How to Play Bb Guitar Chord? GUIDE

Published Categorized as Chords

The Bb chord is part of the F key, one of the most popular for guitar. This pitch is one of the most popularly used in any genre of music. Any guitar player knows the importance of learning every chord within this key, including the Bb.

The Bb chord comes directly from the Bb Major scale. Remember, any standard chord uses the root, third interval, and fifth interval notes.

The Bb chord contains the Bb, D, and F notes. Two of the most common methods for guitar players to learn when playing this chord include the root-5 bar chord and the root-6 bar chord. You can read more about a variety of the options in the information below, however.

What is Bb Chord on Guitar?

The Bb chord is specifically the fourth you can play in the key of F. You play it using a barre chord method, making it one of the most complicated options for beginners.

As mentioned, you will have to learn how to play the Bb, D, and F notes simultaneously. The B flat note is the root note, the D is the third interval, and the F is the fifth interval.

The chord shapes of the Bb chord are similar to the A and E chords. No matter the methods you choose, you must apply as much pressure as possible to the strings. Doing this will get you the sound that you want your songs to have.

How to Play Bb Guitar Chord?_Six String Acoustic

How Do You Read a Bb Chord?

When you first see the chord diagrams for the root-5 or root-6 bars of the Bb chord, you may feel confused. If you are new to guitar, you may not be accustomed to chord charts, even mixing bb major chord with bb chord.

The diagrams for the Bb chord are even more complicated, however. Most show the barre and have at least four circles for you to understand where to place your fingers. Thankfully, once you learn how to read these diagrams, however, you should be set for the rest of your life.

First, the barre will show as two dots on the same fret. Those chord diagrams that use numbers will have the same one in each circle on the fret. There may also be an arrow in the shape of a semicircle showing the relationship that you will create with your fingers.

The other dots on the chord diagram represent where you will place your other three fingers. The one labeled two, for instance, will mean your middle finger. The option with the label of three will be for your ring finger, and so on.

You have to understand how the diagram shows frets and strings to know where to place your fingers. The first string is the furthest right vertical line, and they go from right to left. The frets go in descending order from top to bottom. On most charts, for instance, fret six will be the topmost and one the lowest.

How Do You Play a Bb Chord on Guitar Easy?

Many beginners want to know an easier way to play the Bb chord because it is quite difficult to learn. There are three methods available that eliminate some of the barres you have to create.

Two Finger Bb Chord

The two finger Bb chord, as the name implies, only requires that you use two fingers. The first will press on the low E, or sixth, string in the first fret. The second will go on the A, which is the fifth string at the first fret too.

When strumming, you will only play the fourth through sixth strings. Beginners should focus more, however, on knowing where to place their fingers on the fretboard.

Three Finger Bb Chord

The more complicated methods use four fingers when playing the BB chord. This option, however, does not require a barre, letting you only use three fingers. You do have to learn how to squeeze your fingers in place.

Your first finger will go on the first string, the high E, on the first fret. Your ring finger goes on the third, or G string, at the third fret. Your pinky is also on the third fret at the second string, which is the B.

A Shape Bb Guitar Chord

The A shape guitar chord also uses three fingers without a barre. If you are already confident on the A chord, bb guitar chord should be a breeze.

All three of your fingers will press on the third fret. The first will be on the D or fourth string. The second goes to the third string, the G. Finally, the third finger goes to the second string, also known as the B string.

Other Methods of Playing the Bb Chord

As mentioned, the root-5 bar chord and the root-6 bar chords are some of the most common for guitar players to learn. With the difficulty of the Bb chord guitar, however, even these are difficult. The information below, however, describes each in detail.

Root-5 Bar Chord

The Root-5 Bar chord is the one that mimics the A chord, as aforementioned. There is a barre in this method, however.

You will create the barre with your index finger across the first fret. You have to put pressure on strings one through five. Start with the high E and end with the A, for instance.

The rest of your fingers will rest on the third fret. The middle finger presses down the D string, the ring finger goes on the G string, and the pinky pushes the B string to the fretboard.

For placing your middle through pinky fingers, you can start with the A chord too. Put them on the second fret as you typically would, and move them over to the third. After, place your index finger across the first fret to create the barre.

Root-6 Bar Chord

The Root-6 Bar Chord is similar to the E chord. This method is slightly more complicated than the Root-5 option, only due to how you create the barre.

Though it sounds confusing, your barre will have to cover all six strings on the sixth fret. Be sure to press down the sixth string, also known as the low E, at the end of the barre.

Your middle finger will go on the G string in the seventh fret. The ring and pinky fingers both press on the eighth fret. The former goes to the A string and the latter to the D string.

With the creation of a barre, you can strum all six strings. This process will create the recognizable sound of the Bb guitar chord.

What Chord Can Replace Bb?

The Bb chord is the same as the A#. They only change when you play a song in an alternate key. The Bb chord, however, contains Bb, D, and F, as aforementioned. A#, on the other hand, has A#, D, and F.

To play A#, you will still need to put your fingers in the exact same shape. For the first method, you will barre the entire sixth fret. Place your next finger on the fifth fret at the third string. Finally, your last two fingers should go on the fourth fret on the fourth and fifth strings.

The second barre method will cover the first through fifth strings on the sixth fret. All three of the rest of your fingers will go on the fourth fret. Your second finger will go on the second string, the third presses on the third string, and the last covers the fourth string.

