barring is so difficult!!! i just cant seem to do it. all these minors, sound so nice, but its a freakin shame i cant play them cause they all use bars!!! helpful techniques?
you just need to keep practicing =] i know it gets boring, but it really is the only way
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BobChicken is right...there is no easy solution apart from practice....but at some point in the future it will come and you will forget you ever had a problem so keep at it!
just keep trying... this takes time. The muscles used in many guitar skills will build over time. Just keep playing, do the chords as best you can. Practice scales for 30 to 40 min. a day. This may seem a little much, but it will strengthen your "neck" arm and improve skill.

the real key is just keep playing - play every day. I keep a low-end guitar to travel with and even take it with me when I travel.
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some minors, like f minor, i use my thumb to fret the bass note, and then you only have to bar the G, B, and E strings. (your middle finger isn't fretting anything) ... im terrible at explaining things

that's really the only way around it, otherwise just get your finger strength up, it'll get better
practice man practice! but to help you out 1) roll your first finger so your barring with the side instead of the front of the finger 2) place your thumb under your first finger when you barre 3) keep your elbow in close to your body 4) start off practicing them around the 5th or 7th frets. hope this helps
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Like everyone says keep practicing, also if your not getting the force down on the fretboard then try increasing finger strength or change the positioning of your hand. I think its best to slide your thumb down while playing the bar chords so your thumb apply pressure against your other fingers so it gets the clearer sounds. Try looking at some lessons, I can't really explain this well.
Quote by §tratôcaster
some minors, like f minor, i use my thumb to fret the bass note, and then you only have to bar the G, B, and E strings. (your middle finger isn't fretting anything) ... im terrible at explaining things

that's really the only way around it, otherwise just get your finger strength up, it'll get better

thats how i bar all the chords on the low E string.
put your thumb on the low E string, ring finger on the A string, pinky on the D, middle on the G (if its a major chord), and your pointer finger on the G, B, and e strings.

its much easier to bar i think.

and it sounds really cool if you use your ring finger to mute the A string, instead of holding it down.
so then you have a large portion of the chord on the D,G,B and e strings and it makes the illusion that you have a bass player playing the root note (on the low E string with your thumb).
john mayer does it in his acoustic stuff.
i know i probably didnt explain that too well but its all good
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Starting off with partial barres is also a good way to work up to the real deal. Start with an A Major like this: xx7655 using your ring, middle and first finger on both 5's. It also helps if once in a while you try fretting a straight barre with just your first finger. Work from fretting three strings at once with your first finger (xxx555, etc.), then four, then five, then six. Then all you have to do is make sure you toss in barre chords when you're practicing progressions and you'll be set.
some good old fashion practice, what are we in the 70's? well thats cool. thanks guys
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this is the chord thats killing me right now. its of naomi from neutral milk hotel. any suggestions on how i should play it???

e ---|---|---|-x-|---|
B -x-|---|---|---|---|
G -x-|---|---|---|---|
D -x-|---|---|---|---|
A ---|---|---|---|---|
E ---|---|---|---|---|
barre with your first finger and with your thumb pinching directly behind on the neck...use your second finger to push down flatly on your barring finger and third finger on the top e
Last edited by g1jammer at Nov 27, 2008,
so put my middle finger on top of my index(the one that is barring)? barring the four isnt that hard but its putting my pinky or ring finger on that note that makes the barred finger turn so the top barred part go all ****ty. you know?
Aha..the second finger just adds a bit of pressure but if you don't have trouble with the barre maybe no need to do it...just trying out I find my barred finger is slightly turned so the underside of the finger is slightly pointing down the neck of the guitar..the top e just takes a bit of strength but it may help if you position your thumb under the neck but moved towards your e fretting finger
OOOOOOOOOO MMMMMMMYYYYYY GGGGGGOOOOODDDDDDNNNNNEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!!! your so the best!!!! i can play it better than before, not as it should be better it gonna take some time!!! sincerely, thank you, your the best!!!
Ive been playing a little over 9 months and picked up guitar really fast but now I've come to a challenge. Bar chords. I've been trying to get the bm since I started playing and my main problem is when I play a chord like G my thumb wraps around the neck so it peaks out over the neck. Now I'm trying to bar and the way my thumb is normally is painful and it hurts even worse when I try to push up on the neck when barring. How to I do bar chords with my gross hands :-(
Last edited by Julzizchemical at Jun 24, 2012,
Well, first you should have started your own thread instead of "necro-bumping", this 4 year old dead head.

There really isn't any difference between playing the guitar and beginning any other athletic endeavour.......The mantra is the same, "no pain, no gain".

People build up muscle tissue and callouses at different rates depending on their hormonal balance, age, and other factors.You may not even be, "doing it wrong".

Playing the guitar is a whole series of unnatural motions, being performed by muscles that aren't normally used in that manner.

With that said, a properly, "setup" guitar, will always be easier to play than one unattended. The "action", (basically the height of the strings over the fret board), is almost always way too high on an acoustic as they are shipped from the factory. A lighter gauge string set can also help.

Specifically, you should also seek out a teaching pro for a few formal lessons. A good teacher will be able diagnose any technical flaw in your hand positions, and give you exercises to help correct them.

Joint pain can be associated with arthritis also, and it needs to be ruled out. "But I''m to young to suffer from arthritis", you say? Hm, mebbe, mebbe not.

IMHO, this is a far superior approach than relying on crackpots, such as myself, on the internet to do physical diagnostic work. This forum is good for certain issues, but, medical / physical issues are not really among them. So, first teacher, then doctor.

Then, if all else fails, take up the f***ing piano?

(Before you say it,YES, sometimes I blurt out inappropriate things like that, and YES, that's how I came to call myself, "Captaincranky)!
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 24, 2012,
Well I didn't know how old this thread was, I usually only use this for finding tabs. I do have joint problems so maybe that has to do with my frustration. It was more of "I'm really pissed off what could I possibly be doing wrong here" moment but maybe I will find a new guitar teacher. I got the basics from a teacher in school but now I don't go to that school and don't have a teacher
Between school and now, you could have picked up some bad habits.

You could be trying too hard.

Or, you could have actual physical issues.

Being involved with several of these threads, I've found that random, often conflicting advice does very little good.

As to the specifics of "joint pain", I'm older, so I expect a certain amount, if only for the fact that the cartilage between the joints in an older person is simply not as flexible or "compliant", as that of someone younger, In short, I can no longer play as long, as fast, or as loud, ( ), as I'd like. At least not without paying for it a bit more than I used to.

Sometimes, the original poster fails to distinguish between pain from sore muscles and tender skin, and that of a more serious, "I'm damaging myself", nature.

Hence, the recommendation to seek out professional help, in direct physical proximity to you.

As a member, you're more than welcome to start your own topic. I don't think some people realize that at first, which results in an, "archeology expedition"....

But more to the point here, it's your pain that's the issue, not that of another.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 24, 2012,