In music, a barre chord (also spelled bar chord) is a type of chord on a guitar or other stringed instrument played by using one or more fingers to press down multiple strings across a single fret of the fingerboard (like a bar pressing down the strings).
Players often use this chording technique to play a chord that is not restricted by the tones of the guitar's open strings. For instance, if a guitar is tuned to regular concert pitch, with the open strings being E, A, D, G, B, E (from low to high), open chords must be based on one or more of these notes. To play an F♯ chord the guitarist may barre strings so that the chord root is F♯.
Most barre chords are "moveable" chords, as the player can move the whole chord shape up and down the neck. Commonly used in both popular and classical music, barre chords are frequently used in combination with "open" chords, where the guitar's open (unfretted) strings construct the chord. Playing a chord with the barre technique slightly affects tone quality. A closed, or fretted, note sounds slightly different from an open, unfretted, string. Barre chords are a distinctive part of the sound of pop music and rock music.
Using the barre technique, the guitarist can fret a familiar open chord shape, and then transpose, or raise, the chord a number of half-steps higher, similar to the use of a capo. For example, the current chord is an E major and the next is an F♯ major, the guitarist barres the open E major up two frets (two semitones) from the open position to produce a barred F♯ major chord. Such chords are hard to play for beginners due to the pressing of multiple strings with a single finger.