Author Topic: Barre chord troubles womp womp  (Read 3573 times)

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Offline QuentinB

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Barre chord troubles womp womp
« on: October 08, 2011, 04:33:00 am »
Hello great peoples,

I seem to be having trouble rotating my index finger and applying proper pressure to form the bar chord properly. My thumb seems to lack strength to stay in proper place as well. Any suggestions?
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Offline mouser9169

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 08:39:05 am »
move down to about the 5th fret, and practice, practice, practice.
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Offline QuentinB

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 05:42:43 pm »
Hehe one fret down should do the trick? :P I'll give it a go and let you know if the tunes start to flow :D
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Offline bunnahowen

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 09:04:55 pm »
I have just started the intermediate course too and struggled with barre chords for a long time. By accident i found that by adopting a classical position (guitar on left leg) and also a more classical left hand position for the barre chord i was able to build the strength in my left hand. This also allowed me to use the weight of my arm to apply the necessary pressure. I prefer to play with the the acoustic on my right leg and can now do the barres but my left hand still has to adopt a more classical form. Personally i also have the guitar neck in a position which allows my arm and hand to move comfortably into position for these chords. I first cracked Bm before F. anyway good luck. As the man said Practice.

Offline QuentinB

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 02:19:14 am »
Indeed, sound advice about the left hand. I found that making sure my thumb is in the mid section of the neck whilst trying to bar, that I get a cleaner sound. However, my strength is currently limited, and it hurts like h.e. double hockey sticks to hold atm lol. It's gonna take some time to build up that strength ;)
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Offline QuentinB

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 06:02:22 pm »
Things are improving rapidly :D I found that I was poking my elbow in a little much during my previous barre attempts. So changing that helped a bit. Actually I can get all six strings to ring out from the barre alone. Now, I just need to practice till my hands no longer get tired lol.
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Offline bunnahowen

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 11:55:00 pm »
Well done. Sounds like it won't be long now. One other thing from me. When I finally nailed my first barre chord really well I noticed that actually I was only exerting just enough pressure on the strings. No longer a need to tense up but rather stay relaxed and apply just the right amount of pressure.
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Offline dumdum1989

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2012, 02:16:45 am »
Hi im a little confused  :-\ ive just started on the intermediate course and i need some help about the barre chords. Justin said that you can play G. E. C. B etc barre chords (24 in total) with just the E and E minor shape how does that work? and what is the difference between (for example) a D shape barre chord and a D barre chord thats shaped like an E if you see what im saying.
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Offline Bootstrap

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 04:01:25 am »
Dumdum - over an octave there are 12 notes - C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B NB yes there are also b's but they are the same as their # counterpart eg from a tonal perspective C# is the same as Db - we call these enharmonic notes.

So given major & minor shapes are different 12 x 2 = 24

As for your D shape question.... good question - you might want to read Justin's lesson on the CAGED system - but in a nutshell open chords shapes are replicable up the neck using your index finger not unlike a capo. So if you play an E shape open chord you get an E - however if you barre the 3rd fret and make that same shape with your remaining fingers - you are using an E shape but playing a Gmajor chord. If you used an A shape barre chord at the 3rd fret you would get a Cmajor chord, if you used a D shape at the 3rd fret you would get an Fmajor.

Hope that helps :)
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Offline dumdum1989

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 04:13:22 am »

Thanks a lot bootstrap that makes loads of sense. Quick question though. Whats the point in loads of different barre chords when you can play the all the chords with one barre chord lol. I ask too many questions but i love playing the guitar and just wanna understand it better  ;D

Offline Bootstrap

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 06:19:20 am »
That's another good question - the reality is that the majority of bedroom guitarists never proceed beyond learning E & A shape barre chords (though the others have their uses).

Why even learn E & A - why not just E and be done with it? Answer - convenience & character - say you are making a chord change from Amajor to Dmajor - now if you only used E shape barre chord you would have to move from 5th fret (A major) to the 10th fret (Dmajor) which is a big jump - however, if you played A (using an E shape), then played D (using an A shape) both are played at the 5th fret - your fingers have to move, but not your position on the neck - convenient.

As for character - whilst tonally an Amajor chord is an Amajor chord no matter what shape you use - the fact is the "character" will be different because you are using different strings and different positions on the neck and sometimes a particular shape will have a better fit in what you are playing.

Welcome to the forum BTW :)
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Offline dumdum1989

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 02:47:39 pm »

Thanks again bootstrap that defiantly make sense. I wanna try and learn lots of barre chords not just E and A. And yer I'm a newbie to the forum but I'm glad I signed up you have taught me a lot. So thanks again. If I have any more questions I'm defo coming to you  :)

Offline stergulc

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 02:45:41 pm »
I have problems playing Emin barre chords on the7, 8, 9,frets. However, when I piggyback my first finger with my second, I'm able to ring out all six notes cleanly most of the time before my hand gets sore. If I remember correctly I believe Justin recomends not doing this because it forms a bad habit. Is it a really big deal.
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Offline Bootstrap

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 10:29:23 pm »
Not unless it becomes a bad habit :)

Rather than practice doubling up fingers - make sure your form is right first.

The most common error people make is thumb position - they align it with the index finger.

Maximum grip is attained aligning the thumb with the middle of your fingers.

Make a fist and slowly relax it, see where your thumb is pointing - grip a pole like your life depends on it, see where your thumb is pointing.

Also the thumb in this position facilitates maximum spread of your fingers.

Make an imaginary air grip of a guitar neck with your thumb & index finger aligned - now try to spread your fingers. If you are like most people only 3 fingers will move. Realign your thumb with the centre of your fingers and try again - all 4 fingers spread easily.

Having said that, occasionally when playing e shaped minor barres or a shaped 7th barres - I'll intuitively know I'm not going to make it and double up.

But first stop is get the form right.

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Offline mali

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Re: Barre chord troubles womp womp
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 08:06:24 am »
To those of you who struggle with the barre chords, just keep going, it takes time, but suddenly you're there! I'm not able to play any barre shape properly yet, I still struggle with the C shape.

Also, a tip I got from a musician friend of mine is to simply toughen the skin of your index finger (which is as important as strenght), pressing down each fret, starting from the first, and going down the neck (leave the other fingers out of it), being as relaxed as possible.