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E Shape Barre Chord Grip (7 and Min7)

The Intermediate Method

Next up we're going to be learning the Dominant 7th chord (usually just written as 7) and also the Minor 7th Chord. The Dominant 7th chord is used a lot, and the minor 7th chord lesson commonly so but is quite a challenge and a great one to learn to make sure you have your barre working well!



E Shape Dominant 7th Barre Chord

The Dominant 7th chord has a very unique character and is very useful in blues and jazz, folk and country. They have a lot of tension in them and always wanna go somewhere (try playing G7 and see how nice it sounds going to C!).

E Shape Barre Chord

Don't forget to check that your first finger (the barre) is slightly rolled over onto it's side (about 30 degrees) where the flesh is not as soft and it's closer to the bone.

Very easy one - just start with the regular major shape and then lift off your 4th finger!

With the minor chord the challenge was to get the 3rd string ringing out, with this chord the challenge is to get the 4th string clean and clear.

Sometimes you will find it easier to move the barre a little up or down to get the note good - but first check that it is not your 3rd finger that is touching the 4th string - which is a very common problem!

Remember to keep your thumb round that back (very roughly it should be on the other side of the neck to the 2nd finger - but everyone is a little different so don't stress if yours is not!).

Practice picking out all the notes one at a time and make sure they are all clear!


E Shape Minor 7th Barre Chord

You will see by looking at the shape that the barre here has a lot to do! It's quite a challenge to get all the notes out clear, and there is another way to play this chord which we will learn later which is easier and sounds better (it's part of the jazz basics series!). Don't overlook it now though - it's really helpful to be able to play it, even if you rarely do!

A Shaoe Barre Chord

It's easy to figure out - start with the minor and lift off your little finger! Did you notice that lifting your little finger off added a 7th for both of these shapes?

Most important here is getting a good solid barre - don't forget that it helps to focus your energy into the middle of the barre!

This one requires a good strong barre so if you can get it you are doing well!

If you are struggling then you most likely just need to out in some more hours and get the muscles stronger! But check your barre is rolled over to the hard bit of your finger and that it's close to the fret before you blame your weak fingers!

Also remember it is easier up the neck so try it up at the 5th or 7th fret too!

Give yourself some time to let the muscles develop - this is hard stuff.



When you are practicing this, you want to follow a similar pattern to the one we used when learning our chord in the Beginners Method...

1. Place the chord down.
2. Check each note.
3. If any notes are not ringing out clearly then try and figure out what is wrong, move your fingers a little to fix it!
4. Strum the chord.
5. Repeat lots.


Hope you are having fun with that. Once you have them sounding good we're going to learn how to get to your barre shapes from open chords!


Justin's Intermediate Guitar Method - Foundation Stages 1-5 DVD

Intermediate DVD

The 5 x DVD set for the Intermediate Foundation series comes with all the free Intermediate Foundation lessons found on the web site PLUS 3 DVD ONLY lessons for each stage, nearly 2.5 hours of extra material to help you to be as good as you can be, as fast as possible. Check out the main Intermediate Foundation page for the list of bonus lessons on each stage!

Sales of the DVDs allow me to keep the majority of the content free, so I hope will support the growth of this site too, for those that can't afford to buy stuff! :)

Click here or the image to your left for more information and to order.



Lesson ID: IM-121