Author Topic: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord  (Read 171465 times)

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Offline pastie123

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #225 on: November 20, 2017, 11:38:27 am »
I found a good workout for chords other than justin's one minute changes (which is also a great workout too) is too place your chord shape down then take off the chord shape and just lay down your fretting hand on the strings too mute them. 1- strum the chord 2- mute the strings and strum 3- repeat the process 4- gradually speed up.

Offline BCDC

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #226 on: January 25, 2018, 07:48:16 pm »
Hi Folks,

Just like everyone else, I have found the F barre chord to be a bigger challenge than all other chords in the Beginners course. For the most part, I am happy with my progress to date, but my progress seems to have stalled and am looking for some advice regarding how to proceed from here.
 
I understand that the F barre chord is a long term project and that practice practice practice and more practice is the key to success. The advice I am looking for focuses on the TYPE of practice I am doing, rather than the need for more practice. 

Here is a quick summary of how I have progressed so far.

I started learning the F barre chord in late-September 2017. Once I could finger the chord successfully, I started doing 1 minute changes (i.e., F to C, F to D, F to Am, and F to G).

Once I achieved 60 changes per minute (early-October), I started to strum between the 2-chords using a metronome, starting at 60 BPM and progressing to a faster BPM when achieving competency.

Once I was able to strum between the 2-chords at 100 BPM (late-October), I started to play chord progressions from songs that I wanted to play (e.g., G F C G F;  F C G Am;  C F C F Am F C G). Again, I used a metronome, starting at 60 BPM and progressing faster when achieving competency.

Once I was able to play these chord progressions at >100 BPM (mid-November), I started to play songs.
Once I started to play songs, I noticed that I continued to improve until the end of November, but since then, I don’t seem to have improved further despite consistently including songs with F in my practice routine (10 minutes/session, 4 sessions/week).

At present, I am able to play songs using F barre, but I only seem to land a clean chord 50% of the time, and the other 50% I flub the chord and require finger correction on beats 1 and 2. 

Since my progress seems to have stalled, I am wondering whether I need to try something different to help me improve, because playing songs 10 minutes/session does not seem to be moving me in the right direction.

For example, I am thinking of going back to strumming 2-chords at a slow speed using a metronome (i.e., F to C, F to D, F to Am, and F to G) and progress again through the stages I have described above, but this time concentrating a little more on accuracy of finger placement and playing the chord consistently clean before progressing through the stages or increasing BPMs.

Alternatively, I am thinking of doing some concentrated practice on the F barre chord for 2'ish weeks. In this time, I would focus only on playing (a) select chord progressions from songs I wanted to play using a metronome, and (b) songs with F in it. I am thinking that this would give me an opportunity really focus on the F barre chord and get it dialed in. I successfully used this approach when learning Air Changes which made a huge difference in my playing. 

Sorry for the long post. For those of you who are still reading this, I am hoping someone could give me some good advice. Thanks in advance.

Offline PeterU

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #227 on: January 25, 2018, 10:15:49 pm »
Hi BCDC.

I'm in exactly the same place as you so it would be great to hear from the experienced pros how they have overcome this.

I haven't got anywhere near 120 changes a minute yet - assuming you're counting f to c to f to c as 4 not 2. I don't think speed matters so much for f barre at this stage though and I have instead abandoned the 1 minute changes in favour of a different plan to try and break what for me is a similarly painful experience.

This is what I've been doing for the last few weeks having started in September last year and hitting a plateau and the inevititible frustration.

I have deliberately slowed down to speed up. I'm focusing on quality - just doing tons of changes mostly in the scale of C so all changes to Am, C, D and Dm (songs I want to play have both), Em and G. G is the killer - it's just not working well. No metronome no one minutes - just 100% attention on getting it right with no missed finger positions or buzzing notes, which is tough but I see no point going hell for leather and missing chords at this stage so I've gone back to basics.

It's working though and I've started to introduce the metronome at a slow 80 with the aim being that once I hit 120 with no missed notes and feel relaxed and comfortable I'll sign it off and move on!

I'm also learning slow tempo songs with f chord changes as a means of forcing the pace which has worked before when I hit the wall for example on c to g changes which I can now bash out at over 180 bpm. The Drugs Don't Work is an excellent one to work on as that can develop with different grips and rhythms later on. It's working well as its a 76 bpm song and I love the song which keeps me going when I get frustrated.

