Luis Enrique's side stumbled off Real Madrid's pace at the top of the league in a frustrating outing at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez - a day after Real had beaten Almeria 4-1.
Lionel Messi saw chances go begging, with goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and the crossbar denying the Argentinian.
And Camp Nou skipper Xavi was left to rue his side's inability to break through a stubborn Getafe backline, hinting a lack of tactical flexibility may have damaged their efforts.
He said: "This is a step backwards. We tried it all in the kind of game we're used to facing, but if you can't break the deadlock things get difficult.
"We had three or four really good chances, especially the Messi free-kick onto the bar, but the ball didn't want to go in.
"The most important thing is to win, more than the system, and we weren't able to do that."
The failure to win leaves Barca four points off Real at the top, but Xavi's midfield partner Sergio Busquets was keen not to get too carried away with negative thoughts.
"Of course we'd rather be top," he added. "But there's a lot of league still to play.
"We have to take things game by game and start cutting away at the difference bit by bit."
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