#1
ladies and gents,

im just getting into the point where i need to pick up a few barre chords to keep learning simple songs and i have a question regarding how to play it.

am i to be sure to press every string down firmly from the root note as if im playing a standard chord or simply lay the index finger down over the notes for a muting effect?

any help is appreciated - especially any tips you all may have to make barre chords simpler.

-shermski
#2
Generally, you want the notes to ring clear, just as if you were fretting them individually. As for a tip, fret the individual notes of the chord and then put down your index finger. Roll the finger a little toward the head of the guitar, so you are pressing down more with the edge of the finger than the bottom. Adjust the finger so that the joints aren't over a string and keeping it from being pressed. Try to get pretty close to the fret. Sometimes it's easier to kind of point the finger toward your face rather than trying to keep it perfectly parallel to the fret.
Last edited by Kyle76 at Jul 21, 2011,
#4
Don't be discouraged. It takes lots of practice to consistently get a clear barre chord.
#5
Also if you have a smaller hand then you can also use your thumb for barre chords, I find it a bit easier than pressing the index finger on all six strings.But thats just me...and Hendrix, and Frusciante, and Kyle Gass...it also opens new possibilities because it can leave your pinky finger free to perform some extra hammer ons and pullofs.
#6
Go learn to play CAGED system, Barre chords are lazy. Cheers
#7
You know what, I've looked at the CAGED lessons on Justinguitar.com and I don't recall any place where he says that it eliminates barre chords. It's a matter of recognizing patterns that look like C, A, G, E and D chords all over the fretboard, which if you've been playing a while isn't that hard to do.

Or maybe I just had too much Jack Daniels that night, I don't know.
#8
Quote by tuxs
Go learn to play CAGED system, Barre chords are lazy. Cheers



Barre chords are lazy? If you just shift the shape around, maybe but there are times when you'll want to do that or a song you're playing calls for it.

Quite a few jazz chords require you to at least barre some of the strings. Are jazz players lazy?
#9
Quote by tuxs
Go learn to play CAGED system, Barre chords are lazy. Cheers



Have you ever played something that had only barre chords in it? A lazy guitarist wouldn't be able to finish the song.

How do you play, say... a Bm or an F# with this CAGED system?
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#10
Quote by tuxs
Go learn to play CAGED system, Barre chords are lazy. Cheers


Anybody else smell a troll?

TS: Barre chords are awesome, especially when you get into the more demanding stuff like C- and G- shape barre chords. And the first post perfectly answered the question, so /thread. [Mods, if you would be so kind?]

Edit: Sorry. Not a troll, just an idiot.
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Last edited by jwd724 at Jul 22, 2011,
#11
A couple of things. If you're new to acoustic guitar, it's likely you have not had the instrument set up by a good technician.
Having the action at the nut a bit high (as is common with new guitars) makes playing more difficult, but REALLY makes barre chords at the first few frets difficult.
Consider having that checked.
Also, analyze your hand position. Finger the chord, and play each string slowly. You should be able to tell which notes are ringing clearly, and which ones are not... And adjust your position accordingly.
#12
You might find it easier to practice on the 5th or 7th fret, and then work your way down to the first fret. I found barre chords on the first fret were difficult at first.
#13
Quote by Kyle76
Generally, you want the notes to ring clear, just as if you were fretting them individually. As for a tip, fret the individual notes of the chord and then put down your index finger. Roll the finger a little toward the head of the guitar, so you are pressing down more with the edge of the finger than the bottom. Adjust the finger so that the joints aren't over a string and keeping it from being pressed. Try to get pretty close to the fret. Sometimes it's easier to kind of point the finger toward your face rather than trying to keep it perfectly parallel to the fret.

