#1
I've been playing over 3 years, and still have trouble with my bar chords. I can do them, but most of the time there's a rattle, buzz, something not fretted right. I'm really frustrated that I still cannot rid my playing of sloppy bar chords, and I don't know what to do about it.

The problem seems to be that even if I practice fretting a bar chord "perfectly," when I try to incorporate it into a song, my approach to the chord differs depending if I just played an open C before a barred B minor, or did a riff into the B minor or played an F before the B minor... All these differences lead to little differences in the shape of my hand, the leaning of my fingers, etc., and if I'm off in the slightest degree, there's going to be a sour note somewhere. And I always am off somewhere.

Also, I cannot seem to find the "perfect" bar chord fret on a first try. If I pick up a guitar and decide to fret a perfect B minor, I'd fret it, trying to make sure all the fingers are right, then I'd play each string... and almost invariably one of the strings will be sour/muted/buzzy. So I realize that finger is actually not quite right and adjust it slightly. Then that may cause another string to go wrong when I next play through. After 1 or 2 tries, I can get it so it's all clean. But in the middle of a song, or even just jamming / improvising, I don't get 1 or 2 tries, I don't get to fret it wrong and then diagnose and fix how I'm fretting it. It seems like playing lots of songs with bar chords is not helping me learn to play them better.

I don't know if it's related, but I also still get hand cramps when I practice these. Like, if I decide to just focus on getting a bar chord perfect, and then try to hold it without any of the notes going "off," my hand will cramp up in 30-60 seconds. And sometimes I've decided to play a song using all bar chords to really get some practice fretting these, but then my hand will cramp up within a minute. So the best I can do is play songs with maybe 1 out of 4 chords a bar chord, but I don't seem to be improving this way (or building up stamina, since my hand still cramps as fast as it did over a year ago).

All advice appreciate.

Ken
Bernie Sanders for President!