#1
Hey guys,
I'm sorry it's kinda newbie question but I've been playing for a while, about half a year, maybe 8 months.
I've been practicing every day for 2~3 hours.
For some reason my hand is getting tired very quickly.
Well, It's preety common I guess but I've been playing Barre chords for a month or so.
It doesn't seem to get any better, my hand doesn't build a stamnia for 1st fret chords, I have no problem doing any chord on any fret.
I can play F chord on 1st string but usually it get tired very quickly.
I've been trying to do barre chord exercises like:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIDibnOP6p8
So, am I panicking over nothing? is it normal? I tend to panick very fast if it's related to guitar playing.
I've been playing Queen's Don't Stop Me Now with only barre chords.
Thanks.

And I playing classic Guitar off course
Last edited by Sound'sSoul at Feb 7, 2015,
#2
You can always try doing hand streches before you play to loosen and warm them up. Other than that make sure you keep your hands as relaxed as possible when playing because the more tense they are the more you will strain them. So try to use the smallest amount of force possible for every note in the bar chord to come out cleanly.

I don't think it is anything to worry about unless you start having serious pain in your hands. Keep practicing and with time greater stamina will come.
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#3
Yeah barring at the first fret is a right pain. Best thing to do is practice your barres further up the neck as the fretting's easier there. As you get better at the technique you can gradually move them down the neck until eventually you'll have conquered the dreaded F chord - a month isn't really all that long to have been working on that particular technique.
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#4
It's all practice. I've been playing for about ten years and play mostly in barres, and I still don't like that F.

If it helps at all, you could barre on the A string at the 8th fret, that's another F.
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#6
Quote by Tony Done
It helps a great deal if the guitars is properly set up, especially the nut in the case of 1st fret barres. If you haven't already done so, get a set up, and ask the tech to have a close look at the nut.

It's a new guitar, I don't think the guitar has anything to do with it.
My friend at the local guitar shop checked it at the moment I bought it for me.

And I manage to do Barre on other frets perfectly, also on the 1st fret.
It's just that my left hand get tired extremely fast
Last edited by Sound'sSoul at Feb 7, 2015,
#7
Quote by Sound'sSoul
It's a new guitar, I don't think the guitar has anything to do with it.
My friend at the local guitar shop checked it at the moment I bought it for me.

And I manage to do Barre on other frets perfectly, also on the 1st fret.
It's just that my left hand get tired extremely fast

That really will only come with practice. It's not a substitute for knowing barres, but for the F-chord on my Epiphone (the guitar of mine where it's most difficult), I prefer to Blackmore/Froosh it and thumb the E string so I only have to barre the top two/three strings.
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#8
Quote by Sound'sSoul
It's a new guitar, I don't think the guitar has anything to do with it.
My friend at the local guitar shop checked it at the moment I bought it for me.

And I manage to do Barre on other frets perfectly, also on the 1st fret.
It's just that my left hand get tired extremely fast


The nut slots on new guitars are often too high, so I would have a look at them again, just to be sure. High nuts slots will typically make the first fret harder to play than the others. Set up the most important thing for a beginner, IMO. Without that, you are working so much harder to make progress.
#9
Quote by Tony Done
The nut slots on new guitars are often too high, so I would have a look at them again, just to be sure. High nuts slots will typically make the first fret harder to play than the others. Set up the most important thing for a beginner, IMO. Without that, you are working so much harder to make progress.

how do I check if my guitar is properly set up? the only guitar expret I know is way too far away.
if possible I would also like to set up the guitar myself
#10
OK, snce I think the problem might be the nut, start there. All you do is press each string down between the 2nd and 3rd frets and look at the gap between the string and 1st fret. It should be barely discernible - some of mine have almost no visible gap at all. You can only tell it's there by tapping it and listening for a click.

Next check the neck relief. If you press the string down at the 1st and body fret, the gap between the 6th fret and the string should be around the thickness of a business card. If it were credit card-sized it would be too much, no gap is too little. If that is correct, you then check the action height. This is the gap between the string and the body fret. I set mine at about 1.7mm on the treble side and 2.4 mm on the bass side. That is about 1/16" on the treble side, 3/32" on the bass side.

