How To Play B Chord On Guitar: Things You Need To Know
Most people today are interested in playing an instrument but not interested in learning how to play it. That’s why varying “shortcuts” or alternatives are becoming more and more famous in the music industry.
As for the guitar, there are now semi-full chords you can play which sounds closely similar if not the same to the original music.
For instance, learning how to play B chord on guitar can be quite hard for beginners because of the number of strings involved. Nowadays, you can play the B major chord without having to touch all the strings involved initially. And it will sound closely the same!
However, do know that going through the long process of learning all the chords is crucial. When you know the first chords, and you memorize them, this will help you play easier. It is vital, especially for songs that require a lot of chord progression.
General Tips For Learning Chords
Learning the guitar can be frustrating. There will be times when you want to be able to play a whole song already. But you can’t, because some chords are missing. Moreover, learning all the chords is a long process.
Foremost, get the right size for your body and your hands/fingers. It is vital if you want to be comfortable while playing.
Maintain your guitar strings’ standard tuning. It will be hard for you to play and memorize the distinctive sound of each chord if the strings are out of tune. But beware, if your guitar strings easily stray out of tune then you might want to get your guitar checked.
Buy your accessories and gadgets. You may not find the pedals and amplifiers useful yet, the guitar headphone amp and the digital tuner will come in handy. The guitar headphone amp is good if you want to practice privately through your headphones.
Then the digital tuner, of course, will help you maintain your guitar tuning. It will be handy for beginners who still cannot tune their guitars by ear.
Finally, observe correct finger positions when playing. Following the proper finger positions will help you play your chords easier without straining any muscles. They will also increase finger mobility as you play.
How To Play The B Chord
Playing the B chord shouldn’t be as hard if you know the proper techniques. But then again, you will need a lot of patience and determination. Just as with any other guitar chords.
Here are the steps:
- Step 1
- Step 2
- Step 3
- Step 4
Placing your fingers on the right string
First, put your index finger on the high E string. Next, position your middle finger on the D string. Then, your ring finger on the G string. Finally, your pink finger on the B string. That is the full B chord.
Make sure to press your fingers on each of the assigned strings tightly. You can have a flat or dull sound if you don’t push it properly. Moreover, you’d want to check if your finger isn’t pressing another string as that can mute a portion of your sound.
Get accustomed to the position
Sounds hard? Well, this may be hard for beginners because it involves the use of all your fingers. Now that you know the standard position, you’ll need to train your fingers on the positioning on the fret.
Usually, mastering a chord’s finger posture relies on muscle memory. Some chords like the D chord are easy to play. But chords like the B chord are hard to master at first since all of your fingers are used and are spread out.
With that said, just strengthen your finger press towards each string and feel the posture of your hand when doing this chord.
Practice switching chords while strumming
Also, you might want to practice switching from one chord to another while strumming. For instance, you can try playing the B chord then switching it up to the A or the G chord. It will help your fingers gain enough mobility.
Strumming or plucking while switching up on chords might be a little challenging for beginners. That’s why you have to practice. You might find yourself pressing on the wrong string. Or worse, unable to keep up the tempo/rhythm of your strumming.
Take your strumming and switching of chords slowly. Go at a slow pace first until you get the hang of syncing your chords with the strumming pattern. For a bonus, use an easy song first that makes use of a simple strumming pattern along with the B chord.
Finding the alternative
However, just as we mentioned earlier, there are alternatives. The first option for the B major chord you can try is just a variant of the B major and the B7. It only requires three fingers, so this is a good option for beginners.
This particular chord is also known as the B7.
You only have to touch the A string, the D string, and the G string. Just position your index finger on the D string, your middle finger on the A string and your ringer finger on the G string.
Another alternative is the Bm11 or the B minor 11. This chord is composed of just two strings. You can try it by placing your middle finger on the A string and your ring finger on the G string. However, it doesn’t sound as good as the original.
Finally, the three string version of the B chord is also another option to try. But beware, this three stringed version might also not sound as good. To some extent, the music may even be fragile because it only uses three strings.
Just place your index finger on the high E string, your middle finger on the G string and the ring finger on the B string.
These alternatives are not all the options you can try out there. There are still more variants under the B chord which may sound similar to the original B major chord.
However, it is very hard if not impossible to completely replicate the noise of a full chord with incomplete strings.
In A Nutshell
Just as we mentioned earlier, it is very hard to replicate the exact sound of a full chord with just “alternatives.” With the B chord as an example, you will see that there are a lot of variants out there. But then again, they can only capture the sound of the first chord to a certain extent.
So the moral of the story? Learn the basics the hard way. Memorize all the chords in their full version first before trying the alternatives.
By doing this, you will know what string composes what chord. And who knows? You might be able to recreate better ‘alternatives” that will sound closer to the first full music.