Following on from the previous barre chords lesson 1, today's lesson is the second installment which will focus on suspended barre chord shapes, along with barre chords based upon the C, D & G shape open chords.
Suspended barre chord shapes
let's start off by finishing the E and A shape barre chords. So far we have looked at major, minor, dominant seventh and minor seventh flat five chord shapes, so all we have left are suspended fourth, suspended second, dominant seventh suspended fourth and dominant seventh suspended second. Looking at the chart below you will find all these chords for E and A shapes and thankfully, they are pretty straight forward, with the exception of the suspended fourth A shape chord which has two different fingerings available. I personally use both fingerings depending on the situation, perhaps start off using the first fingering and experiment with the second.
When practicing chord shapes, make sure you also practice changing between them as this tends to be the hardest part, look for songs that use these chords and play along with the music. Some notable songs that use these chords are:
- don't Dream it's Over – Crowded House
- Ticket To Ride – The Beatles
- Jack & Diane – John Mellencamp
- Old Man – Neil Young
C, D & G shape barre chords
Now let's move onto some lesser known and used chords based upon the open chord shapes of C & G. Please take care when attempting these chords as they require a monster stretch and strong fingers. Starting off with the C shape barre chord which is major, barre your first finger across strings one through five, then carefully place your other fingers to make the shape. Moving onto the next shape which is major seventh and is a little easier.
The next shape is based upon the open G major chord and is the toughest of them all. Remember that I teach these lesser used barre chord shapes for two reasons, firstly to give you a wider range of shapes in your chord vocabulary and second, to show you how the fretboard works and how all the shapes are related to each other, so even if you are unable to physically play these chords, then at least you can see how they are related. Barre your first finger across all six strings and then carefully place your fingers into position to make each chord shape starting with the G shape barre chord and then the dominant seventh barre chord shape.
Now onto some easier and much more popular barre chord shapes all based upon the open D shape. Some of these chords don't actually require you to barre at all but I find it more comfortable to do so, the choice is yours. The previous chords based on the open C and G shapes were more for a theoretical purpose, but all the shapes below are definitely required learning and should be put to memory. Be sure to follow the fingering advice under each chord shape and gradually go through and learn each one.
And now for some suspended D shape barre chords to round off this lesson.
Well I hope this lesson has broadened your harmonic horizons and helped you see exactly how chord shapes are related to one another. You might need to come back to this page to learn all the chords, or you could print the images and have them on hand anytime.
Cheers & enjoy!