Practice – Bar Chord Locations

Bar Chords

I just got done practicing for the last hour or so.  I was mostly practicing the Jazz progression in F I posted last week higher on the neck.  I mentioned in that post, I wasn’t doing well with chord positions higher up the neck.  It’s frustrating since I can play them fine lower on the neck.  Actually, it’s not that I can’t play the cords higher on the neck, it’s that I don’t know the cord locations on the higher frets.  Once I have the locations  memorized for the particular chord progression, I can play them just fine.  But at that point I’m just going through the motions for that progression and don’t REALLY know the chord locations.

So this means that as I’m practicing my bar chords (only the E and A shapes for now).  My main goal is knowing the different chord locations on the fret board for each shape.  I’m finally getting better at knowing their locations up and down the neck.  The thing is, I know them by sight.  And that makes me wonder, if I should also know them by fret number?  I know where the E shaped A bar chord is by site, but I don’t necessarily know that its at the 6th fret (I had to look that up on the fretboard).

So, should I focus on learning fret numbers or will it just eventually come to me?  I know, why not memorize them by fret number… it couldn’t hurt after all.  But with so much new information coming at me I need to know what to focus on and if other things are more important right now I can put my mental efforts on something else rather than spending an hour or more trying to memorize fret numbers.

So what do you think, is this important enough to put on the top of my mental list? (keep in mind, my mental list probably can’t hold as much as most people)

My instructor also suggested I use a metronome when practicing scales.  The metronome is important to make sure my tempo is consistent.  Additionally he wants me to keep track of my max BPM in order to track and appreciate my progress.  For the scales that I know well I’m maxing out around 285BPM.  Not blazing fast, but faster than I expected.

Speaking of practicing, here’s a great blog post about how to practice guitar.

What are your practicing routines or recommendations?

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8 Responses to “Practice – Bar Chord Locations”


  1. […] I learn my scales, chords and try to learn a some easier sounding songs that I like, I start to wonder if you either have it […]


  1. Retro Hound says:

    You’re way ahead of me. I only know notes and chords on the top 3 frets. Thanks for the link on how to practice. I need to find a way to move on a little faster than I am going now.
    .-= Retro Hound´s last blog ..The Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs – Caution lots of photos! =-.

  2. Matt says:

    It is highly valuable to know bar chord shapes all the way up and down the neck. Most certainly worth the time.
    Matt´s last blog post ..Mogami Gold Guitar Cable Review

  3. Thanks for the link towards “how to practice guitar”. This was the most valuable information for me. I am trying to become a good guitarist and gathering good resources like this. 🙂

  4. Ana Paula says:

    This article meajdou enough thanks for the tips, will help a lot of people that is starting now.

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