The B guitar chord is probably the hardest of all chords for beginner guitarists to play.
In this free lesson you will learn:
- How to play the B guitar chord correctly
- The best B chord for beginner guitarists to use
- A simple 3-string version of the B guitar chord
- 3 bonus tricks you can use to make your B chords sound better
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How to play the B guitar chord properly
Ok, before we look at the easier alternatives let’s see how the B guitar chord should ideally be played (note that the full name of B is actually “B Major”, but most people just refer to it as “B”):
[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!]
Give it a try. As you will see it’s a challenging chord to play. 🙂
I’ve learnt through thousands of hours of teaching that the B guitar chord is simply out of reach for beginner guitarists. We need an alternative; a different version of B that you can use as a stepping stone to develop your finger dexterity and accuracy.
Mastering the B guitar chord – Two great versions for beginner guitarists
The first of these two chords is called “B7”. It look like this:
As you can see this is a much easier version of the B guitar chord, though it’s still a little tricky for total beginners because it requires 3 fingers. Stick with it! This is the best version of the B guitar chord for beginners to learn.
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Let’s look at a 2-finger version of the B guitar chord. (This is easier to play than B7 but doesn’t sound as good, so it doesn’t win my overall recommendation.)
This is a great version of the B guitar chord for beginners to use. Even though it doesn’t sound as good as a full B major chord, or as strong as a B7, it does contain the all-important B root note and is a passable B chord for absolute guitar beginners.
Once you have 10-15 hours of guitar playing under your belt you should look to ‘upgrade’ from Bm11 and play B7 instead.
Make Barre Chords Easy
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As I often tell my students: “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”. (That sounds trite, but it’s true.)
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I always recommend JamPlay to my students and I do this for 2 reasons:
- Their lessons are fantastic. They have great teachers who communicate clearly. Their videos film each hand separately which I love.
- The second reason I recommend JamPlay is they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee, so you can check it out and get your money back immediately if it’s not for you. I like that kind of freedom & it makes them easy to recommend: Check out JamPlay here
The Best Easy Versions Of This Chord
A super-simple, 3-string version of the B guitar chord
This version of the B guitar chord sounds a little thin (it’s bound to, of course, as you’re only using half of the strings), but it’s still a valid B major chord and is ideal for children’s smaller hands and adults who are struggling to play the other versions of B.
QUICKTIP: You can find a great overview of the anatomy of the guitar in this Guardian piece.
A great version of the B guitar chord for acoustic players
This loose-sounding B guitar chord is called Bsus4 (which is short for “B suspended fourth”). It’s a wonderful chord for acoustic guitars and creates a light, free sound.
Common versions of B
Lots of barred chords here!
Here’s some more useful versions of B…
Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map
If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).
Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.
(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)
I made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. I hope that makes sense!?
NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.
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