Learn how to connect the barre chord shapes!
After learning the barre chords individually, shape by shape, the next step is to connect the shapes. This means that you will be able to play, for example, an E chord in five positions on the neck.
We’ll do this in both minor and major using five starting points of E, A , D, G and C, as well as in minor.
When you can play these exercises you have mapped out the fretboard, All things like extended chords, scales and arpeggios are built on top of this.
Connect E and Em chords
These exercises will teach you all the five shapes over the neck in the form of an E & Em chord. The order of the shapes is E, D, C, A and G.
Using the Chordacus image below, make sure you can see all the Es on the neck.
Take your time with these exercises, ensure you can play through all shapes in free time before you start to play to a click.
Connect A and Am chords
These exercises will teach you all five shapes in the form of an A & Am chord. The order of the shapes is A, G, E, D and C.
First, play all these shapes up and down the neck in free time. When you feel comfortable, try it to a click, slowly increasing the BPM.
Below are the A roots on the fretboard, can you visualise each shape?
Connect D and Dm chords
These exercises will teach you all five shapes in the form of a D & Dm chord. The order of the shapes is D, C, A, G and E.
Compare the shapes to the Chordacus image below, can you visualise them?
Connect G and Gm chords
These exercises will teach you all five shapes in the form of a G & Gm chord. The order of the shapes is G, E, D, C and A.
Using the diagram below, check that you know your shapes.
Connect C and Cm chords!
These exercises will teach you all five shapes in the form of a C & Cm chord. The order of the shapes is C, A, G, E and D. This spells CAGED.
As usual, check with the diagram below that you can play all your C chords before you start playing the exercise to a click.
All open position chords can be turned into movable barre chord shapes. Everything you do on the guitar is based on these chord shapes, practise extensively!
What you saw in these videos was only five out of twelve keys, if you ran through the entire cycle starting in A, you would play A – D – G – C – F – Bb – Eb etc.
You don’t have to do it all in one go, that would be asking a bit much, if you can get through them all in one practise session then that’s definitely good enough.
As well as practising exercises like this you need real songs that use barre chords so you can see them in action. You need to change key, create second guitar parts and start playing around with the shapes rather than just practise them as exercises.
You get all of this in the intermediate guitar course.