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Old 04-18-2013, 02:29 PM   #1
BoobsVanderbilt
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Barre Chord Grip. Best Thumb Placement?

I had a quick question for Barre Chords.

I have been practicing them more lately and I have gotten SO much better at them, but I am unable to do them for long because when I do them for a little my thumb starts to be in really bad pain...

I don't know if there is a best way to hold your hand for a barre chord, best placement for a your thumb, I will put a picture of how I have my thumb when I'm back from class.. but it KILLS after I do barre chords for a little.

What is the absolute BEST grip and way to hold for barre chords so I know that now, don't do it a wrong way, practice it now before it is too late, and get it down.

Picteures would be AMAZING!
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
mjones1992
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May not be the best, but this seems to be what I use for the most part. the thumb is placed a little off-center and somewhat flat so as to create as much support as I can:



Edit: the tip of the thumb rests after the curve, with the rest of the thumb fitted to the the curve of the neck. Maybe that's why they make different curves on the neck.

Edit 2: There is no"best" way. you need to find what is most comfortable (FOR YOU) and provides the least strain while making sure that all the notes ring out. I'm not gonna lie, barre chords are GOING to tire you out when you first start using them, and probably for the next year or so when your playing them. I've been playing for 7 years, and they can still tire me out if I use too many for too long. I'll include a second pic to show you how to rest your hand a bit... give me about 10 min.


OK. Edit 3: Here, I'm playing a G-chord 2 different ways, and I included what my thumb looks like from the back of the one where I'm fully barring it. Now, let's say you're playing a song with a lotta barre chords, and your hand's getting tired. notice how on one of the G-chords, I use my thumb to fret the low E string, therefore making the barre unnecessary. If you can learn to do that with all of your barre chords, it'll make things a lot easier, as it gives you some variety in how you can finger the chord, and will take some of that pain away when you're playing. So, you can play the normal barre chords, but when you get too tired, you can throw in a few with thumb fretting to give yourself a little break.




Last edited by mjones1992 : 04-18-2013 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:45 PM   #3
Andy Pollow
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Thats one of the reasons I prefer moveable 4 string chords. Everyone gets a sore thumb from bar chords if you do it alot.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Pollow
Thats one of the reasons I prefer moveable 4 string chords. Everyone gets a sore thumb from bar chords if you do it alot.


Good advice also, and I HAD to comment cause you kinda look like a metal-guitarist version of Conan O'Brien
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:12 PM   #5
BoobsVanderbilt
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Thanks a lot for the advice, those pictures really seem like they will help a lot. Especially that 2nd one, with the Thumb over the Low E , I do have long and skinny fingers.. not the biggest hands but MAYBE just long enough to be able to pull it off. I do use the low e thumb technique on certain RHCP songs.

THat is a very interesting a great way to do barre chords. I like it a lot for the amount of freedom for your fingers and playability. And Im going to have to see how that thumb placement works out, I was hoping that the strain and stinging type pain I feel when I do barre chods is normal in the start and just not be doing them wrong or something.

Because it just felt like that stinging or whatever wasn't right , it just stung a lot and didn't seem right, but I figured it would be like that until I did it enough.

Thank you for the advice!
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #6
RickyThomson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoobsVanderbilt

I have been practicing them more lately and I have gotten SO much better at them, but I am unable to do them for long because when I do them for a little my thumb starts to be in really bad pain...


If you get pain in your thumb it could mean you are pressing too hard from the back of your hand. When playing barre-chords you only want to have your thumb resting on the back lightly, most of the pressure to fret the strings should be coming from your fingers.

I tend to have my thumb going almost vertical down the neck, kind of like a relaxed "thumbs-up" and my palm sort of hovers behind the neck. I find this way most comfortable.
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