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Old 01-22-2013, 09:51 PM   #1
lodgi
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playing B, A etc barre chords

Hey all. Im trying to learn the various barre chords because I've just realised that you can play them with distortion without them sounding horrible, which I find the open string chords do.

My trouble is chords with the same shape as B. I find the B itself tricky but do-able using my 4th, 3rd and 2nd finger to hold the D G B strings. When I try and play chords higher up the neck that use the same shape, such as D, I find there is insufficient room to fit all my fingers on the frets and still maintain the barre with my first finger.

I noticed a video where someone played the D using the third finger on the D G B strings, so I tried this myself but found that my third finger muted the thinnest E string. Apparently the highest and lowest notes in a chord are the most important?

So basically im asking: is there a 'correct way' to make the chord shape?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:34 PM   #2
Omnigears
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You only have to barre the A and e string, knowing that might help you a little. I personally use both methods depending which is easier at the point in time.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnigears
You only have to barre the A and e string, knowing that might help you a little. I personally use both methods depending which is easier at the point in time.

With the index finger, yes. But another common way to play this chord shape is to barre the D, G, and B strings with your ring finger. It can be a little tricky, but it's doable.

TS, I don't where you heard that the highest and lowest notes are the most important, but it's wrong. Every note is important and can drastically change the sound. Just compare a major chord to a minor chord: A difference of just one fret on one string can change it completely. With that said, another thing that many people seem to do is to just omit the e string in that shape. From a theory standpoint, it's not necessary since you already have the 5th on the D string. But, without the 5th on the e string, I often find the chords to sound a little weak and empty.

With that shape, there's not really one fingering that's more correct than others, but personally, I prefer playing it with a barred ring finger, so my middle finger and pinky are available if I need them. If you can, I suggest working on that. Some peoples' fingers just don't bend that way.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:59 AM   #4
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How do open chords sound terrible?
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
lodgi
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Originally Posted by tappooh
How do open chords sound terrible?


I just think with distortion they sound terrible. Like the amp is growling at me. On clean they sound great. Is this not normal?
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior#1
From a theory standpoint, it's not necessary since you already have the 5th on the D string. But, without the 5th on the e string, I often find the chords to sound a little weak and empty.

With that shape, there's not really one fingering that's more correct than others, but personally, I prefer playing it with a barred ring finger, so my middle finger and pinky are available if I need them.


This, pretty much.

You have a 5th on the D string in this chord, and so you don't need the one on the high E. You can also try using your 3rd and 4th finger to fret all three strings (D, G and B) either with your 3rd finger over the D and G, or with your 4th finger covering the G and B.

I have some students who prefer that method, actually and it's kinda in between using a finger for each string, and one finger barred across three strings. You kinda get the best of both worlds that way...sometimes...
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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My ring finger doesn't bend at all, so I play A shaped barre chords with my pinky (barring the D,G,B strings). It actually makes it easier if you are using the CAGED system, as playing A shaped barres get tricky around the 12th fret, your pinky typically not being very wide helps in this area.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info. And I'll give the pinky method a go.
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