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Effective Barre Chord Exercises

This page will provide you with some barre chord exercises, with backing tracks, to supplement the guitar barre chords lesson and help to further build your finger strength with barre chords.

One of the main obstacles guitarists face with barre chords is the strength and stamina required in your fingers to play them cleanly and continuously. This lesson will help you to develop your stamina and muscle memory for playing those awkward chord shapes.

finger numbers

Of course, I won't be able to cover every possible chord combination, but what I'll do is provide you with some exercises that use a good range of barre chord fingerings, challenging you to change between different shapes up and down the neck.

So, follow the sequential chord diagrams below to create the progression. Suggested fingerings are provided, with the yellow bar representing your barred finger, just like in the lessons before.

You can either stream or download the backing tracks provided.

Tip: the jam tracks are at a set speed, so it might be useful at first to start off slow using a metronome, and gradually speed up (I recommend increments of 10 BPM) until you're confident you can play to the speed of the tracks.

Have fun!

Barre Chord Exercise #1

Chord Sequence

Backing Track

 Download

1. E Shape - F Major (1st fret)

F major barre chord

2. E Shape - A minor (5th fret)

minor E shape barre chord

3. A Shape - D minor (5th fret)

minor A shape barre chord

4. A Shape - C♯maj7 (4th fret)

major 7th A shape barre chord

5. A Shape - C7sus4 (3rd fret)

7th suspended 4th A shape barre chord

6. A Shape - C7 (3rd fret)

dominant 7th A shape barre chord

7. E Shape - G minor (3rd fret)

minor E shape barre chord

8. A Shape - C7 (3rd fret)

dominant 7th A shape barre chord

...then repeat!

Your fingers will no doubt ache a bit or cramp up after two plays or even just one play through this progression. Shake off, stretch and continue.

Barre Chord Exercise #2

Chord Sequence

Backing Track

 Download

1. C Shape - Fmaj9 (8th fret)

major 9th C shape barre chord

2. A Shape - Dm7 (5th fret)

minor 7th A shape barre chord

3. E Shape - Am7 (5th fret)

minor 7th E shape barre chord

4. E Shape - Gm9 (3rd fret)

minor 9th E shape barre chord

5. A/C Shape - C9sus4 (3rd fret)

9sus4 barre chord

6. C Shape - E♭9 (6th fret)

dominant 9th C shape barre chord

Barre Chord Exercise #3

Chord Sequence

Backing Track

 Download

1. A Shape - C♯sus2 (4th fret)

suspended 2nd A shape barre chord

2. D Shape - Eadd6 (2nd fret)

added 6th D shape barre chord

3. E Shape - F♯ Major (2nd fret)

major E shape barre chord

4. E Shape - A Major (5th fret)

major E shape barre chord

5. A Shape - C♯ Major (4th fret)

major A shape barre chord

6. C Shape - E♭m11 (6th fret)

minor 11th C shape barre chord

7. C Shape - Emaj7 (7th fret)

major 7th C shape barre chord

8. E Shape - A Major (5th fret)

major E shape barre chord

Work on these exercises every day, or as often as you can, and try and come up with your own barre chord changes. The more awkward the fingering, the better! Constantly challenge yourself and develop that muscle memory.


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