I learned to play guitar a couple years ago, but I can't for the life of me play a "B" chord. Is there any version that isn't a bar chord? Or do I have to suck it up and learn to play a bar chord?

  • 3
    If you need that chord while you're in key E, then B7 is the answer. X21202. Otherwise, there is only the 'A' shape barre on fret 2, or the 'E' shape barre on fret 7. Since you want to play guitar, learning barre chords has to be the way to go. Like it, lump it, do it ! – Tim Dec 2 '20 at 18:53
  • Thank you! That really helps. I probably will learn the B chord at some point. – Salocor Dec 2 '20 at 18:56
  • Trying to play the B with a barre on the 2nd fret and fingers 2,3 and 4 on the 4th fret is tough for a beginner. Try playing the low B on fret 2 string 5 with your index finger and using your pinky as a barre on the 4 high strings. You can support it with your ring finger. Just avoid picking or plucking the high E string since that note is not part of a regular B chord. – John Belzaguy Dec 2 '20 at 21:51
  • If you mute you don’t have to barre the E shape. You can play it X9987X – Todd Wilcox Dec 2 '20 at 22:16
  • @JohnBelzaguy I disapprove of these fingerings, especially for beginners, because they only really work in a “thumb around the neck” position – not a good habit to get into. (Not to say it can't sometimes be a useful tool to also have available, just it shouldn't be the default.) However, the same chord fingered as 1234 without any bar does make sense as a beginner option. – leftaroundabout Dec 3 '20 at 1:32

Yes, in a nutshell. But no, not a nice open chord like E (022100), if you're in standard tuning.

B7 has its own non-bar opportunities (see Tim's comment). But I'm going to just stick to B major chords with standard tuning, since that is the original question.

Here are four possibilities; some are easier than others:

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Use 1, 2, 3 fingers or 2, 3, 4 enter image description here

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If you are willing to bar a little, there are more too, like xx9877.

These aren't the only ones out there, but hopefully are a good start. Feel free to comment if you'd like more.

  • 1
    I'd add a B power chord to the mix: x244xxx - easy to play, and easily replaces B major in a lot of situations – MMazzon Dec 3 '20 at 5:18

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