Every now and then I am putting in the one minute changes but I don't see much value in this if you're stuck on the quality of change - changing perfectly slowly and lots of times must help develop the muscle memory.

The big thing I've learned is that I can do this - but I'd also got lazy with my fret hand position so have also focused on that by moving my wrist down and round more to get a better grip when changing. And by pulling the neck into my body a bit I can get the barre sounding better.

But I'm a beginner and I would love to know how those who have hit the wall on f barre finally broke through!

For me, stage 7 is proving a huge test what with carrying over f barre chord. For me personally it's vital as I want to play blues, rock and eventually metal so need to get to grips with barre chords as all as the power chords and scales. I'm not moving on till I've cracked it!

Hope that helps.

Cheers and good luck!

Peter

Offline DarrellW

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #228 on: January 26, 2018, 07:48:34 am »
I really don’t understand this emphasis on speed, once you get over 60bpm it’s a bit academic, ok there are the odd occasions that may need faster changes but not until you’re well down the learning road.
Concentrate on getting them right and clean at a sensible speed but don’t allow this to slow you down too much, the F shape chord and when you get to it A shape bar chord are not easy, take it easy and don’t be impatient and rush yourself!
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 08:24:03 am by DarrellW »
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Offline BCDC

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #229 on: January 26, 2018, 08:52:55 pm »
@PeterU

Thanks for your reply Peter. I appreciate you taking the time to write about your experiences. 

Re: 120 changes a minute -- I was not actually referring to 1-minute changes here. When I mentioned strumming between 2 chords using a metronome at >100 BPMs, I was referring to strumming 4 beats per chord before changing to the next chord at >100 BPMs.

I like the concept of “deliberately slowing down to speed up”. That generally aligns with my first example of taking a few steps back and concentrating a little more on accuracy before trying to speed up. It is possible that I progressed too quickly and I have picked up some bad habits. Unless someone else offers some advice that makes more sense, I think I will head in that direction. Thanks mate!
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 09:29:54 am by close2u »

Offline BCDC

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #230 on: January 26, 2018, 09:05:30 pm »
I really don’t understand this emphasis on speed, once you get over 60bpm it’s a bit academic, ok there are the odd occasions that may need faster changes but not until you’re well down the learning road.
Concentrate on getting them right and clean at a sensible speed but don’t allow this to slow you down too much, the F shape chord and when you get to it A shape bar chord are not easy, take it easy and don’t be impatient and rush yourself!

Darrell, unless I am misunderstanding you, the vast majority of songs have a tempo that is >60 BPMs, so unless you can increase your speed, you are stuck doing boring chord changes. I am not sure what songs you might be playing, but I never find an occasion when I don’t need faster changes than 60 BPM. The first song most people learn in stage 1 of the BC is Three Little Birds. The tempo of this song is very slow (i.e., 76 BPMs) but even that song is >60 BPMs. I personally use a metronome as a guide to help me get faster with chord changes in a systematic and controlled manner. 1 minute changes only takes me so far. Once I get to 60 changes per minute, learning how to change chords by strumming 4 beats per chord with progressively faster BPMs has helped me tremendously to achieve competence in making chord changes fast enough to actually play along with songs. I really don’t understand how you DON’T have an emphasis on speed. Of course, speed is not the only emphasis. To me, learning how to change between new chords is a complex interaction between speed and accuracy that I think we all try to balance in an effort to learn and become proficient at new chords.       

Offline PeterU

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #231 on: January 27, 2018, 12:39:55 am »
I agree.

Most pop and rock songs played in 4 / 4 are circa 120 bpm with a range between 80 bpm and 160 bpm. Personally I'd aim for songs which are 120 bpm for beginner level with good quality changes

Saying that I wouldn't think for a second the 1 minute changes on f should need to go above 1 a second when counting f c f c as 4 complete changes.

Playing songs and upping the tempo to the required level whilst keeping the beat consistent has to be the goal here.

It's about quality and speed by sometimes one needs more work say where speed comes at the cost of missing the notes you need to slow down a bit to speed back up.

