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Old 01-06-2013, 05:03 AM   #1
Vin71
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barre chords barring every string

I've been at it on and off for about 3 months now I still cant barre every string with the index finger... I've tried all the positions spent hours trying to get the right position I only manage to be able to get 5 of the 6 strings buzzing perfectly, one is always not held down enough or just almost held down enough, I've managed to actually get all 6 pressed down very few times but **** I have to put so much pressure my hole finger is red afterwards and has lines everywhere. I mean the string that I can't push fully down isn't hard to push down, it's that it's at the skinny part of my finger, there's always one string at the skinny part and the other strings end up pushing like 5x harder down just to barely push down that one last string



I really want to be able to barre all strings so I can freely switch fast between abunch of chords, even if I do manage to get all 6 currently barred I have to be pressing down so hard its redicoiolous, as I barre the other 5 without barely any pressure.


Any advice? Should I just work with the 5 strings I got and try to switch when I know I'm going to a chord that uses the x'd string in the barre for it?

Last edited by Vin71 : 01-06-2013 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:22 AM   #2
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You should just keep practicing. Then after that, practice some more.

Barre chords take a long time to get right. Don't try finding shortcuts, that will only lead to bad habits which will hinder you later on.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:21 AM   #3
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I know your feels brah. I have skinny fingers with big ol' knuckles that make it a pain to barre. Keep going. Ive never really used them much in my playing, so Ive never really practiced them (I really should) but I've more or less got the hang of them now over a few years. If you keep spending time practicing you'll have them down way faster than me.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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Barre chords are quite hard to nail. The way I went about it was to form the chord and then pick each string individually to make sure I had chord perfect. After I got comfortable forming the chord, I looked for songs that had one barre chord in and learnt to them play them songs slowly. I didn't really notice my improvement, but one day, I picked up my guitar and could play all my barre chords perfect.
It'll come. It's just practice.

Also, try to push as light as possible whilst still making the notes ring. If you are cramping up your hand, it's gonna make barre chords a chore. I guess this can be addressed over time.

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Old 01-06-2013, 12:58 PM   #5
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It took me six months to get barre chords down, just dont give up and stay positive!
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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I actually was able to finally get them all barred, but I used a weird way I'm not is proper, my index finger had to cover the guitar over the main join of it, which positioned my middle finger next the high E it was hard moving it down and I could get the last string with my middle finger but I was able to get them all barred down, not sure if I should try to learn to do it this way or not ive also been eating more meat to hopfulyl fatten my finger lol
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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Thinner strings and lower tunings can help. What strings are you using and what tuning are you in?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_W
Thinner strings and lower tunings can help. What strings are you using and what tuning are you in?

No, lower tunings will not help. You need to get this technique down and not cheat your way around it.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dimery
No, lower tunings will not help. You need to get this technique down and not cheat your way around it.

This.

Practice is the only answer.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GaryBillington
This.

Practice is the only answer.


lol So just delete this forum now then as practice is the only answer.

Why even have discussions, just practice.

I don't really think there is anything wrong with making things a bit easier on yourself when you're learning. Nothing wrong with tuning down a half step, I always play in Eb anyway. Maybe he will find he likes it better anyway.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:14 PM   #11
The Dimery
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How lazy can people be? If you can't be arsed putting the effort in to play barre chords correctly then why the hell are you playing at all?
Either do it correctly or find a easier hobby.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_W
lol So just delete this forum now then as practice is the only answer.

Why even have discussions, just practice.
I see your point, but in this case it's true. It's such a fundamental aspect of guitar playing that you just have to keep working at it until you get it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_W
I don't really think there is anything wrong with making things a bit easier on yourself when you're learning. Nothing wrong with tuning down a half step, I always play in Eb anyway. Maybe he will find he likes it better anyway.
Tuning down half a step is fine if you're doing it to replicate a certain sound, but doing purely because you're too lazy to practice even the most basic technique properly is a terrible idea.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:17 PM   #13
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Get a friend to do it for you!! As seen below:




I kid, I kid... if you're not content with just being a open chord strummer overusing the capo you just have to keep practicing, eventually it will become second nature.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:17 PM   #14
J_W
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryBillington
I see your point, but in this case it's true. It's such a fundamental aspect of guitar playing that you just have to keep working at it until you get it right.

Tuning down half a step is fine if you're doing it to replicate a certain sound, but doing purely because you're too lazy to practice even the most basic technique properly is a terrible idea.


