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Old 01-14-2014, 02:12 PM   #1
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Bar Chords for Beginners

When you first start playing guitar there comes the moment when you come across a bar chord. This is where I'm at and really have no advice for bar chords. I've self thought everything, but I can't quite nail it down this time. Any advice?
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:17 PM   #2
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Firstly: spell it correctly. It's "barre", not "bar".

Secondly: don't start barring down by the nut, it's harder down there where the strings take more effort to fret and it's really easy to get discouraged. Start up the neck, around the 12th fret area or maybe a bit lower if you're finding it hard to get all your fingers in to that small space at first (that will come in time). Get comfortable where ever you decide to fret and move down the neck a fret. Keep doing this, making sure you're comfortable at each fret and make sure it's clean until you end up at the first fret.

It might take a while but it's easier than just jumping in at the first fret and it makes sure you're definitely good at it all over the neck.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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Old 01-14-2014, 04:04 PM   #3
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When I first started playing guitar I got myself all wound up about barre chords. I can do them but I do struggle to get all of the strings to ring out all the time, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. When you use your barring finger, tilt it a bit to the side and use the bony side of your finger to flatten the strings. Don't get too stressed about barre chords. It depends on what sort of music you want to play obviously how much you will use them. I find if I can substitute a barre chord with another chord I will. The guitar police will be on at me like a shot for saying that but each to their own.
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:10 PM   #4
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Try different first finger placements whe barre-ing, the tip of the finger can be above the bass e string. That works best for my finger.
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:15 PM   #5
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As with most things, time, practice and patience will eventually give you the result you want. Like some others said, making sure that you start off on a fret away from the nut and that you practice having every string ring through when played.
I remember going through this phase when I was 12 and it sucked but one day it just happens with time and practice
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:07 PM   #6
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one word: practice!! it took me 6 months to sound the barre chords perfectly (E and A shapes) and another 6 months to change between them (i practiced 10 mn everyday)
but i learned them on an acoustic guitar with a very high action (4mm) (yeah i can't afford a decent guitar :'( ) but if i could do it with my crappy guitar you can do it, so don't get discouraged.
you said that you're self-taught, so follow justin's method:


good luck
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:54 PM   #7
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Practice them on an acoustic guitar. Seriously. If necessary drop the tuning by a step or half step, then spend a few weeks getting it to sound right. Bring it back to concert pitch and again spend some time gettign it right.

When you switch back to electric you will play them with ease.

That's my top tip for any techinique. If you can get it right on an acoustic, an electric will be a doddle. You will always, always improve if you work on an acoustic before an electric.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:31 PM   #8
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Patience is always the key. But sometimes, I know there's ways to avoid some barre chords. For example, like B, which is a barre chord ( x24442) can be played with its power chord. This is at least how I play my B's. Power chord= x244xx

As always, patience is key, but there are some nifty tricks like the one mentioned. Good Luck and never become discouraged.

Before you ask, my name is from Hallelujah when they say," I heard there was a secret chord."

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Old 01-21-2014, 10:46 PM   #9
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I agree with all...One thing: Keep your fretting elbow close to your body & down low. There is a natural sweet spot for your wrist bend, & moving your elbow in close always helps. Your index finger will get them all, & it will eventually be as easy as "G"~!
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