide guitar is, how to hold a guitar slide and how to sound epic.
  • 2 super-cool guitar licks.
  • The no1 secret slide tuning which will make you sound amazing.

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Slide Guitar Lessons #1 What Is Slide Guitar?

Slide guitar is a type of guitar playing where instead of creating notes by pressing the strings against the frets, we create notes by running a slide across the strings.

slide guitar lessons

Slide guitar sounds awesome in styles of music such as blues and country, but it is by no means limited to those styles.

Slides are sometimes also called bottlenecks, because the original slides were made from old bottlenecks, but now-a-days, as well as glass slides you can get metal slides and ceramic slides.

Health & safety tip: do NOT attempt to make your own slide using an old bottle neck unless you have the necessary professional skills and equipment. Broken glass is sharp and dangerous.

Slide Guitar Lessons #2 How To Hold A Guitar Slide

If we’re going to make some cool sounds with our guitar slide, we need to make sure we’re holding it correctly.

Different players prefer putting their slide onto different fingers. Most commonly you’ll see slide guitarists with their slide on either their third (ring) finger or their fourth (pinky) finger.

In our opinion, the fourth finger is the best finger to wear the slide on as it leaves the rest of the fingers free to do other things like form chords.

Whichever finger you choose to use, you need to make sure you keep it straight.

It’s almost instinctive for us guitarists to want to bend our fingers in order to fret notes, but slide guitar is a very different ball-game.

You may find the slide clattering against the fretboard of the guitar when you begin as your finger instinctively tries to bend.

If this is the case, try to relax your hand and allow your finger to stay straight. Ideally we want to line the slide up so it’s perpendicular to the strings.

Like this:

slide guitar lessons

Not like this:

slide guitar lessons

We also want to lightly touch the strings behind the slide using the spare fingers. This is so we only produce one note from each string. Without dampening the strings behind the slide we can end up with an extra note that will most likely clash with our desired note.

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

Slide Guitar Lessons #4 Getting The Picking Hand In Position

Ideally, to attempt slide guitar, we need to already have a basic grasp of finger-picking on guitar.

If you’re new to finger-picking, go here: Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons – 5 Easy Ways To Sound Amazing

You could also use a thumb pick when playing slide guitar.

With slide guitar, we need the picking hand to be very very controlled. We won’t just be picking strings with it. We’ll also be muting them with it.

The simplest rule to follow is: keep the heel of your hand on the bridge of the guitar and just slightly on the strings, so they’re all palm muted.

You should be able to strum across all six-strings from this position with a simple arc-motion from your thumb and all the strings should sound muted.

Here’s a demonstration video:

Practice a few times until you can do it comfortably.

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Slide Guitar Lessons #3 Basic E Blues

Before we try anything complicated with slide guitar, we want to make sure we can produce some nice clean ‘A shaped’ chords using the slide.

First things first, let’s put down our slides and just make sure we have these chord shapes sorted.

Our chords are E, A and B. But we want to use our ‘A shape’ for all of them.

Like this:

slide guitar lessons

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

You should play all three of these chords using one finger (ie. a barre) and make sure you only play the fretted notes. No open strings.

Here’s the twelve bar blues sequence, just in case you’re unfamiliar with it.

| E             |                  |                  |                |

| A             |                  |E                |                |

|B              | A              | E               | B             |

Before you even think about using a slide to play this sequence, you first need to be able to play it competently using just a one finger barre.

You don’t want to be “umming and ahhing” about which chord comes next while also trying to figure out how to use the slide.

Make life easy on yourself and make sure you know the sequence.

With the picking hand…

Use the thumb to pluck the fourth string (the D string), the index finger to pluck the third string (the G string) and the middle finger to pluck the second string (the B string).

Don’t lift the heel of your hand off the bridge.

Use the joints of your fingers to make the plucking motion, not your entire arm.

Here’s a demonstration video to help you:

Now, let’s bring the slide into play

So, if you’re now totally happy that you know the chords, know the sequence and know what you’re doing with your picking hand, it’s time to bring the slide into play.

Instead of barring these chords down, we’re going to use the slide.

It’s important to note something here though:

We are not pressing the strings against the frets using the slide.

This cannot be stressed enough. What we’re actually doing is gently touching the strings directly over the fret with the slide.

  • You must place your slide directly over the fret. NOT over the wood of the fretboard where we’d normally fret a note.

The strings should not make any contact whatsoever with the frets or the fretboard when they are being played with a slide.

In slide guitar, the frets serve merely as markers to tell us where we are. They play no part in the creation of the notes we play.

Let’s try this.

We want to play the E blues sequence again, but using the slide.

Here’s a demonstration video to help you along:

Spend as much time as you need on this exercise.

Don’t rush onto anything more advanced until you’re totally happy with this.

            

Slide Guitar Lessons #4 Slide guitar in open D tuning

Open chord tunings are great for slide guitar playing.

Although a lot of people probably think of retuning their guitar as a bit of a fuss, once we’re in an open tuning playing slide guitar can be a great deal easier.

The tuning we’re going to use is: open D.

Open D tuning is (from low to high):

  • D. (6th string.)
  • A. (5th string.)
  • D. (4th string.)
  • F#. (3rd string.)
  • A. (2nd string.)
  • D. (1st string.)

Here’s the exercise we’re going to try:

slide guitar lessons

And here’s a video to help you along:

Much like with the previous exercise, take your time and make sure you’re completely happy with this one before attempting anything more advanced.

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Slide Guitar Lessons #5 Single string phrases

Isolating single strings when playing slide guitar can be quite tricky, but it’s by no means impossible.

This is where all this muting we’ve been talking about really becomes important.

It’s vital that we mute:

  • Behind the slide using our spare fingers
  • And where the strings meet the bridge using our picking hand

This is how we dull out those unwanted strings.

Here’s a cool slide lick for you to try out. It’s also in open D tuning.

slide guitar lessons

And here’s a video demonstration of it:

It’s important to remember though that the most fun can be had as a slide guitarist when improvising and experimenting.

Don’t get too caught up in learning exercises from tabs. Take these techniques and see what you can do with them.

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