How to Change from Open Chords to Barre Chords

So Your Tired of playing basic chords and now your ready to learn some barre chords. And how to change from open chords to barre chords. Which seems like the likely next step in your guitar journey. But you need some help making it happen.

If you want some tips to make changing from open chords to barre chords. Tips that will make things a lot easier for you then keep reading ….

How to change from open Chord to barre chord: 1. Be ready for the chord change. 2. Know the chord change. 3. Practice Slow, Steady Repetition from open to barre.

Those are the top 3 tips for changing from open chord to barre chord. But let me get really clear on the topic so you will be transitioning between chords quicker.

And later in this lesson there are some barre chord switching exercises you can get that will help.

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Making the Adjustment from Open Chords to Barre Chords

A lot of guitar players want to be able to play like there favorite players right away. But like anything new there are steps that need to be taking in a order so that you can play the guitar.

For example to learn how to move from a basic chord to a bar chord. It is beneficial to know your open chords. This way you are not having to learn to much all at once.

When you are playing guitar you want to learn in small increments. Everything is broken down. You learn that one thing. After you have mastered that you go on to the next thing.

So if you need to work on chords first then I would recommend the guitar bootcamp course, you can learn how to play guitar.

When you are playing a song on your guitar. The first thing you need to know is the chord progression.

The only way you can stay in time when moving from one chord to the next. Is by knowing the next chord long before it comes and you need to place your fingers on the strings to make that chord.

Your brain has to tell your fingers how to get to the next chord. So you can not be thinking about what chord am I going to play. Figure that out and then try to play it. No that takes to long.

You have to know! And not only do you need to know the chord progression. You need to know the finger position of the chord. Before you can advance from the open chord to the barre chord.


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Advance from Open Chord to Barre Chord

There are loads of Major and minor barre chords. But for this example take a look at this practice.

Practice going from an open chord to a barre chord. Let’s just take the A Major open chord for this example. And say you are going to go from an A chord to the F#m barre chord.

To make this change first like I previously said you need to know your finger positions for both chords.

There are several open chords that you should learn like the back of your hand. Here is a link if you need help with those chords and more…

For this example; You can practice making the A chord first. And start by placing your fingers on the strings to make the A chord.

Make sure your fingers are sitting proper on the strings. By picking each individual string. Starting with the A string, the 5th string and picking up to the first string.

Picking each string making sure they all ring out.

Then go from the A chord and move to play the F#m chord. Again knowing how to make the chord is step 1. Check out the chord chart below.

When your making the chord A or F#m or any chord for that matter. Really look at where your fingers are going on the strings. You want to place your fingers on the strings look at where they are sitting on the string.

Remove your hand completely then look away from the guitar neck. Then place your fingers on the guitar strings to make the chord again. Look at where you are placing your fingers.

If you go slow and do this. It will become imbeded in your muscle memory. And before you know it you will be playing that chord without really having to think about every little aspect of how to place your fingers.

Next Example; Go from A to F#m put your pick away for a minute. Just work on the task at hand.

Go from A to the F#m chord. And to make the F#m look at your finger position.


Related Article: How to Play the G Chord on Guitar.

F#m Finger Position

  • Your first finger is across all the strings at the second fret. Like a Capo.
  • Then place your third finger on the 5th string. The A string, on the 4th fret.
  • Place your Pinkie Under the third finger. Also at the 4th fret on the 4th string.
  • You can strum all the strings when playing the F# Bar Chord.

Now that you have the F#m Barre chord finger position. Grab your guitar and practice with me on going from the A major open chord. To the F#m chord.

You can start with the F#m chord and go to the A chord. Really watch where you are placing your fingers to play the F#m chord. You don’t want to strum right now.

Simply move slowly and methodically from F#m to A and back from A to F#m.

Do this several times until it becomes familiar. Now once you place your fingers on the F#m chord.

Take your pick and pick each string individually to make sure all the strings are ringing out and sound great.

If not maybe you are muting a string. Or there is a buzzing noise. Find out what the problem is and correct it.

You can get a Practice Downloadable to help practice chord transitioning. When you become a Patron. Plus there are a lot more valuable guitar lessons and work sheets.

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Switch from an Open Chord to Barre Chord when Strumming

How to start implementing strumming. Since we have been using the A chord and F#m lets continue using them for this example. Although you can use any two chords to start making the move.

When you are fretting the A chord. You want to start by strumming down one time. We are going to make this easy and play in 4/4 timing.

Most songs that you will hear are in 4/4 timing. So if you can count to 4 you got it.

Going from the A strum down one time. Counting 1 when you strum down.

Then still counting 2 3 4. Be fore you get to the 1 again you need to place your fingers on the F#m barre chord finger position.

Practice going from A to F#m and when you do this count out loud. When this becomes easy for you. You can start practicing changing sooner.

Still counting 1 2 3 4, but now strum on the 1 and the 3. So when you are on the first strum you are playing the A chord.

Strumming down 1 time and counting 1 2 and when you get to 3 your fingers should be on the F#m Chord.

This is a little harder to do as it is twice as fast. But keep practicing you will be able to do this.

After that go from changing the chord on the 1 and 3 beats and counting to 4 and when you get to the 1 again you are going to be switching back to the A chord.

Go slow and steady. You will eventually be able to do this.

Related Article: Guitar Songs With Chords for Beginners.

Related Questions

How to Place Your Fingers When Playing barre Chords

A Patron asked me a very good question. And that was do you place your fingers on the notes first or the barre. When playing a barre chord.

The answer is placing the barre down first. Then place your fingers on the stings. The reason for this is you are strumming down. So you need time to get all your fingers in position.

So the lower strings get covered first. You may not always be playing a 6th string barre chord. If the 5th string is the lowest string that will be strummed first. Make sure you have it fretted first.

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How to Transition Between Chords on Guitar

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