HTH
#11
Quote by Tony Done
OK, snce I think the problem might be the nut, start there. All you do is press each string down between the 2nd and 3rd frets and look at the gap between the string and 1st fret. It should be barely discernible - some of mine have almost no visible gap at all. You can only tell it's there by tapping it and listening for a click.

Next check the neck relief. If you press the string down at the 1st and body fret, the gap between the 6th fret and the string should be around the thickness of a business card. If it were credit card-sized it would be too much, no gap is too little. If that is correct, you then check the action height. This is the gap between the string and the body fret. I set mine at about 1.7mm on the treble side and 2.4 mm on the bass side. That is about 1/16" on the treble side, 3/32" on the bass side.

HTH

seems fine to me... I guess my hand is weak...
The gap is very small but visible
Last edited by Sound'sSoul at Feb 8, 2015,
#12
Quote by Sound'sSoul
seems fine to me... I guess my hand is weak...
The gap is very small but visible
It sort of just occurred to me, that I normally don't use a normal E shape barre chord at the 1st fret anyway.

I use a technique sometimes referred to as the "Hendrix Grip". This uses the four fingers
to form an F major chord on strings A-5 through e-1, and the thumb overlaps the fretboard to cover the E-6 string.

In the key of C major you'll be dealing with C-F-G chord changes quite often. The advantage to the Hendrix Grip is, it allows you to move and place fingers while you're still holding the majority of F major.

Since the open strings of the guitar, all fall within the key of C, this is a valid technique to add bass notes, form Fsus4, and a couple of other extended chords based on F major.

I don't normally use this technique anywhere other than the 1st fret, and so I consider it a key and position specific maneuver. For E shape barre at other frets, I use a E shape barre.

With that said, people need to build up strength in their arms, and also need to build callouses along the side of the index finger, not just on the fingertips, as many believe.

Here's an excellent guide to setting up an acoustic: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html While it may not be the best idea for a beginner to dive in and start cutting this and sanding that, the measurements should tell you where you are with the relative playability of your specific guitar.

You could also pop down to the local GC and do a bit of "show rooming", by playing other guitars with similar size bodies, scale lengths, etc.

But, bear in mind, the price of a guitar has very little bearing on its absolute potential for comfortable play. Assuming a $200.00 guitar is properly constructed, it should be able to be set up to play as well as a $2000.00 instrument.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 8, 2015,
#13
I usually use the Fmaj7 with the pinkie added in place of an F; sounds virtually the same to me. I can play an F barre no trouble but the Fmaj7 makes it easier to switch chords. I can't do the thumb over grip, my thumb just doesn't bend like that. It sucks because this technique is used to add bass notes in quite a few songs. I measure the gap at the 1st fret with feeler gages to check nut action. The standard is .022 at the low E(6th string) and .017at the high e(1st string) with .001 difference between each string(ie .021 on the A and so on). That's a safe measurement and you can actually get away with lower than that. I like .020-.015 myself but my Yamaha guitar I bought used is actually more like .012-.07 and while that makes barring and playing chords at the 1st fret easy; the low E buzzes with open hard strumming. I'm gonna replace that nut next time I change strings.

There's also another technique for learning and practicing barre chords in which you make a full barre at the 1st fret(an F or whatever you prefer) and do 1 strum then move up to the next fret and switch shapes randomly between each fret(Am, B, Em). Go all the way up to the 12th fret where it gets really tight and then back down to the 1st. Do this until you're hand gets too tired. This not only will build the muscles in your hand for barres, but also changing chord shapes as you go up and down the neck will improve your speed for playing. Spend a few minutes doing this in your daily practice and the strength and stamina will come. Keeping your thumb as low as possible (behind the neck) while playing open chords is also a good way to build those muscles. I'm guilty of putting my thumb high up over the top because it's just more comfortable and I'm lazy, but the proper technique for playing is to keep it lower.

You got the right idea with learning a song that uses a lot of barres. Learning a song is always the funnest way to practice because you're killing 2 birds with 1 stone. A song I like to use to practice barre chords is Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan.