#1
Hello
I have learned to play a couple of barre chord shapes and i can play them cleanly without much problems, i have to practice my barre chord changing more, though. So anyway, the shapes that are really causing me a lot of frustrations are the ones where your index finger has to bar the 3rd string (such as 6 string root minor barre chords). I just can't get that third string to ring out at all. And I don't think just trying to push it down harder will work because no matter how hard i try to push it down, no matter how awkwardly i roll my index finger, that damn g string just won't ring out :/. Do you guys know of any way or maybe an alternative to this, cause right now my minor barre chords sound pretty much as a less full version of the major ones, there is no "minor" in them .

thanks in advance
part of the "Right-handed guitarists that are actually Left-handed otherwise " group
#2
Quite simply, as you're new to playing them, the strength in your index finger just needs building up.
Unfortunately the best way to do that is to keep playing; it will get easier.

As an extra, are you placing your thumb in the correct place on the back of the neck as you play?
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Last edited by ChrisN at Jan 27, 2009,
#3
Shouldn't be that hard....I don't understand how you can be barring the fret yet missing a string in the middle.

Just practice barring the fret by itself and make sure each string rings out. Then when you can get all 6 strings on that fret to ring out, add your pinky and ring finger on the 4th and 5th strings 2 frets up to make your minor chord.
#4
I'm assuming that you can't press it down because of the little gap in your finger. I had the same problem. Now, when I play those chords I just move my index finger a little higher up so that the little gap is on the fourth string therefore allowing the third to ring out clearly. Just practice doing that and it will become a habit to do when you play a minor chord.
#5
Quote by ChrisN
Quite simply, as you're new to playing them, the strength in your index finger just needs building up.
Unfortunately the best way to do that is to keep playing; it will get easier.

As an extra, are you placing your thumb in the correct place on the back of the neck as you play?


Where should my thumb be?


EDIT: i wrote index finger instead of thumb

@ajricketts: I tried this a couple times but then i had problems with the first two strings, but I think that will be easier to correct. I guess i'll start trying this again.
part of the "Right-handed guitarists that are actually Left-handed otherwise " group
Last edited by pero_o at Jan 27, 2009,
#6
Your thumb should be pretty much in the center of the back of the neck (perhaps a little towards the 6th string). This helps you "squeeze" the neck so your thumb takes much of the strain.
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#7
The most important thing to do in order to solve your problem is the same as with any other problem.... practice!

Aside from that, proper technique will make it easier to play barre chords. What ChrisN said above is correct about where your thumb should be, but incorrect in that you shouldn't be squeezing the fretboard really. I can play a barre chord with my thumb not even touching the neck. You shouldn't need to squeeze like that.

Having your thumb in the right position really helps to ensure that the rest of your arm is in the right position more than anything. What you are trying to achieve by good technique is to actually have the weight of your arm helping to fret chords. You can't feel it and it doesn't require any effort. It's just something that automatically happens when you have good technique. Now with this, it is also important to keep your arm and hand and shoulder relaxed. If your arm is tensed up, you aren't using good technique and your natural body weight isn't helping you, but rather working against you.

Technique isn't something you can pick up or figure out overnight. Again... as always... practice practice practice.

There is one more thing that can make barre chords exponentially easier: having your guitar properly set up. A guitar with low action is immeasurably easier to play barre chords on than a guitar with high action. It doesn't matter what level a guitarist is at, this is always true.
#8
The "squeeze" I mentioned is more of a way to help support your finger whilst you build up it's strength. (Perhaps the word squeeze wasn't the best word to use)

Of course you should be able to play a barre chord without the use of your thumb at all; the thumb is just an aid in building the stamina in your index at the point of first leaning barres. That's all!
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#9
Keep practicing! It just takes time.

When I switched from electric to acoustic, I had the same problem. It was frustrating but it went away without much effort on my part. My fingers adjusted on their own.
#10
Quote by ajricketts
I'm assuming that you can't press it down because of the little gap in your finger. I had the same problem. Now, when I play those chords I just move my index finger a little higher up so that the little gap is on the fourth string therefore allowing the third to ring out clearly. Just practice doing that and it will become a habit to do when you play a minor chord.

this, have the first joint of your index finger on the edge of the top of the fretboard and experiment with it, thats how i learned, i can do it the normal way now, but if its a fast chord progression my finger slips up
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