#1
Subject pretty much says it all.

Lets say to be able to play a simple 3 chord song in time using all barre chords OR going from open chords to barre chords.

I thought by now I'd be able to do this, but cannot

AND: Is there any advice other than just continued practice?
Last edited by panman36 at Sep 27, 2015,
#2
It took me quite a while, but since I've started teaching, I've seen people pick it up quicker than I. My observations are as follows...

A lot of times, the problems people have with barre chords has less to do with your fingers, and more to do with your wrist and thumb placement. If you're really cradling the neck of the guitar into the web of your thumb, it's gonna be damn near impossible to make a clear sounding barre chord. However, if your thumb is perpendicular to the neck, bracing right around halfway down the back of the neck, things suddenly get a lot easier. Also, try and keep your elbow pushed a little bit out. If it's right in by your ribs, your hand is coming at the frets from an angle. Staying perpendicular is key.

Hope this helps a little. If not; practice practice practice.
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#3
Just persevere it seams like you are going nowhere but you are. 3 chord song are good but you just got to keep going, Learn F . and Bm and as many chords as you can remember. i have been teaching myself now for about 15 months and it is just starting to make sens. rhythm timing strumming chords and putting them all together. but it is the most amazing feeling when you put a song together.
#5
I went through the same painful period most beginners do with my little cheap Yamaha steel-string back around '75.
However, unlike most I read continually and instead of suffering for prolonged periods I read about getting your action adjusted.
The local repair guy (great little store full of old amps and such... that was his specialty) did an action job on my little axe and all of a suddent things became vastly easier and I was soon scooting those barre shapes up and down the neck.

Always the first thing I recommend for those having trouble... Get your guitar set up! Then, you can work on technique.
Now, 40 years down the pike and playing mostly fingerstyle jazz, I only rarely use barre chords. Four finger "jazz" chord shapes allow much more freedom of movement and the ability to finger melody or bass-line notes freely.
#6
i do the thumb on the back right between my pointer and middle usually works. The hard part to me was putting the right amount of pressure. And letting go of that pressure when you slide. Also if you always use your fingertips its alot easier. Get used to the fingertips
#8
I will start slow, slow enough for my fingers to change chord smoothly. Your mind and physical muscle sometimes do not come in sync so you need to fix that by going into a tempo slow enough for your muscle to register its strength.
Amateur guitarist straight from the oven !




#9
Quote by panman36

AND: Is there any advice other than just continued practice?


In practicing with the fretting hand, try and use the weight of your arm, pulled down by gravity, to do most of the fretting work for you. If you do this, you will find you actually don't have to make much effort. Too many people try to squeeze with the hand. If you're squeezing, your fingers will be much less nimble in being able to transition from one position to another.
#10
When I started playing bar chords I thought to myself.. no way! First i learned the e form bar chord. Its nice and not that hard. My big stepping stone was the g7 chord. I kept hearing a mute string. Eventually I fixed my wrist and got it. I Also had to learn where to put my index finger for the best sound. Figure that out and do it over and over and over again until its automatic. Bar chords are not your enemy!
#12
It only took me a month or so to get them down but I know a lot of people who had trouble with them, my advice is to try simpler and smaller bars/movable chords. The first bar chords people usually learn are major and minor and I don't know if you've learned this yet, but major and minor chords are made of only 3 notes. You use all 6 strings and hold down a hard bar just for 3 notes! They sound great for a lot of different stuff but the effort you put in isn't always worth it if you don't really need that super thick sound right now. Start with power chords if you haven't already, add the octave if you're only doing 2 note power chords, and then look up "triad" shapes. Try adding one chord tone at a time to those triad shapes. You know the F chord on the first fret where you only need to bar two notes? That is a movable bar chord right there! F chord + F power chord = the full E shape bar chord. There are TONS of other shapes you can use for those same chords, especially when you include inversions! And it opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities, a chord progression that used to take you all over the fret board you can now play entirely in just one position! Also when you use the full Eminor shape bar chord, since your middle finger is free, press that down on your index finger to strengthen your bar! I've been playing for a decade and I STILL do that just to have the strongest bar I can get! Don't let bar chords or any type of chord discourage you man, practice holding down all 6 strings (minor11 chord) and playing arpeggios until your bar is STRONG, and in the meantime remember that there's a million different ways to play those chords and a million different ways to play the guitar and you can continue to progress in other ways all the time. Right now I'm mostly working on faster picking, sweeps/tremolo/etc. but I still start every session with a series of simple chromatic exercises because your most basic technique can ALWAYS use some improvement, don't be afraid to multi-task and tackle multiple concepts simultaneously, maybe get into some chord theory while you're working on those bars. Best of luck to ya!