How To Play A B Chord on Acoustic Guitar

The B chord is probably one of the hardest chords to play on the guitar. The reason? It’s a double barre chord. Well at least the 5 string version is. Let’s go over how to play the B chord on guitar below.

5 String B Chord on Guitar

This is the typical B chord played in what we call the ‘open position’ or first three frets of the guitar. I find this one to be a major pain. Why? Because it really depends on the shape of your fingers whether or not you will be able to get the high e string to ring through. That’s a common problem with the version of the B chord.

As you can see in the diagram above, the third finger plays the D, G and B strings at the 4th fret while the first finger players the A and e strings at the second fret.

In order to get that high e string to ring out, you have to REALLY press on your third finger to get the knuckle to curve up enough to clear the string.

If you aren’t able to get that string to ring, it’s not the end of the world. Many guitarists play this chord as only the top 4 strings.

Another option would be to play the B barre chord at the 7th fret as a 6 string chord.

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6 String B Chord on Guitar

As you can see from the diagram, this B chord requires using all 4 fingers and spanning all 6 strings. The downside of this B chord is that it does have a much brighter sound to it because we are so much higher on the fretboard.

This chord is great if you are playing with other barre chords in the mix, but it’s a long way to travel if you are moving from open chords like A and E.

But the choice is up to you. This follows the traditional ‘E’ shape barre chords with the first finger barring at the 7th fret and the other three finger making the E chord shape.

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