#1
EDIT: Solved, posted below

I've been playing for years now. Awhile back I settled into my guitar comfort zone and never really "practiced" new stuff.

One thing that I've always hated hated hated was the damn a major barre shape. I never got it down, and basically avoided any acoustic songs that use it because it hurts my ring finger too much to play more then about once or twice. This is partly because I dont back-bend the finger flat when I play.

As a matter of fact, whenever my finger bends backwards like that, it feels very wrong, like Im going to sprain a tendon. It'll usually be sore for the rest of the day when I try.

Now I've tried every variation of the a major barre shape to avoid having to use my ring finger this way and not a single one works. Again, I'm talking over 5 years of playing here. No luck

I'm considering practicing the back-bent fingering style daily because I'm fed up not being able to play these chords possibly but I'm a little concerned that I'm gonna mess up my finger. What do you guys think? It hurts my ring finger literally the second I try fretting it, and I usually can't even put enough pressure to get it to ring at all.
this is a post. there are many like it but this one is mine

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Taylor Big Baby
Agile 3100 CSB
Peavey classic 30/112
Okko Dominator, Big muff pi, cs3, dd3, ch1, ts9, ad9, classic wah
Last edited by mlfarrell at Apr 7, 2015,
#2
If you're not willing, (or unable), to bend back your ring finger, I'm not sure how we can help you.

The only reason to bend the index back, is for the purpose of having the rest of the finger, clear the top e-1 string.

I've always found getting your wrist lower and more forward, essentially bends the finger for you.

The chord can also be played (at 3rd fret as C major) Index, grand barre across 3rd, then

B-2 Pinky @ 5th
G-3 Ring @ 5th
D-4 Middle @ 5th

That presents a fairly hefty stretch between the index and middle fingers. However, it's pretty much the only way you can turn that A major shape into a 7th chord.

Again barre across 3rd. Then:

B-2 Pinky @ 5th
----------- (G-3 -@ 3rd fret held by the barre)
D-4 Ring @ 5th

The same voicing of A7 open would be"

e-1 0
B-2 2
G-3 0
D-4 2
A-5 0
E-6 X or 0


Instead of the perhaps more common A7 (7th on the top string)

e-1 3
B-2 2
G-3 2
D-4 2
A-5 0
E-6 X or 0 (Played yields the slash chord A/E)
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 31, 2015,
#3
I just end up muting the 1st string rather than clearing it cus I can't bend the ring finger back too far either. But I don't see it as a major problem, some of the guitar courses I've done (such as Guitar Tricks) say that it's pretty common to end up muting it and as long as the rest of the strings can be strummed cleanly it's not a big issue unless that string is being used as part of the melody (say in a fingerpicking arrangement).

That said, it doesn't hurt my ring finger - it simply just won't bend that far, not without a heap of pressure. Maybe it'll come in time, but for now I'm not worried.
#4
For what it's worth, I did finally solve this problem. Turns out the action on my acoustic was way too high. I was amazed at how far a simple truss rod adjustment to go towards making the guitar far easier to play. I can now play these chords no problem without having to do any special tricks with my ring finger.
this is a post. there are many like it but this one is mine

=======================

Taylor Big Baby
Agile 3100 CSB
Peavey classic 30/112
Okko Dominator, Big muff pi, cs3, dd3, ch1, ts9, ad9, classic wah