B Chords On The Guitar: 5 Ways To Play + All You Need To Know

The B chords on the guitar have a distinct tonality that resonate with a unique blend of warmth and power. The B major chord also possesses a quality that can evoke emotions ranging from melancholic to triumphant, depending on its context within a musical piece.

The B chord on guitar is also an important foundational building block in music, providing a strong harmonic foundation and adding to the richness and complexity of compositions. In this article we’ll cover the basics & show you 5 ways to play it that might challenge you, but will help to level up your skills & open new doors.

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The B Chord Basics

In music theory, a B chord is categorized as a major chord, consisting of three notes: B, D#, and F#. These notes form a musical triad, which is a chord comprising a root note (B), a major third (D#), and a perfect fifth (F#). The root of B, serves as the foundation and gives the chord its name and tonal center.

What Is A Barre Chord

To play a basic B guitar chord, the most common form is a “barre chord”, also known as a bar chord. This chord requires using a barre technique where you press down all the strings with one finger across a specific fret and then using your other fingers to form the chord shape.

In the case of the B major barre chord, you would barre across the seventh fret with your index finger and then place your other fingers in the appropriate positions to create the chord shape.

Below we’ll show you just what fingerings to use to for this bar chord shape,2 additional chord variations, and show you a couple of chord inversions.

What Is A Chord Inversion

A chord inversion refers to the rearrangement of the notes within a chord. Inversions involve changing the order or position of the notes while keeping the same root.

By inverting a chord, the note that was originally the root note becomes a different chord tone, usually resulting in a different sound or voicing.

What Is A Major Chord

A major chord is a fundamental & widely used chord in music, forming the basis of harmonies and melodies. It is formed by combining three notes: the root note, the major third, and the perfect fifth.

The root is the foundational pitch, while the major third is an interval of four semitones above the root, and the perfect fifth is an interval of seven semitones above the root. The major third gives the chord its distinct quality, creating a sense of brightness and happiness.

Major chords are denoted by a capital letter, such as C major (C), D major (D), or E major (E), with the letter indicating the root note.

They are essential in Western music and are used extensively across various genres and styles. Major chords are known for their consonant and stable sound, making them pleasing to the ear and often associated with positive emotions.

How To Play The B Major Chord

A chord chart provides a visual representation of a chord’s finger placement on the guitar neck. The chart consists of a grid with vertical lines representing the strings and horizontal lines representing the frets. Next, the dots or numbers on the chart indicate which finger to place on which strings and frets. Furthermore, the numbers typically correspond to the fingers, with 1 representing the index finger, 2 the middle finger, 3 the ring finger, and 4 the pinky finger. X or O may also appear, indicating whether a particular string should be muted or left open, respectively.

Learn more about reading chord charts here

B Major Triad

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Start by placing your first finger across the entire fretboard behind the 7th fret.

Next, place your second finger on the 8th fret of the G string

Then, place your third finger on the 9th fret of the A string

Now place your fourth finger right on top of the previous on the 9th fret of the D string.

Finally, strum all of the strings for a full sounding chord.

Alternate Version 1

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Alternate Version 2

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B Chord Inversions


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a key of B on guitar?

Yes, the key of B major exists on the guitar. The notes in the key of B major are B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, and A#.

What guitar chords sounds like B?

Chords that have a similar sound to B guitar chord include other major chords in the same barre chord shape, such as F# major, C# major, and G# major.

These chords share a similar tonality and finger positioning, resulting in a comparable sound to B major when played on the guitar.

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