This is good info.
#14
If you have an acoustic guitar, you're in for the ride of your life, but don't give up. You might want to practice to G barre chord (3rd fret) because the F is quite hard. If you have an electric and can't make them sound out, something's probably wrong w/ your technique.
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#15
i've got an acoustic guitar and yes lennon - it's proving difficult. i won't give up though. i love the guitar too much to do that. thanks everyone for their feedback. i moved up the fret board a bit just to get the muscle memory going and then i'll swing back down and try to tackle the first fret.
#16
Wow have to clear this barre business up.
Spud Spudly theres nothing wrong with Jack and your absolutely right. However this thread is started by someone who is just starting Barre chords, and so instead of going straight to throwing your pointer finger over entire six strings as a barre, alternatively pointer finger will cover, for example G major both bottom strings and thumb will cover bass e string. I havent had lessons
for over 40 years so mybe how we where taught is in conflict to whats happening now. I get saddened when i see so many new guitarists come here with questions, only to get some rearly bad answers. Dont get me wrong there are alot of knowledgeable people here as well but it must be hard for noobs to sort them out. Cheers
#17
Quote by Steve BP
You might find it easier to practice on the 5th or 7th fret, and then work your way down to the first fret. I found barre chords on the first fret were difficult at first.


i can do the lower bars but as soon as i go past the 4/5th fret they buzz
#18
Quote by tuxs
Wow have to clear this barre business up.
Spud Spudly theres nothing wrong with Jack and your absolutely right. However this thread is started by someone who is just starting Barre chords, and so instead of going straight to throwing your pointer finger over entire six strings as a barre, alternatively pointer finger will cover, for example G major both bottom strings and thumb will cover bass e string. I havent had lessons
for over 40 years so mybe how we where taught is in conflict to whats happening now. I get saddened when i see so many new guitarists come here with questions, only to get some rearly bad answers. Dont get me wrong there are alot of knowledgeable people here as well but it must be hard for noobs to sort them out. Cheers



For someone with such a 'holier than thou' statement, you don't seem to be very good at getting your point across.

Why should the TS use their thumb for barre chords? There is no problem for ANY beginner to play a barre chord if they're just shown the right way. The problem does not lie within finger strength, it's all about positioning and using your body properly. I have not met anyone who couldn't play a buzz free barre chord after being shown the proper way to do it.

Also, you told the TS to learn the CAGED system for barre chords. What's up with that?

I get saddened when someone who uses their years of experience as something that will completely legitimise their argument or opinion. Of course, it's the usual idea that people get better with years of experience but the guitar's teaching pedagogy is downright ****ing awful compared to the rest of the instruments in the world of music and when you tell TS something like 'use the CAGED system because barre chords are lazy', it really makes me wonder if your supposed years of experience have shown you anything at all.
#19
the first few times you try to play barre chords, you won't succeed. I'm telling you you can't do it. But, you can practice. For example, lets say you want to play an F chord. And you have 4 up downs.

This is like " up/down up/down up/down up/down". With the first up/down, put your index figer. You will not hear a sound, but don't stop just continue. then put your second finger with the second up/down, then the last 2 in the 3rd up/down. And finally the last strum jsut do it normally.

If you practice for 1 whole straght hour, you'll get bored. ınstead. keep the guitar lying somewhere you can easily pick. And practice 10 minutes every time . Do it at least 5 times a day. You'll get it finally.
#20
It helps to start learning barres where you don't need to barre all 6 strings. Try an E maj shape, without the bottom note. You will only have to barre the top two strings. Next, move to an E min shape, without the bottom string. Here, you will barre the top 3 strings. Next, try an Emin7 shape without the bottom note. This one is just like the E min shape, except you take your pinky off the 4th string and barre all of the top 4 strings. Then, move onto an A min shape, with nothing on the E string. Practicing all of those should help you get ready for 6 string Barres' Remember, don't move onto one shape until you feel comfortable with the one before it.
I don't know whether this is a popular way to learn barres or not, but it's how I learned them, and it worked well for me.
#21
# Your first (index) finger is responsible for a lot when playing barre chords. Lay your first finger across all six strings (try the fifth fret for this lesson).
# Very slightly bend the index finger. A straight and rigid index finger is not what we're looking for.