It's been a while (15 years) since I started playing so it's hard for me to even imagine having trouble with barre chords.

Personally, I think it's a pefectly fine way to build up your finger strength. I don't think tuning a half step down is really cheating you out of anything.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:05 PM   #15
dietermoreno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin71
I've been at it on and off for about 3 months now I still cant barre every string with the index finger...



Yeah you can barre every string with your index finger.

You just need to practice more to get calluses.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:01 AM   #16
QPC_Sam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin71
I've managed to actually get all 6 pressed down very few times but **** I have to put so much pressure my hole finger is red afterwards and has lines everywhere. I mean the string that I can't push fully down isn't hard to push down, it's that it's at the skinny part of my finger, there's always one string at the skinny part and the other strings end up pushing like 5x harder down just to barely push down that one last string


It's the shape of your finger, not how hard you press.

I've seen people with a very tight grip not get anywhere with barre chords. If your finger doesn't match the shape of the guitar's neck (either flat or slightly curved) then you will be making a bridge. No matter how hard you press, you won't be pressing down on all the strings evenly.

I wasn't there, but I would reckon that the times you got it to work were the times you had your finger in the right shape (or nearly there) rather than because you were pressing hard. Do you press hard and fail to get all the strings? If so, then the problem isn't how hard you press.

Keep trying to change the shape of your finger by moving individual joints.

And try this: lightly touch all the strings with your index finger only. Pick each individually -- all of them should be muted by your finger. If not, then you have a bridge of some kind. Pressing hard will not help. Move the different joints of your finger until you can mute all the strings equally. THEN gradually increase the pressure until you can do this with the strings pressed against a fret. I would suggest the 7th as the best place to start. If some strings begin to sound clearly while others are still muted, then correct that by flexing the joints of your finger. Release the pressure and start again: mute all the strings by touching as lightly as possible. Gradually increase the pressure, picking each string. If some sound clearly while others are muted... see above.

I've seen kids get barre chords. It's not strength which does it.
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Last edited by QPC_Sam : 01-17-2013 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_W
Thinner strings and lower tunings can help. What strings are you using and what tuning are you in?


Nope. I use a 26.5" scale, with thicker than factory strings. I do 7 string barre chords all the time. It's all about learning the "clamp grip." Make sure your index finger is flat and adjust your thumb's position for even pressure. Think of it as your hand, functioning as a capo. I tried uploading a photo, but it didn't work. Start by trying it at the 5-7 fret so it easier to do.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:18 PM   #18
Guitar AntiHero
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A slightly curved index finger can help a lot...try not to "force" it too much by crushing the fretboard with just the index (especially one that is very straight.) Thumb position will play into this too, and having the thumb somewhere either directly under the index or just to the side between the index and middle fingers seems to work pretty well. Stay close to right behind your target fret, and understand that your hand position will change somewhat in relation to where you are on the neck. Also, be sure not to "over shoot" your index finger when barring: don't extend your finger tip more than is necessary to fret the lowest string in the chord. Too much extension can add more tension and cause you to apply more pressure than you need, which can (and usually does) affect the degree of tension applied to the other strings, which affects the overall quality of the chord. Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:09 AM   #19
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin71
I've been at it on and off for about 3 months now I still cant barre every string with the index finger...
What kind of guitar are you using?

The reason I ask is, if it's some kind of electric with light strings, the problem is with you.

If it's an acoustic with heavier strings, it could partially be the guitar. Acoustics are by nature, harder to play. Very often, the factory "set up", leaves a great deal to be desired. Heavy strings, too high off the fret board, and large body acoustic guitars are the recipe for hand cramps, and buzzes.

The bottom line here is, three months is nothing in guitar playing terms.

The muscles you need to play the guitar are little used otherwise, so they're going to take a lot of work to build up.

And BTW, like so many other worthwhile things in life we choose to do, playing the guitar is miles away from being as easy as it looks.

So, take what everyone has said about technique in mind, and compare it to the way you're doing it, many of the tips presented are quite valid. But realize this, the guitar is no different from any other "sport", "no pain, no gain".
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar AntiHero
A slightly curved index finger can help a lot...try not to "force" it too much by crushing the fretboard with just the index (especially one that is very straight.)


This will depend on the shape of the guitar neck.

It's mainly classical guitars which will have a flat neck, though, and so require a flat finger.
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