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Discussion Starter #1
Showed up late to a group lesson and we learned the "C" shape barre chord and I'm told there is an "A" shape as well. I'm pretty good with the "E" shape and playing Minor barre chords. What would be the point of using the "C" and "A" shapes? Just the same range of chords played higher or lower on the neck? Different timber? I would have asked the instructor but we were quickly on to something else. I think a discussion of Paul and John's differing writing styles...ya it's a pretty eclectic lesson. Thoughts?

cbarre1.jpg
 

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Knowing chord shapes allows you to easily transpose songs to different keys just by changing your position on the neck. Also a C chord played with E shape at the 8th position gives you very different tone from an open C which is different from A shape at the 3rd position. Depending on the song playing at a different position may sound better. If you are playing with other guitar players and you all play the same chord at the same position it only makes things louder. It doesn’t add anything. If you play an open C and the other player plays the A shape at the 3rd fret it will sound fuller. Knowing barre chords and being able to play up and down the neck gives you more options.
 

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Well, I came to play the C shape barred chord on third fret as Eb (E flat) chord.

To see where the topic comes from, you should throw an eye on the CAGED system.
The acronym CAGED comes from the chord shapes the C chord takes as you climb up the neck.
But it also works with other chords as A takes AGEDC shapes, E using EDCAG chord shapes, D DCAGE...
You could also simplify shapes using only the first four strings (for example, leaving bass strings to the base player).

The whole purpose is to see how you can climb up the neck and/or find a chord voicing that produces the sound you wish in a given chord progression.
 

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A major chord progression. E major and minor shape, A major minor shape. And major with one finger off to make E7.
Etc. That’s where they’re going with it. I’m no expert btw, just learning the same stuff.
Not sure where the C shape comes in but it does in a similar way, but with the Estring muted.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you are playing with other guitar players and you all play the same chord at the same position it only makes things louder. It doesn’t add anything. If you play an open C and the other player plays the A shape at the 3rd fret it will sound fuller. Knowing barre chords and being able to play up and down the neck gives you more options.
Thanks Kerry, I remember him saying that now. It’s funny how on day one there was no way my fingers were making that shape. Day 2 it’s a little better. The human body is a wonder.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I came to play the C shape barred chord on third fret as Eb (E flat) chord.

To see where the topic comes from, you should throw an eye on the CAGED system.
The acronym CAGED comes from the chord shapes the C chord takes as you climb up the neck.
But it also works with other chords as A takes AGEDC shapes, E using EDCAG chord shapes, D DCAGE...
You could also simplify shapes using only the first four strings (for example, leaving bass strings to the base player).

The whole purpose is to see how you can climb up the neck and/or find a chord voicing that produces the sound you wish in a given chord progression.
Thanks, I looked into the CAGED system and Circle of Fifths a while back but my brain melted. Might be time to check them out again.
 

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The C shape is probably one of the hardest for most people. The E and A are the easiest followed by the C and D. It’s good to know the shapes but other than E and A shapes I hardly ever play full barre chords. I just use parts of them. Learning the full shape will help when you are playing parts of them. The C shape for instance I often just play the second, fourth, and fifth strings muting the others unless there happens to be a G or E in the chord. Then I’ll let the open strings ring. You need to know the shapes first though before you can do that.
 

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With the E and A shapes down (plus their various minors & 7ths etc), you can switch a lot of chord progressions back & forth quickly & fluently rather than having to slide all up & down the neck to do so, as if you were using E shape alone for example. You can get a lot funkier with some quick back & forths. C shape, well I guess that'd be cool too ... theoretically anyway.
 

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Most players I've encountered play the "A" shape with just the first and third fingers. I barre the first 5 strings with the first finger and mute the 6th string with the tip of that finger, the third finger barres the 2nd, 3rd and 4th. strings and bends up just enough to mute the 1st string. This is super useful for I - IV chord changes, say "A" at 5th fret with "E" shape, roll your fingers into "A" shape, still at the 5th fret and you're playing "D", the IV. I use a modified "C" shape by barring only the first 3 strings with my first finger, and forming the "C" shape with the rest, leaving the 6th string out. This is not easy either but it leaves you with the lowest note as the root.
 

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I've been playing guitar for 17 years and have never played a c bar chord.
I've been using it since about 1980... I learned it because I didn't know there was such a thing as a capo. For what it's worth, it's just a pinky away from a Am7 shape barre chord.
 

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There's no substitution for the hard work of learning chord fingerings, but make it easier on yourself by practicing every possible voicing (fingering). Start with something familiar.
 

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Ive rarely used the c shape for anything but the "under the bridge" intro. I tried using the capo but it felt like i lost something, just didnt feel limber for a few parts. Might just be me.

That being said, i prefer the voicing of the c shape to the a.
 

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If you want something weird (play strings individually) move an open C chord from 3rd fret to 8th.
 

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If you want something weird (play strings individually) move an open C chord from 3rd fret to 8th.
There are a couple other positions where you can do that. Especially if you beef it up by playing the 6th string at the same fret as the 5th (pinky & ring finger) instead of leaving the 6th open. (there's probably a proper term for that ;) )
 
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