Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Instruments > Guitar Techniques
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 02-10-2013, 01:03 AM   #1
musician26
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
F Barre Chord

Hello, I am currently learning Barre Chords. I can't get any of them to sound clear. I've been practicing them now for a couple weeks and they still sound like crap, especially the F Barre Chord. I know these are one of the toughest chords to learn but does anyone have any tips? I am seeing a teacher. I also feel that I can't practice for long without my hand getting tired and sore. I am going to bring this up to my teacher next time we meet.
musician26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
hatchet_job
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Biggest thing is: Don't get discouraged! Don't give up! It takes time, time, and more time. Once your muscles build strength you will be much better. And two weeks is nothing. If you can play more than one chord you are doing fine. Keep at it! I am terrible, but getting better.
I hated the 1st fret bar so bad I avoid it like the plague, even now years later I avoid it. Lazy I know.

Last edited by hatchet_job : 02-10-2013 at 08:29 AM.
hatchet_job is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
Bikewer
Registered User
 
Bikewer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
This single thing tends to give beginners more trouble than any other.

I always make the same suggestion... Make sure your guitar is set up properly. A lot of acoustic guitars come with the action a bit on the high side, and a high action at the nut can make barre chords a real bear, especially at the first position.
Here's an easy way to test... Apply a capo. If it's suddenly easier to finger a first-position chord with the capo on, then you need an action adjustment.

Aside from that, analyze what's going wrong. Pick each note separately, and see which ones are not sounding clearly. Sometimes, just a slight change in position will cure things.
Bikewer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
Knackworst1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
You can also try to just bar the high B and E string, then use your thumb to fret the first fret on the low E, and just use the middle and ring finger for the other notes... It's a more economic alternative to me in a way that my index finger won't get tired to quickly
Knackworst1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2013, 04:45 PM   #5
GaryBillington
Grumpier than normal.
 
GaryBillington's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Trow Vegas
Practice is the only answer here. Obviously take a break if your hand is getting sore, you don't want to overwork it and risk doing any damage, but only by practicing can you build your muscles up so you can keep going for longer.
__________________
.
Gibson LP Studio x2, SG Special Plus, Midtown Custom
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm > TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30 210 + GS112VE cab
Jet City JCA22H
GaryBillington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
Battery Chicken
Viva la Revolucion!
 
Battery Chicken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knackworst1
You can also try to just bar the high B and E string, then use your thumb to fret the first fret on the low E, and just use the middle and ring finger for the other notes... It's a more economic alternative to me in a way that my index finger won't get tired to quickly


This is a great technique to know. I never could as my fingers are too short to ever master it competently, so I just silently curse those who can and their stupid normal sized hands.

Another way to look at barre chords is that two frets and two strings up is an octave above your root. So you can still play an F using xx3211 as opposed to 133211, it's also a good way to mix it up if you want an F that's a little more delicate than the full barre.

Also don't get discouraged, the F barre is a prick of chord. Even after many years of playing my hand still hurts like a bitch if I'm playing a song that uses it a lot.
Battery Chicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 01:31 AM   #7
Monkeyleg
UG Fanatic
 
Monkeyleg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
I've been playing for less than a year, so take that into account.

When I started months back, I really struggled with barre chords. Then they got easier, but there were still some that were a challenge. My fingers ached, and sometimes they would just give out.

When I learned the F chord, it was like going back to the beginning, but that only lasted a few days.

Just keep practicing. It will come in time.
Monkeyleg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 07:24 AM   #8
bondmorkret
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Learning barre chords is tough, lots of my students hit a wall with this. But they always improve over a few weeks as long as they stick with it. Plough through the pain! Try getting a hand strengthening device too
__________________
Online guitar lessons - Fusion, rock, metal and jazz!
bondmorkret is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 02:25 PM   #9
musician26
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Thanks for the advice everyone
musician26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 02:08 AM   #10
gorsad
Registered User
 
gorsad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Well, it seems that all the advice has already been given. But since I was in the F barre situation around 2 months ago, I have one thing to ask. How long are you practicing for, if it's above 30 minutes, you may want to cut it down a bit, that might be your problem. I learnt the chord much faster when I split mu practice into 3 x 5 minute sessions. It could also help with your sore hand.
gorsad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 03:35 AM   #11
Captaincranky
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by musician26
Hello, I am currently learning Barre Chords. I can't get any of them to sound clear. I've been practicing them now for a couple weeks and they still sound like crap, especially the F Barre Chord. I know these are one of the toughest chords to learn but does anyone have any tips? I am seeing a teacher. I also feel that I can't practice for long without my hand getting tired and sore. I am going to bring this up to my teacher next time we meet.
Yeah. Hang on tight, and be prepared for some pain.

Nobody would give it a second thought if they couldn't go out to the track and run a four minute mile on the first try, would they?

So, the muscles and callouses you have to build up to play the guitar take time also.

The more you do it, the easier it gets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knackworst1
You can also try to just bar the high B and E string, then use your thumb to fret the first fret on the low E, and just use the middle and ring finger for the other notes... It's a more economic alternative to me in a way that my index finger won't get tired to quickly
I see we've re-imagined the "Hendrix Grip"....again.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 02-17-2013 at 03:39 AM.
Captaincranky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 08:10 PM   #12
osocod
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
I am in the process of learning just this. I have a few tips that have helped me a great deal.

1. Make sure that you learn on a set of strings no thicker than 0.11. My changing down from 0.12 made a world of difference.
2. If 133211 is hard, practise a bit down the neck, with a capo on 3rd fret for example.
3. Start with easier barre shapes. Bmin and F#m, for example, are both easier than F.
4. A good song for me to practise while learning is Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley. Why? Because it has a low tempo and the chords are picked. That way I can practice "good" chord switching and can also hear on which strings I go wrong. That song also incorporates F->G chord changes at two different speeds.

Good luck!
osocod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 09:17 PM   #13
StuartBahn
Registered User
 
StuartBahn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
I agree with several of the previous posts. Fret 1 is the hardest place to bar so it's sensible to start higher up the fret board to develop the technique.

Something that is occasionally a source of problems is if you allow your thumb to point sideways as you try to bar. This must be avoided as it makes it very difficult to get the required pressure. The LH thumb should point more or less upwards (unless there is a very good reason) and act like a clamp with the fingers.

Using thinner strings is certainly a sensible option. Don't consider it cheating. The most important thing is that you keep morale high and progress.

All best,
Stuart Bahn
__________________
Professional Guitarist and Guitar Educator
www.StuartBahn.com
Join my mailing list to receive a FREE EBOOK on creating an effective practice regime.
StuartBahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #14
fanapathy
B-Tuned
 
fanapathy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by osocod
(...)1. Make sure that you learn on a set of strings no thicker than 0.11. My changing down from 0.12 made a world of difference.


I have 1 guitar with .14 and the other is .10

I almost only play on the .14 one. The fret 1 chord is really hard and in general everything is more difficult. But by practicing with this, the one with normal strings becomes super easy to play in comparison as the fingers become that much stronger

I'm in no way recommending this for someone just starting out but it can be a good thing too

Best of luck
fanapathy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 02:48 AM   #15
superkeans
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Dear musician26

Your fingers need a muscle for movement control. Don't be in a hurry that much coz it needs time to develop..
superkeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 04:42 AM   #16
socrfb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
It's just a matter of practice. It takes some people months before they really get it. Don't stop learning though. Keep on progressing, just make a note to practice that F chord until you've got it down, then keep on practicing it.

Last edited by socrfb : 02-21-2013 at 04:43 AM.
socrfb is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:53 PM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.