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Guitar for Songwriters by Leo Cavanagh

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6Bar Chords Part I: The Basics—Major, Minor, and Seventh Chords in All Keys

MOST GUITARISTS COME ACROSS CHORDS SUCH AS E OR Am AT SOME POINT, and they aren’t quite sure of the best way to deal with them. They see guitarists playing chords all over the neck with little difficulty and wonder how they managed to learn so many chords.

The secret, quite often, is bar chords.

To bar on the guitar means to lay your finger across several strings at the same time. It can also be spelled barre.

If you hold a regular C major chord and try to slide it up the neck, it doesn’t work because some notes change while the open strings don’t. But if you have a chord with no open strings, everything changes equally when you move up the neck. This is the principle ...

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