Escaping the First Four Frets – Barre Chords
I’ve always said the “F” chord is aptly named.
For beginning players, it’s a wall that seems surmountable. Up to this point, the newbie player has figured out how to contort his left hand to play a G, keep from hitting multiple strings with each finger as he plays a C, and only strum 4 out of 6 strings to play D. But then the teacher says, “Let’s try the F chord,” and the student’s vocabulary suddenly gets more colorful. His guitar vocabulary, that is. He learns a new five-letter word: “barre.” Did you know that the first attempt at “barring” is enough to make 47% of new students quit? (Did you also know that 68% of all statistics are made up on the spot?)
But one day, after perseverance and dented fingertips, the student gets it and begins a new journey with an index finger that can press down multiple strings. This student now has the skills to escape the gravity of the first four frets by playing barre chords.
If you’re already on the far side of that ring of fire called “learning how to play barre chords,” you might be tempted to ditch this session and go kill some time watching the Crossroads guitar duel between Steve Vai and the Karate Kid. [OK, fine. Go watch it. I'll wait.........doesn't get old, does it?] Besides looking at the standard barre chords, we’ll talk about ways to use them in worship music.