#1
ok so, when i barre a fret with my index, i can't move my middle finger to a fret, like i physically cannot. it's too far away. help?
#2
Sounds primarily like a finger flexibility and strength issue. Both of these will improve with practice and time.

In the meantime, try the same chord higher up the neck, where the fret distance is smaller and string tension is lower. The pointer and middle finger is a more difficult barre, because they are next to each other, but trying angling your hand differently. Sometimes this is the difference between an impossible and a possible chord.

Your hands can do it (barring any deformities or illnesses), trust me. It will just take practice, patience, and maybe a little discomfort.
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#3
years ago, i could barely barre. turns out my guitars all had high action, which made it much, much harder. using extra light strings and having the action lowered will help amazingly.
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#4
Try placing your middle finger first, yknow while you can move it. Also you can double up your pointer and middle finger to make a stronger barre.
#5
Quote by elyst
ok so, when i barre a fret with my index, i can't move my middle finger to a fret, like i physically cannot. it's too far away. help?
I think bit's a simple matter of strength. The rest of your fingers are acting in sympathy to the one trying to hold the barre. This inhibits their mobility. The term "paralyzes them" comes to mind, but I don't want the situation to sound too dramatic. Once you build up enough strength to hold the barre with your index finger alone, the others will be able to maneuver by themselves.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that you should be forming the chord shape while you're hand is still moving into position. In other words, before the muscles lock up.
#6
I'd add that barres are much easier when you learn to use the inborn telekinetic power that all humans possess.
#7
I find that when I'm getting used to a barre chord, it helps to place that finger last. Start with the finger farthest away and place each finger (p>r>m) and then the index last.

Another thing that helped me was a lot of power chords over drop tunings (Drop D/C/B) when building up the index. Often times you're barring the three lowest strings. Chevelle-Hats Off To the Bull has a chorus that barres its way around. Another one is Spineshank-Asthematic, which barres the whole song except for a couple short parts.
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#8
Hi Elyse

Sounds like a dexterity and strength issue. All tips mentioned in the thread are great but also look at guitar technique exercises that will help strengthen your fingers, dexterity and endurance.

I also find other hand exercises useful when my guitar isn't handy such as hand/finger stretches and finger exercise for example placing your hand on a table and raising each finger at a time until fatigue

Not only will exercises help build strength but they will also help you find the frets and increase speed

Hope this helps and remember, we've all been where you are now

Mike
http://www.mikerizk.com
Last edited by mike_rizk at Jan 12, 2017,
#9
The best way I learned was to take the basic E major chord position on the guitar.
E - 0
B - 0
G - 1
D - 2
A - 2
E - 0

However don't use your first finger, so you use your 3rd finger on the A string, 4th finger on the D string and your 2nd finger on the G string, this leaves your 1st finger free.
Then simply shift down the fretbroad 1 fret, and lower your first finger down firmly. Practice this until you get a clean sound from all the notes.
#10
You've gotten some good advice.. it sounds like it's a flexibility problem which should improve with practise.. like trying to bend over and touch your toes. .. if you keep doing it every day your flexibility will improve over time you just have to keep at it.. Just curious if you are able to fret F#m easily?

e - 2
B - 2
G - 2
D - 4
A - 4
E - 2
#11
Joe310707 This, the hardest barre shapes are the major ones with the root on the A string, or the A major shape barre.

E - 0 - 2
B - 2 - 4
G - 2 - 4
D - 2 - 4
A - 0 - 2
E - 0 - 2
Quote by Charles Ives
Stand up and take your dissonance like a man. I don't write music for sissy ears.

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Competitions are for horses, not artists.
#12
You could put a capo on, e.g. on the 5th. This will allow you to play higher up the neck with strings closer to the neck and reduced fret distances. You then change keys as necessary to get the correct chords for any song.
You could tune the guitar to an open chord - the I chord of the key the song is in - then you get a change in which fingers are needed to move from Major / Minor / 7 etc. but the I, IV and V chords of the song requires no extra fingers.
#13
this is why chicks cant play guitar. BUT SERIOUSLY... every body has that problem when they first start. it's just gonna take time and practice. i've been playing over 20 years and if i dont practice an open F regularly i will not be able to hit it fast enough when playing it in a song.
#14
Yeah. It's all about practising. The more you practise, the better you will become. I have no trouble with barre chords but I've used them since I began to learn to play back in the late 60s. I was enjoying the music of Leonard Cohen at the time and he used barre chords extensively: F, Bb, Bm,C#m, F#m, G#m so to play his songs I had to learn to do barre chords.

