#1
Hi! I'm a beginning guitarist who's been practicing a lot of open chords, strumming and finger style songs. I have a few questions.. sorry if they piss anyone off due to their triviality...

1. My acoustic guitar is without a doubt a cheap hand-me-down. I've noticed that even with proper tuning (I used a tuner) and correct playing (I'm sure I am..), my guitar doesn't sound at all like the guitars that artists use. Is this normal? Is it because songs are somewhat edited or is it because those artists use acoustic-electric guitars?

2. I can't seem to do barre chords. Does anyone know any tips? The two strings in the middle always seem to die...

3. If there are thumb picks for people who play finger style, are there finger picks as well or are those for banjos? I have a friend who plays the banjo so he uses those steel ones... If I had a pick on my thumb and pointing finger, wouldn't that be "over-picking"!? I don't see guitarists on YouTube videos using that many picks either..
#2
1. Your guitar - if it's a cheapo - will never sound like a pro guitar. That being said, the biggest determining factor is still the player.

2. Probably just practice. Your likely not putting even pressure across all of the strings.

3. There are finger picks but most people just grow out their nails a little.
#3
1.You may have some intonation problems with the guitar, maybe bring it into a local music shop and get it checked out.
2.Barre chords will come with time just keep practicing.
3.You can get picks for everyone of you fingers including your thumb.
#4
2. For barre chords I think the best thing is practise, practise, practise. But here are a couple of other things to help:
Try pressing down with the tips (or as near as possible/comfortable) of your fingers - don't leave your fingers lying across the fingerboard as they mute the strings.
Experiment with different thumb positions on the back of the neck - find the one that helps you play the easiest (and makes the best sounding chord) and is the most comfortable.
Keep pressing down hard!! (your fingertips should harden after a while) Short nails on your left hand help as well.
Hope I helped!
#5
as far as barre chords go they'll just come naturally if you keep playing. I used to not be able to do them like everyone else but once i finally got some strength from playing so much i can do them no problem...just keep playing, you can do it no problem
#6
Barre chords can be made vastly more difficult if the guitar is not set up properly.. I would second twasbrilling's notion to have the instrument checked out by a good technician.

Also, try sounding each note separately to see which ones are not sounding properly, and make minor adjustments in hand position.
Finally, full barres are not often necessary. Lots of jazz artists do a lot of 4-string chords that sound just fine.