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C-based barre chords?

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(@chilly-well-water)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

Does anyone here play barre chords based on the open C shape? I was playing around with it last night, and with a little practice, I think it could become as automatic as the E or A shapes. The reason I'm asking is tha I don't think I've ever heard them mentioned. Opinions?


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5384
 

I play them, but not as barre. I personally find barre chords to be somewhat 'hyped' in a way as most of the time you don't really need to play six strings. I play it like this: D [x 5 4 2 3 x]. There are so many variations using only four strings:

C [x 3 5 5 5 x]
Cm [x 3 5 5 4 x]
C7 [x 3 2 3 1 x]
CMaj7 [x 3 5 4 5 x]
C9 [x 3 2 3 3 x]
C9# [x 3 2 3 4 x]
Cm9 [x 3 1 3 3 x]
Cm9#[x 3 1 3 4 x]
Cdim [x 3 4 2 4 x]
Caug [x 3 2 1 1 x]

etc etc etc. :D


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(@musenfreund)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5134
 

Yes, I do, but not as frequently as the E and A shaped barres or their minor variations. Technically, when you play the moveable D shaped chord up and down the fretboard, you're playing a partial version of the C-shaped chord as well. I find that the Cmaj7 version barred up and down the fret board is a nice way to play maj7 chords with a fifth string root and get a nice jazzy attitude.

Are you familiar with Bill Edwards' book Fretboard Logic? I think you might find it interesting. It works with the C, A, G, E, D shaped barres on the fretboard.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5367
 

The C shape gets used a lot in Classical Guitar practical work but it doesn't form part of the exam syllabus.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@gutfiddle)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 158
 

the E7 "C-shaped" chord is used in almost every CCR song and alot of Hendrix songs, which is how I came acrossed it, but its a really nice sound up and down the neck.

Thinkin' bout the times we had
Some were good and some were bad
guitar fightin' the tv
i was thinkin bout you and me


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(@guitarteacher)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 46
 

If you're not doing it already, you'll find it easier in the long run to use a three string bar with the C major shape. If you decide do this, hyper-extending the tip joint of the barring finger will allow your other fingers better access to the fretboard.

If you want to be good, practice. If you want to be great, you must constantly change the way you think.


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(@chilly-well-water)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

Thanks for the replies. I took something from every post. I will check out Fretboard Logic. Does it cover scales? I have been playing 3 years and have several good (to me anyway) chord progressions (mostly strumming with some picking over and around the chords) but need to learn to play lead and solo to flesh things out a bit. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about theory or the use of scales in general for that matter. I need one or more books, possible with audio included to help me along.


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(@demoetc)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2168
 

I sometimes use it because it's easy to do a quick down-strum and then come back down with the scale shape that superimposes it. It's also related to the open C7 shape which some people middle-barre on - you know, the four middle strings and slide the whole thing up and around, esp. when you're doing alternating bass and fingerpicking.

I think it's an important one to know (the barred C) because it does give you different voicings. As was mentioned you don't have to do the full barre because the 6th string would be the 3rd in the bass.

Another weird one which I admit I almost never play is the barred open G shape. I've never found a proper use for that one.


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(@musenfreund)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5134
 

I think the Fretboard Logic series does indeed cover scales, if memory serves. The only time I've seen the G shape used is in the guitar transcription of the electric piano on "I Am the Walrus". I have used that shape though when the guitar's capo'ed obviously.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

I've always used the barred "C type" chord a lot. Some songs that use this shape are the intro to Under the Bridge by the RHCP (2nd fret- D), and the rhythm guitar in Ain't Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman Turner Overdrive. There are many others, but those two come to mind first.

And I play the barred "G type" chord a lot as well, because there are many cool things you can do with this shape, including hammering on the C type chord. A good example is Good Lovin' Gone Bad by Bad Company.


Good Lovin' Gone Bad- Bad Company

A D A D G D

e-------------------------------------------
b---2i----2—-3m--2--2-----7----7--8--7--7---
g---2i----2—-2i--2--2-----7----7--7--7--7---
d---2i----2—-4r--2--2-----7----7--9--7--7---
a---4r----2—-5p--2--4-----9----7--10-7--9---
e---5p--------------5-----10------------10—-

D G D G D

e-----------------------------------------
b---7-----7--8--7--7--------------------3-
g---7-----7--7--7--7--------------------2-
d---7-----7--9--7--7----------------0---4-
a---9-----7--10-7--9-------------2------5-
e---10-------------10---0--2--3-----------

There are other ways to play this riff, you could use an E type barre with an A type barre. But it doesn't sound quite the same. Using the barred G and C shapes has a "Country" sound to it. I believe Paul Rodgers actually played this riff with a guitar in an open tuning, but using these barre types sounds very close.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@chilly-well-water)
Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 10
Topic starter  

If you're not doing it already, you'll find it easier in the long run to use a three string bar with the C major shape. If you decide do this, hyper-extending the tip joint of the barring finger will allow your other fingers better access to the fretboard.

Could you please tab out a simple example of this? Grazie.


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(@guitarteacher)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 46
 

I am a classical guitarist and don't know how to TAB. Could someone possibly do this for me?

If you want to be good, practice. If you want to be great, you must constantly change the way you think.


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

You can't really tab an example of what GuitarTeacher is talking about, because he's speaking of a technique - the fingering (and hence the tab) will be identical with or without the technique.

By 'hyper extending' he means bending it beyond straight - think of how you bend your ring finger back for the "A-shape" barre chord. Doing that with "C-shape" index barre gets your knuckles - the 'starting points' for moving your fingers - closer to the fretboard, and therefore gives you more reach with your other fingers.

To the original question - I use them constantly. But I use them as a collection of notes, not as a chord shape; for an F chord I may play any of these:

x x 5
6 6 6
5 5 5
7 7 7
x 8 x
8 x x

none of which are truly the 'C shape' barre... but all of which are parts of that barre, and all of them have the notes F-A-C.

In the long run, you're best off learning what the notes are for a chord, and where you can find them - the CAGED system gives you five ways to play a chord.... but the notes give you hundreds.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@losodo)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 27
 

I use the full barre C shape alot, even though the 3rd is used elsewhere in the chord. Everyone is making alot of great points: you don't always need all 6 strings in a barre chord, but at the same time if you never get used to barring all 6 strings then you'll never get used to barring all 6 strings. 8)

First I bought it, then I paid for it.


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(@jsnood)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 86
 

I play it like this: D [x 5 4 2 3 x].
Hey, thanks for this fingering. I'd learned to play an abbreviated D [x 5 4 x 3 x] but it never occured to me to put the 2 down (C uses the nut - duh.)

Opens up new vistas for this relative beginner. The trick, of course, is being able to lay it down with some speed.

Thanks!

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - A.J. Muste


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