How To Play A D Bar Chord

Want to learn the D bar chord? You’re in the right place! You’ve found the best D bar chord lesson on the web.

In this free guitar lesson you will learn:

  • 4 awesome ways to play the D bar chord.
  • 6 must-know lessons which will make your barre chords sound amazing.
  • 3 quick & easy practice tips that will boost progress.

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

  • D Bar Chord (E Barre Shape)
  • D Bar Chord (A Barre Shape) 

Let’s learn how to play them.

D Bar Chord (E Barre Shape)

We refer to this barre chord as the ‘E shape’ because the main structure of this chord is based off of an ‘E chord’.

To learn an E major chord, go here:4 Easy Ways To Play The E Chord On Guitar

  D_Chord_(E_Shape)_

To learn how to read guitar chords, go here: How To Read Guitar Chords: An Essential Guide 

  • Barre your first finger over the 10th fret. (You must barre over ALL the strings!)
  • Place your 3rd finger on the 12th fret of the A string. (5th string.)
  • Place your 4th finger on the 12th fret of the D string. (4th string.)
  • Place your 2nd finger on the 11th fret of the G string. (3rd string.)

D Bar Chord (A Barre Shape)

We refer to this D bar chord as the ‘A shape’ because it is based off an A chord.

To learn an A chord, go here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The A Chord On Guitar

D Barre Chord

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

Often, some people barre over the 7th fret with just their 3rd finger! This is a more advanced technique which can come in handy when changing chords quickly.

Why do these barre chords work?

The great thing about barre chords is that they are moveable shapes.

This means that you can use the EXACT same chord shape all over the fret board.

This works because you are changing the root note of the chord.

To change the key all you have to do is move it a different fret.

Moveable Barre Chord Shapes On The E String

To move the E shape D bar chord, you change the root note on the low E string.

Here are the root notes for the low E string:

d bar chord

For now, concentrate on moving this E shape barre chord to the following frets:

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

On most guitars these frets are labeled by a fret marker on the side of the neck. A good way to remember each note is to think of the word ‘GAB’.

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Moveable Barre Chord Shapes On The A String

To move the A shape barre chord, you must change the root note on the A string.

Here’s each note on the A string.

D Bar Chord

For now, just concentrate on moving this A shape barre chord to the following frets:

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

These are the main major guitar chords that you must know. A good way to remember this combination of notes is to remember ‘CDE’.

To learn more about guitar notes, go here: Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginner’s

What is a barre chord?

A barre chord is a chord which uses one finger to barre over multiple strings.

Like this:

barre chord

Barre chords are used to extend your knowledge of the fret board.

Your fingers are doing the exact same job a capo would do.

To become an intermediate/advanced guitarist you must know how to play barre chords.

Quick Tip!

Most beginners spell barre chords like this, ‘bar chords’. However, the correct spelling is like this, ‘barre chords’.

How do I play barre chords?

Barre chords are the most common roadblock in a beginner guitar players journey.

However, don’t worry. We’re going to show you 6 quick & easy tips which will help you master barre chords.

Tip#1 Keep Your Thumb Behind The Neck

This is essential, your thumb must sit behind the neck.

To play barre chords correctly:

  • Keep your thumb in the center of the guitar neck.
  • Make sure your thumb nail is pointing up towards the ceiling.

Like this:

barre chords

Tip #2 Use The Side Of Your Finger

Using the side of your finger is the best way to barre chords.

You must press down with the bony side of your index finger. This will help with chord clarity.

Tip #3 Clamp Your Finger And Thumb Together

When playing barre chords clamp your fingers and thumb together.

Don’t try and use your fingers to barre chords, use your thumb and first finger together.

Think of it like this:

Imagine the motion of a clothes peg. When it’s open, it’s impossible for it to hold anything. Where as when it’s closed, it keeps the clothes tight on a line.

Think of the ends of a clothes peg as your thumb and first finger. When you bring them together, there must be enough pressure to guarantee chord clarity.

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