Cheers

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Offline DarrellW

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #232 on: January 27, 2018, 10:09:27 am »
I’ve not said that you never need to change faster I said at that stage you don’t.
If you refer to the 1 min changes video at around 5:00 Justin says 60 single chord changes per minute is your aim to be able to play most of the BC songs, 60 changes/min = 60 bpm, so why would he say that?
If you’re way down the BC or Intermediate then OK you’re going to need to be able to change faster but in practical terms how many songs do you know that need more than 2 chord changes in a bar? I know of a few but not many. If you’re doing it for fun or as a personal thing OK, but I would rather be learning songs, in the early stages you need to learn what’s needed to play songs, it’s all too easy to overdo things that are not so important for your progress, I’ve done it myself, practicing scales up to 240bpm plus, never needed that speed for the stuff I play, conclusion - waste of time!!!
Still here, still learning - don’t let obstacles get in my way Fibromyalgia sucks but doesn’t mean your life stops!

Offline BCDC

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #233 on: January 27, 2018, 12:13:08 pm »
Darrell, I think you have completely misunderstood this entire discussion. We have been talking about doing 1 minute changes until you get to 60 changes THEN using a metronome to practice chord progressions (4 beats per chord NOT 2 beats per chord) using either 2,3, 4, etc chords to get these chords changes up to a speed that is suitable to play songs. It is simply s stepping stone between 1 minutes changes and playing songs. I hardly see this as a waste of time when it is directly targeted at the primary goal.....playing songs!


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Offline PeterU

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #234 on: January 27, 2018, 12:27:17 pm »
Gents.

There's a really good method I'm using to cross the bridge from 60 changes a minute to playing at 120 bpm which for me is where I want to be at for the stuff I want to play with the f Barre chord.

It's where you play two bars over and over and gradually change up gear as you progress with accurate changes. It works like this.

Set the MN to 120 bpm at 4/4.

1. Strum on beat 1 change on beat 2 3 and 4. Loads of time to get a quality change  Strum beat 1 and repeat

2. Strum beats 1 and 2. Change beats 3 and 4. Repeat. Twice as fast.

3. Strum beats 1 2 and 3. Change on 4. Repeat.

4. Strum all 4 beats. Change at end of bar on up strum. Repeat.

5. Knock the MN up by 10 and start again but only when the changes are 100% accurate.

It's worked for me with c to g as each step up provides a brief period of consolodation before you push forwards at a faster pace.

What it does is effectively increment the tempo by 30 each time at 120 bpm so it's more progressive than 1 min in that respect and helps you focus on quality AND speed.

Just a suggestion but what matters most is how quickly you need to play for what YOU want to play - as Metallica once said Nothing Else Matters!!

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Offline PeterU

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #235 on: January 27, 2018, 12:36:24 pm »
I forgot to say you only move on to the next stage when you can make the change cleanly at that level.

So for example stage 2 goes strum strum change change strum strum change change.

Level three strum strum strum change strum strum strum change




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Offline DarrellW

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #236 on: January 27, 2018, 01:10:24 pm »
OK, you know best - obviously you know more than I do and better than I do.
After all I’ve only been playing on an off for over 40 years, how should I know what I’m talking about!
Still here, still learning - don’t let obstacles get in my way Fibromyalgia sucks but doesn’t mean your life stops!

Offline BCDC

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #237 on: January 27, 2018, 01:24:56 pm »
Darrell. Have a good weekend mate.


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Offline BCDC

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #238 on: January 27, 2018, 01:34:27 pm »
Peter. Thanks again for your detailed post. I have never thought of doing it this way. The only potential downside I can see of that method is that there are large jumps between the steps when played along with a metronome at 120 bpm. For example, if I am reading this right, **theoretically** step 1 is the equivalent to changing between chords at 30 bpm (ie., 1 chord change per bar.; 120 bpm divided by 4), then step 2 at 60 bpm, then step 3 at 90 bpm, the finally step 4 is at 120 bpm. Perhaps the math of this is wrong, but you get the idea. THAT SAID......if it works for you, IT WORKS, and that is all that matters. I might give that a go myself for something different. Who knows, this may be the holy grail of learning chords! LOL.


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Offline PeterU

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Re: BC-161 • The Dreaded F Chord
« Reply #239 on: January 27, 2018, 02:07:00 pm »
I'd not thought of it like that. I see it as a way to gradually increase speed whilst ensuring accuracy whilst with the one min changes I tend to go hell for leather and make too much of a mess of the changes.

Try it and let me know what you think.

I've only been playing a year and have moved at various speeds to stage 7 so not much experience compared to others but I'm keen to look at ways to remove what for me has been a road block.

Cheers

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