Another factor is that I learned the basics on a classical guitar - I played the classical for about 2 years before I bought a steel string. I never regretted starting on a classical - in fact I would recommend it to all beginners.
#15
Being quite a novice who only recently got the hang of barre chords, two things that I picked up in one of the guides on this page really helped me.
1 Place your fingers close to the fret and you dont have to squeze so hard
2 Dont squeeze harder than you need. Try with only the index finger to see how little you get away with on your guitar.
#16
Quote by BADGAS
this is why chicks cant play guitar...[ ]...
Nah, you've just been watching too many Taylor Swift videos.
#17
I can play bar chords even after losing most of my thumb not long ago. mind over matter my friend, mind over matter....
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#18
Quote by Joe310707
The best way I learned was to take the basic E major chord position on the guitar.
E - 0
B - 0
G - 1
D - 2
A - 2
E - 0

However don't use your first finger, so you use your 3rd finger on the A string, 4th finger on the D string and your 2nd finger on the G string, this leaves your 1st finger free.
Then simply shift down the fretbroad 1 fret, and lower your first finger down firmly. Practice this until you get a clean sound from all the notes.

This is along the lines of what I was thinking but better is to let the index finger swing free for a while just hang out and watch the action just take the chord form up the neck and use both open E's 1st and the 6th string as sounds to play off with the form it can be quite fun actually(think xanadu byRush and Ramble  on by led zep h - ever heard of them?). Then when you are good and strong with that form 2nd on G string 4th on D string a fret higher and 3rd on A string on same fret as D, the index finger will already be stronger just by being involved with the activity without using un-needed and extra force that can actually be dangerous to healthy expression. The key is to recognize that no chord is an island each leads to the next, therefore tension and release always.  Then add the index finger and see what happens.
A phenomenologist 
Last edited by phenomenology at Jun 6, 2017,
#19
Quote by mike_rizk
Hi Elyse

Sounds like a dexterity and strength issue. All tips mentioned in the thread are great but also look at guitar technique exercises that will help strengthen your fingers, dexterity and endurance.


You are correct about that. All of the tips for guitar practice routines and techniques are excellent. In addition, there are rubber squeeze gadgets sold to use to exercise to develop finger string. Or, just by a cheap rubber ball or tennis ball, and squeeze it while watching TV. That will add finger grip strength. 
#20
Quote by phenomenology
This is along the lines of what I was thinking but better is to let the index finger swing free for a while just hang out and watch the action just take the chord form up the neck and use both open E's 1st and the 6th string as sounds to play off with the form it can be quite fun actually(think xanadu byRush and Ramble  on by led zep h - ever heard of them?). Then when you are good and strong with that form 2nd on G string 4th on D string a fret higher and 3rd on A string on same fret as D, the index finger will already be stronger just by being involved with the activity without using un-needed and extra force that can actually be dangerous to healthy expression. The key is to recognize that no chord is an island each leads to the next, therefore tension and release always.  Then add the index finger and see what happens.
A phenomenologist 

What was I thinking even better than what I said before and is where "ramble on" comes in is use the index finger on the B string!!! That way when you are good and strong with the  :

E - 0
B - 0
G - 1
D - 2
A - 2
E - 0 
 
form add the index finger so as to form a chord that can yield great possibilities, then when you are ready you can lay your hand across all six strings.

E - 0
B - 1
G - 2
D - 3
A - 3
E - 0

try that one too slide it up and down the neck gets lots of pretty and interesting sounds.

A phenomenologist
Last edited by phenomenology at Jun 6, 2017,
#21
It helped me on barre chords when I concentrated on getting the 2-3-4 fingers(chord shape) down first and the barre finger(1) seemed to follow more naturally. Not sure how long you've been playing but barre chords are always difficult for beginners. You just gotta practice and maybe experiment with where you need to position the barre finger to get the cleanest sound. There's lots of practice tutorials on youtube. Find one that works for you and dedicate some time in your daily practice on nothing but barres. It will strengthen the needed muscles and train your fingers. Don't expect it to happen overnight. Everyone thinks they are impossible the first few times they try them. Just gotta stick with it. I still have issues with muted strings when playing barres.