B chord guitar

Simple 5 Ways to Play B guitar chord

The B guitar chord is perhaps the toughest of all chords for beginner guitarists to play. There are some ways to play the B guitar chord. Below are 5 of these ways.

Learning the way to play an equivalent chord in several ways and around different parts of the fretboard may be a good way to feature to your repertoire and may really assist you to vary the flavor of a song, help to feature some uniqueness when writing songs, and provides you some options when improvising.

B guitar chord: Open B Variation 1

Most people don’t typically play an open B. B is typically played as a barre chord (see variation three below) because the go-to for many people. But you’ll play B within the open position without employing a barre chord.
This first variation of the open B guitar chord isn’t an open chord – but it’s on the brink of that open position on the fretboard.
This is played by:

  • Placing your 1st finger (index finger) within the second fret of the High E string
  • Placing your 2nd finger (mid finger) within the fourth fret of the D string
  • Placing your 3rd finger (ring finger) within the fourth fret of the G string
  • Placing your 4th finger (pinky) within the fourth fret of the B string

B guitar chord

Only the B, D, G, and High E strings are strummed when strumming this chord. I prefer to bring my thumb over the highest of the neck to mute the Low E and A strings in order that I do not accidentally play them then that I do not need to think as hard about my strumming hand.

B guitar chord: Open B Variation 2

Another variation you’ll use within the first position may be a bit harder to play but it’s a special flavor and makes use of the open B string. There are a few variations within this variation.
This is played by:

  • Placing your 1st finger (index finger) within the 1st fret of the D string
  • Placing your 2nd finger (middle finger) within the 2nd fret of the A string
  • Placing your 3rd finger (ring finger) within the 2nd fret of the High E string

B guitar chord

Here you don’t strum the Low E string and you would like to either mute the G string.
This chord is best used for finger-picking and not strumming, because even muting that G string can still usher in that discordant character so, unless that discordance is what you’re after, it doesn’t necessarily sound good strumming.
The other way you will play this to offer it yet 1 more flavor is to offer it an F# bass.
This is played by:

  • Placing your 1st finger (index finger) within the 1st fret of the D string
  • Placing your 2nd finger (middle finger) within the 2nd fret of the Low E string
  • Placing your 3rd finger (ring finger) within the 2nd fret of the A string
  • Placing your 4th finger (pinky) within the 2nd fret of the High E string

Here you’d strum all of the strings but you will need to flatten your index a touch to mute that G string or place a pinky finger in the fourth fret of the G string.

B guitar chord: Barre B (Variation 3)

The Barre B chord is the most played of the B guitar chords and may be played in 2 main positions.
The A string Barre B is played by barring the Second fret and creating the open A shape within the fourth fret. All the strings apart from the down E are strummed when strumming the chord.

It’s harder to place all 3 of your fingers into the fourth fret so I make that A shape by barring the D, G, & B strings within the fourth fret with my third finger (ring finger).

The E string Barre B is played by barring the Seventh fret alongside your index and making an open E shape within the 8th and 9th frets. This chord adds an additional B into the chord (6th fret high E string) that an octave above the very best B within the A string Barre B. So whilst people often consider these two barre chords precisely an equivalent, there is a small difference and a subtly different flavor

B guitar chord: Above the fretboard (Variation 4)

This variation gives a B chord on the guitar option that’s above the fretboard. it is a significantly different flavor to the Barre chords we just learned. This chord almost features a ukulele feel thereto (IMO).

  • Place your first finger on the 9th fret on the D string
  • Place your second finger on the 11th fret on the G string
  • Place your third finger on the 11th fret on the high E string
  • Place your fourth finger on the 12th fret on the B string

Don’t strum the Low E and A strings once you’re strumming this.

B guitar chord

You can also inaugurate F# bass by barring the A and D strings alongside your 1st finger. I find that this sounds best when fingerpicking or flat-picking but you’ll strum it too.

B guitar chord: Middle Fingerboard (Variation 5)

Now a pleasant easy one to end.

  • Place the primary finger within the 7th fret of the B string
  • Place the Second finger within the 7th fret on the high e string
  • Place the Third finger within the 8th fret on the G string
  • Place the Fourth finger within the 9th fret on the D string

Strum only the B, G, D, and high E strings. this is often the same shape as is used for an open F chord.

B guitar chord

The other way you’ll play it’s by barring the B and low e strings alongside your 1st finger and using your 2nd and 3rd fingers for the other 2 notes. This will free up your pinky to try to do other things also.

 

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