How to Play the B Guitar Chord Properly + Beginner Tips

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

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”):

B Major


(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.)


B chord guitar

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.

easy b guitar chord

The Best Easy Versions Of This Chord

A super-simple, 3-string version of the B guitar chord

B Major 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.


B guitar chord

Common versions of B

Lots of barred chords here!

B - Common types of B chords

Here’s some more useful versions of B…

B - Common types of B chords (part 2)

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