Some individuals also wonder if there are simpler alternatives you can play that sound similar to the Bb chord. Unfortunately, however, no other chords offer the same sound. You can experiment, however, with your finger placement. Remember that you have the same root note, third inversion, and fifth inversion.

Remember, if you have a difficult time with the barres, you can try one of the three easy methods aforementioned. Be careful that you do not strum every string, however. Since you do not have the barre, you can only strum those strings representing the chord you play.

how to play a bb on guitar

Is B Flat the Same as Sharp

As mentioned, B flat is the same as A sharp. B flat chord and B sharp are not the same, however. This fact may seem confusing to you if you are new to music theory, musical alphabet and playing the guitar. You cannot substitute the Bb chord with the B# chord and expect to get the same sound. Same thing goes for b major chord and b flat major chord.

Sharps are a half note higher than the natural notes on the staff. When you write a sharp into a piece of sheet music, you will use a # symbol. Every tone that you can play on a guitar can become sharp. The same is true of flats, however.

A flat note is a half note lower than the natural options on the staff. The symbol used to showcase a flat is typically a b. Though the two are opposites, sharp and flat notes are each accidentals.

Both A# and Bb have the same sound. This effect comes from the fact that they have the same frequency. They differ, however, in their key. A# is one scale that contains many more sharp notes. Bb, on the other hand, contains many additional flat notes that you will have to play.

A# and Bb will each use exact shape on the fretboard. When playing B#, however, you will have to create a new shape. For this reason, Bb and B# have different sounds, though they also come from contrasting keys.

Songs that Use the Bb Chord

It is overwhelming to try to comprehend all of the songs that use the Bb chord. Some of the music pieces date back to the mid-twentieth century and come from every genre. Most of the songs are known and beloved by many people too.

Pop Songs that use the Bb chord

Oldies commonly used the Bb chord. It gives an upbeat and exciting feel to the music.

  • Beach Boys: “Good Vibrations”
  • O’Jays: “Now that We Found Love”
  • Crowded House: “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket: “All I Want”

Rock Songs that use the Bb chord

There are a variety of top-charting rock songs that use the Bb chord. These range from classics to even heavy metal pieces.

  • The Yardbirds: “Heart Full of Soul”
  • Cream: “White Room”
  • Heart: “Magic Man”
  • Dio: “Holy Diver”
  • Queen: “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Country Songs that use the Bb chord

The Bb chord is much more common in pop and rock songs since they are so upbeat. There are some country music options as well, however, including those below.

  • Kenny Chesney: “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”
  • Keith Urban: “Somewhere in My Car”
  • Taylor Swift: “Teardrops on My Guitar”

Jazz Songs that use the Bb chord

Finally, the Bb chord is in jazz songs consistently. The use of the saxophone aids in why this chord is so popular to the genre.

  • Ray Noble: “Cherokee”
  • Antonio Carlos Jobim: “Meditation”

Become an Expert on the Bb Chord

The Bb chord is one of the most difficult for new guitar players to learn. If you want to create the chord on your fretboard, make a barre chords on the sixth fret. Barre chord versions involve covering up to all six strings with your index finger.

You still have to use your other three fingers to press three strings on the fourth and fifth frets. Thankfully, there are shortcuts readily available in which you have to strum only some of the strings to avoid the barre. You will still achieve the immediately recognizable sound of the Bb chord.

Plenty of examples exist of songs from any genre imaginable that use the Bb chord. These range from hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” to lesser-known options like “Meditation.” Be sure to give these a listen so you know the sound you need to create when practicing the Bb chord.

FAQs Bb Guitar Chord

What is a Bb chord?

The Bb is the same on a guitar as on any other instrument designed to cater to western tonality. Since this is not a cowboy chord or an open chord, you will more than likely need to play this in a barred position in order to have it sound out properly with all the relevant notes of this major triad (Bb – D – F). The closest barre position to all of the other open chord positions will be in the A barre shape. Here, you will need to place your index finger on the 1st fret of the A string (Bb), then your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the D (F), G (Bb), and B (D) strings respectively. Here, you can see how this is just the open chord A shape but transposed up one fret.

How do you play an easy Bb chord on guitar?

The closest Bb chord to all of the other open chord shapes near the bottom of the neck would be the A barre shape version. Now, barre chords can be a little difficult for the uninitiated, so to make it a little easier you can choose to elide the barre aspect by not playing the root note. Where you would usually place your index finger on the 1st fret of the A string (Bb), then your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the D (F), G (Bb), and B (D) strings respectively, you can simply ignore the A string altogether. Here, you will still have all three notes of the major triad (Bb – D – F) and, hopefully, the bassist can pick up the slack and play the root note for you.

How do you play a Bb chord?

The Bb is the same on a guitar as on any other instrument designed to cater to western tonality. Since this is not a cowboy chord or an open chord, you will more than likely need to play this in a barred position in order to have it sound out properly with all the relevant notes of this major triad (Bb – D – F). The closest barre position to all of the other open chord positions will be in the A barre shape. Here, you will need to place your index finger on the 1st fret of the A string (Bb), then your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the D (F), G (Bb), and B (D) strings respectively. Here, you can see how this is just the open chord A shape but transposed up one fret.

What notes make up a Bb chord?

A Bb is a major triad consisting of the root note Bb, the major 3rd D, and the perfect 5th F. When brought in conjunction with one another, these notes make up the Bb major triad.

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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