Barre chords Guitar Lesson – Step 2

Chords Guitar Lesson - S2
In this step you discover how all barre chords can be described and understood as a CAGED barre chord shape, there are only 10!

Turn Your Ten Open-Position Chords Into CAGED Shapes

In order to play more chords than the first ten open-position chords, you can use your index finger to barre the strings.

By doing this, you replace the nut of the guitar and create moveable barre chord shapes.

To learn how to fret these barre chords, we can use an exercise called the cycle of 4th.

When you play the chords, say the name of them out loud. This will teach you all the notes on the neck at the same time.

The intermediate acoustic and intermediate electric guitar courses go into all the details about how to do this. If you can reach, play the full shapes as I do in the videos, but more importantly, you must play fractions of the chord shapes.

Do this and your barre chord shapes will map out the entire fretboard.

The minor CAGED barre chord shapes

Just like with the open-position chords, to create the five minor shapes, we must find the third interval of each chord shape and move it down one fret.

These five shapes are really important as you’ll use them to visualize the fretboard.

You can’t see it in these video lessons, but the real secret behind playing barre chords is to play fractions of them. Not to play any of the big clunky barre chord shapes.

The best way to learn how to do this is by playing songs, and as you do, try the chord progression of every song in all areas of the neck, using different fractions of the full shapes.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with all these ten CAGED chord shapes (and learned all the notes on the fretboard as a bonus!) move on to the next step and learn how to connect them.

Chords | Related Pages

Chords | Step-by-step guitar course

This guitar lesson on the CAGED barre chords is lesson two in the Guitar Chords Course.

The CAGED system is the best way to organize the guitar fretboard. Starting with the open-position chords, we extend and connect them in this chords course.

Follow the 8 steps of the self-eliminating practice routine to map out the fretboard, it will be the best thing you’ve ever done.


Chordacus can display all CAGED barre chords

Spytunes chords, scale, and arpeggio software, Chordacus is a refined version of the so-called CAGED system.

Now available as both a chromatic (original version) and “within a key”, developed with the help of a Spytunes student.

About me

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on barre chords.

This guitar lesson on barre chords was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.

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