Watch the Beyond 21: Barre Chords 1 online guitar lesson by Ravi from Learn Guitar in 21 Days
Learning how "moveable barre chords" work, and how to play them, is perhaps the single biggest epiphany that you will have as a guitar player. Millions and millions of guitar players learned how to play guitar with the barre chord system and still play them today!
This lesson alone will serve as your major breakthrough to learning how to play guitar and thousands of songs. Please take the time to watch this video as many times as necessary to fully digest the information conveyed here, it's well worth it!
The basic principle is simple, all you have to learn is one chord shape and type, which you can then move anywhere on the fretboard to play that chord type in all 12 keys.
For example, learn the major barre chord shape, and you will be able to play EVERY major chord. Learn the minor barre chord shape and you will be able to play EVERY minor chord. Learn the dominant 7th barre chord shape and you will be able to play EVERY 7th chord.
It gets better; Learn the major barre chord and all you have to do is lift one finger to play the minor barre chord shape. Take that same major barre chord shape and lift a different finger, and you are playing the dominant 7th chord.
There are many other moveable barre chord shapes BUT since the vast majority of popular music is written and played ONLY with major, minor and 7th chords, you ONLY need to know this simple barre chord formula and the three shapes I will show you to play it ALL!
Once you get a grip on the barre chord system you will find it highly addictive, and you might be inclined to abandon the open position chords that you've take so much time to learn. DON'T!!
The open position chords provide wonderful "open" sounds (voicings) that you will want to keep in your playing. You'll note that many, many top singers-songwriters and guitarists use open position chords all of the time and so will you!
So, don't throw them away - rather, experiment with mixing up barre and open chords.
The barre chords in this lesson are all formed by placing the root note (i.e., the "C" of a C chord) on the 6th string, the thick string, or "low E." In the next video, I'll show you how to play major, minor and dominant 7th barre chords using the A string as your guide.
Watch the video for a full demonstration.