Barrée chords are very useful on guitar to be able to play all those chords that you can’t grab as open chords.

Open chords are the chords you play with blank strings. E.g. C major: x 3 2 0 1 0

A Fis major chord, for example, contains no sound found on an open string. So it cannot be used as an open chord.

With Barrée chords, it’s quite easy to find almost all the chords on the guitar.

Barrée is French and is called “locked.” Referring to our Barrée chords, it means the index finger grabs one or more strings. This seems very difficult at first, but if you pay attention to a few things, you quickly come to a success.

Tips for Barrée:

Barrée chords-index fingers stretched---root joints ' before-the-neck
  • The index finger must be stretched as much as possible
  • The root joint of the index finger must be in front of the neck if possible.
  • The thumb presses against the neck from behind
  • The elbow left hand is slightly held away from the hip
Barrée chords-elbows to the hip

The elbow is pushed towards the hip. As a result, the arm presses the index finger on the strings. However, all other fingers are pulled away from the strings.

Barrée chords-elbows from the hip

Better: The elbow is pushed away from the hip. As a result, the arm not only presses the index finger on the strings, but also all other fingers. This makes Barrée gripping much easier.

Find Barrée chords:

For simplicity’s sake, I limit myself to two types with which you can cover the most important chords:

  1. The E-type derived from an E major handle: 0 2 2 1 0 0
  2. The A type derived from an A major handle: x o 2 2 2 o

If you move an E on the empty e-string up a covenant, you end up a half-tone higher on the F. Analog to do so, an E major chord when you move it up a waistband becomes an F major chord. However, it must be noted that you have to move the sounds that were previously on empty strings. In the case of E major, these are the 6th, 2nd. And 1. String. You do this by doing a barrée in the first covenant, i.e. All strings with the stretched index finger in the 1st bunch takes hold: 1 3 3 2 1 1

It’s the same with the A major chord. A waistband higher than the A on the 5. The string is the Bb. So if you push an A major handle up a covenant, and do a barrée in the I. Bund, you get a Bb major chord.

Accordingly, you proceed with all other tones: If you need a chord that you don’t know, you look for the basic tone on the e-string or on the A-string and push the E-major handle, respectively. The A major handle with a barrée in the corresponding waistband.

The sounds on the 6th. And 5. The string is so as follows:

The distance between two root tones is called a full-tone step. On the guitar, a full-tone step equals two bundles of distance.
There are two exceptions: The distance from the E to the F and the distance from the H to the C is only a half-tone step, on the guitar this corresponds to a covenant.

This means, for example:
E is one whole tone higher than D, so two bundles higher.
C is a half tone higher H, so a waistband higher.

More on this under Music Theory Basics

In the XII. Covenant is on each string the octave to the empty string. So on the e-strings an E, on the A-string an A, on the D-Saite a D, on the G-string a G, on the H-string an H.

On the empty e-string is an E. A half-tone, that is, a covenant higher is an F. So the F is in the first covenant on the e-string. The G is one whole tone (two bundles) higher than F, i.e. in III. Federal government. The A is in the V. Bund, the H in the VII, in the VIII. The C, in the X. the D, in the XII. The E.

On the empty A string is an A. One whole tone, two alliances higher, is an H. So the H is in the second covenant on the A-string. The C is a half tone (a waistband) higher than H, that is, in III. Federal government. The D is in the V. Bund, the E in the VII, in the VIII. The F, in the X. the G, in the XII. The A.

So to grab a D major chord, with Barrée you push an E major chord into the X. Bund (10 12 12 11 10 10), or an A major chord into the V. Bund (x 5 7 7 7 5).

One grabs a db major chord one covenant lower.

Easy with Barrée movable chords:

With basic tone on the e-string:

E: 0 2 2 1 0 0
E7:0 2 0 1 0 0 or 0 2 0 1 3 0
Esus4:0 2 2 2 0 0
E7sus4:0 2 0 2 0 0
Em: 0 2 2 0 0 0 0
Em7:0 2 0 0 0 0 0 or 0 2 0 0 3 0

With basic tone on the A-string:

A: x 0 2 2 2 0
A7: x 0 2 0 2 0 or x 0 2 2 2 3
Asus4: x 0 2 2 3 0
A7sus4: x 0 2 0 3 0 or x 0 2 2 3 3
Asus2: x 0 2 2 0 0
Am: x 0 2 2 1 0
Am7: x 0 2 0 1 0 or x 0 2 0 1 3

Transposing songs:

If you have a song in a certain key and want to transpose it, it’s easy with Barrée chords: The chords just get high or. Pushed down.
You don’t even have to know what the transposed chords are called, but can just move until it fits.

The three skin records in C major are C, F, G. With Barrée chords so taken:

C: x 3 5 5 5 3
Q: 1 3 3 2 1 1
G: 3 5 5 4 3 3

If I want to transpose a song of C major into another key, I just have to move those chords.
The same three main chords in Eb major are three alliances higher:

Eb: x 6 8 8 8 6
From: 4 6 6 3 4 4
Bb: 6 8 8 7 6 6 6

If I want to transpose a song from C major to ab major, I would have to move the chords four half-tone steps, four covenants deeper. In this case, this is not possible. So I take the other variation:

C: 8 10 10 9 8 8
Q: x 8 10 10 10 8
G: x 10 12 12 12 10

I can now transpose them downwards. Ab-major would be four covenants deeper:

From: 4 6 6 5 4 4
Db: x 4 6 6 6 4
Eb: x 6 8 8 8 6

Exercise tips:

Learn note names on the strings:

Think of an emergency name and find the sound on all strings (or first on the 5th. And 6. Sauna).

F is on the 6. Baite in the 1st covenant and on the 5th. String in the VIII. Federal government.
Eb is on the 6. Stred in the XI. Covenant and on the 5. String in the VI. Federal government.

Chord connections:

Try to practice and move different chord connections. Make sure that the chords stay as close together as possible.


x 3 5 5 5 3
5 7 7 5 5 5 5
1 3 3 2 1 1
3 5 3 4 3 3

Postplicate to Eb major:

x 6 8 8 8 6
8 10 10 8 8 8 8
4 6 6 5 4 4
6 8 6 7 6 6 6

Or the same chord connection, but starting with the E-type:

3 5 5 4 3 3
x 7 9 9 8 7
8 10 10 9 8 8
10 12 12 11 10 10

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