Y’know what’s always kinda baffled me? The emphasis placed on barre chords for beginners. They hurt, they’re hard and the majority of pro players only use partial versions anyway – letting other instruments share part of the chord – so players who learn those songs with full barre chords could be playing them wrong! I’m not saying they’re not important, because duh, but I think they needlessly stress out a lot of beginners.
So what can you do if you’re struggling with barre chords but you really, really want to play a particular song? Well here’s a helpful method which will:
a) Get you playing the song in a recognisable, listenable fashion;
b) Increase your confidence and finger strength so that when you actually do want to play a full six-string barre chord, you’ll be in better shape to do so; and
c) Make you really cool.
To start with, here are four common barre chord shapes, presented here in the key of A.