Barre Lessons and Exercises for Guitar

The following lessons focus on playing and practicing barre (bar, capo, car chords) on classical guitar. The first overview lesson covers a definition, context, and some exercises to help your bar technique. Check out my method and technique books at the sheet music page. This is great video for beginners or intermediates looking to improve and existing problems. 

These exercises are from my new book Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, and ArpeggiosYouTube Video Link (HD)

This lesson is on Barre (bar chords) and barre exercises for the left hand. Playing a successful barre (also called capo) is much more reliant on your ability to be precise rather than the amount of pressure or tension you apply with your 1st finger. The String Specific Barre Correction is the most important of all the barre exercises here because it aims at specific points within the barre that will require precision rather than strength.

Some basic tips: Barre with your 1st finger; keep your 1st finger straight and very close to the fret on all required strings; do not help the 1st finger by using additional fingers; let gravity help by allowing the weight of the left arm pull the strings down into the fret; do not press too hard or squeeze like a vice between your fingers and thumb. Don’t worry if it buzzes at first, gain control and good positioning before becoming more critical.


Matthew McAllister demonstrates a simple exercise to help with bar chords and the barre technique on classical guitar. This comes via his amazing YouTube channel.


Scott Morris gives a lesson on Barring Technique (the Barre). This comes via the excellent GSI (Guitar Salon International), thanks! Their blurb: “In this lesson Scott addresses the topic of barring – when and how to bar, and also when to use a half bar or not to bar at all. 


This classical guitar lesson hinge barres is brought to you by Strings By Mail (thanks!) and the excellent Gohar Vardanyan. Hinge bars are very important once you reach the mid-intermediate level as they can get you out of tricky chord changes and make sure you get a smooth legato sound. It’s a bit of a funny technique so if you’re a beginner I recommend you wait until your hand position and normal barre technique is solid. 

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