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Guitar Cheats: 10 Ways to Avoid Common Barre Chords

If you want to be a well-rounded guitarist, you need to learn and be able to perform barre chords.

But if you’re a new player who finds them difficult, or an experienced player who’s just looking for some alternatives, this lesson will be of interest to you.

In the video below, Darrell Braun demonstrates some “cheats” for hard-to-play barre chords. These alternate fingerings allow for more open strings and create a pleasing and harmonically interesting “ringing” sound when playing these chords.

“All of us as players hit certain plateaus or brick walls in our playing that we can’t quite get past or get over,” Darrell says at the outset. “So I’m going to share some of my cheats that have helped some of my students and myself in our playing.”

Darrell presents five of the most common barre chords—B minor, F# minor, C# minor, B major and G# minor—and provides two alternate ways to play each of them, for a total of 10 variations.

This is the first in a series of new videos on his channel in which Darrell will demonstrate some of this favorite guitar cheats.

Take a look, and be sure to visit Darrell’s YouTube channel for more of his videos.

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World, a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.