#1
I've been practicing and practicing but I cannot for the life of me play root 5 chords with my 4th finger, I have to use my 3rd. Even barring the top 2 strings with my little finger I have a little trouble with, not as much root 5 chords but still enough to be a tad annoying as my top knuckle just keeps popping out on its own. Anyone have any good techniques or excercises to help with this?

Ta
#2
How exactly are you fingering these chords? Like tab/note-wise, not just which fingers are you using.
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#3
1st finger barring all strings and I have to use the 3rd finger to bar the 3 strings for root 5 chords, which is fine for higher up the neck, but is hard work on the wrist trying to play Bb major in the 1st fret. My teacher makes it look so easy, and watching her switch from root 6 to root 5 chords with no effort makes me think it would be so much easier if I could just do it. And playing solos when you sometimes need the 4th finger to hold both top strings down at the same time
#4
I assume by Bb Major on the 1st fret, you mean the following chord. In which case, I've never actually seen it played with the third finger barred, I've always seen it played this way;

e -1---------- (First finger barred)
B -3---------- (Fourth finger)
G -3--------- (Third finger)
D -3---------- (Second Finger)
A -1----------- (First finger)
E ------------

Correct me if I'm wrong, I have hardly any clue what you're talking about currently.
#5
Quote by ellen82
My teacher makes it look so easy

Good playing IS easy and takes little effort. Many of the things that players find difficult are due to blockages that we ourselves create in the way we hold the instrument, the way we angle our hands and fingers and a mutitude of other things. Be patient and try to develop an awareness of tension in all parts of your body. Over gripping, unnatural hand angles etc all add up.
The hard bit is persevering with the focused practice when things feel difficult. There is no substiute for dedicated time working on the skill you want to master. Knowing HOW to do it is nothing compared to many hours/days/weeks/years of doing it. Once you can do it, keep working on ways of doing it more effortlessly. You'll get there.
#6
Quote by CelestialGuitar
I assume by Bb Major on the 1st fret, you mean the following chord. In which case, I've never actually seen it played with the third finger barred, I've always seen it played this way;

e -1---------- (First finger barred)
B -3---------- (Fourth finger)
G -3--------- (Third finger)
D -3---------- (Second Finger)
A -1----------- (First finger)
E ------------

Correct me if I'm wrong, I have hardly any clue what you're talking about currently.
The way I learned to play that voice is with using the 3rd (ring) finger as a barre

This: Bb major @ 1st fret:
e-1 1 First finger barres across the 1st fret
B-2 3 Ring finger
G-3 3 Ring finger again
D-3 3 Ring finger to finish the short barre
A-5 1 1st finger barre
E-6 1 1st finger barre

The only problem you can run into is if 3rd finger short barre mutes the e-1 string.

You have to get your wrist well under the neck to raise the ring finger just past the first joint, to clear e-1.

Does that make sense?

BTW I play A major open with 2 fingers. The index covers the D & G string, and the middle covers the B string. I've never felt really comfortable using three fingers, (I,M, & R) squeezed together to form those chords...
Last edited by Captaincranky at May 13, 2013,
#7
I play Bb major with the 3rd finger barred as captain cranky described, but the good players can use the 4th finger instead of the 3rd, i just think it would put less stress on the wrist to be able to do that. But yes, practice practice practice
#8
Actually I first learnt to play root 5 chords with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers as I think most do when first learning these chords, but when you start to get better you learn to bar them
#9
Quote by ellen82
I play Bb major with the 3rd finger barred as captain cranky described, but the good players can use the 4th finger instead of the 3rd, i just think it would put less stress on the wrist to be able to do that. But yes, practice practice practice
I tried to use my pinky to barre the root 5 voice last night. I cant see that it puts less stress on the wirst, but possibly more.

There is the possibility that it may depend on hand width across the knuckles, as I found myself having to pull the pinky back quite a bit, whereas the spacing is just perfect with my index and ring fingers. (Just habit, maybe)?

I have the suspicion that there maybe a bit of grandstanding going on with the pinky fingering. You have to admit, a noob struggling with barre chords in general, has to be somewhat awed by someone holding down three strings with a pinky.
Last edited by Captaincranky at May 18, 2013,
#10
My trouble with barring with the 4th finger is the top knuckle popping out. I find I have to pull my wrist back more when barring with the 3rd finger, attempting it with the 4th I think you need to pull the wrist forward to get the right angle in the bent knuckle and to open up the 6th string so it can be heard and not muted by that finger.
#11
Sorry, I still don't see the point, (other than grandstanding), of using the pinky for that chord shape.

TBH, I believe the way you and I already do it is superior. Using the ring finger for the short barre, leaves the pinky free to use to convert the chord to a sus4. Try it. You can't do it if the pinky is already in use.

You can also convert to a sus4 using the 3 finger method, but not with the pinky as the barre.
#12
Of course, you'd only use the 4th finger if it wasn't needed to convert the chord. playing contant bar chords is bad for the wrist, the 4th finger uses less stress when played correctly ie wrist forward 4th finger bent into a severe right angle and using the right side of the 4th finger on the 3 strings in an angle from bottom to top, not straight up
#13
If you're gonna bar these major chords...as in bar the 3 strings with one finger.
Yes it's useful to be able to do it and makes for solid finger strength that you can use later.
But if you're always gonna do it... It's nice to do the sus4-major-sus2-major thing in a lot of music... Well, if you barre them then you can't, at least not with pinky. That's a good reason why I wouldn't get used to that.
If you just want the ability to do them like this it's fine of course. If you can bar with 4th finger, well now can easily add a new bass note which makes for some pretty nice chords.
Last edited by fanapathy at May 18, 2013,