Whenever I go to play a bar chord, specifically one where you bar frets 1 or 2, my hand cramps like hell because of the pressure I need to put on. I have smaller hands, especially for a guy, so for me to pull off a bar chord at the end of the neck without deadening the strings takes a lot of effort. I know that you're not supposed to press you're thumb into the neck as that causes alot of the pain I think I'm experiencing, but I can't help it anyway. Does anyone know how to correct this problem with what I'm working with?
Quote by BumOffBarney
And everyone in this thread, get a life. With the exception of trexgrinder or something like that
^ ya my hand used to hurt a lot to but after like a couple weeks of practice i got it down.
just do it alot... i had to do this blues thing where i had to like use my index finger on the 1st fret of the low e string, then use my ring finger for the third fret of the a string, and my pinky for the fifth fret of the a string, and at first if i played it for a few minutes my hand would go into like a charlie horse, cramp, annaliptic shock, seizure, kind of thing... but, for some reason, if you do like a bar chord for a few days in a row, your muscles either like adjust or something, or your hand subconsciously finds a more comfortable position.. everyone thinks they cant get bar chords down at first, but they ALL get it if they actually try. worked for me, and i had some puny ass hands when i first started playing.. (on a personal note, my hands as of now are very masculine and they have a -lumberjack- quality to them... manly as manly can be.. dont you forget it.)
i thot u were meant to press wiv ur thumb. No?
Anyway it always hurts to play bar chords to begin with, but it goes away wen u practice them for ages n your hand gets used to it.
It's harder to play bar chords at the first few frets as the string is being held in the nut - it's just finger and hand strength. You'll build it up - but don't play with tension if you can help it.
If you have a beginner guitar it could also be to do with the instrument. If you adjust the action/nut then it could make it easier, although practice is also important.
Quote by Dirtydeeds468
Holy Crap.

I love you more than life itself.
You have to put some pressure one the neck with your thumb, especially with barre chords. If you never did this, you could never fret any note The key is to always use the least amount of pressure possible - that's how good guitar players always look so relaxed and fluid when they do anything, be it solos or chord-heavy parts. They're only using as much strength as they need to, and no more.

Realize tension in yourself and don't BS yourself. If you know you're pressing too hard, tightening up anywhere, etc, then make a conscious effort to relax. If you're anything like me there will be several tense spots from your shoulder to your fingertips that you'll have to work on

You DON'T need to squeeze hard with your fingers.

You DON'T need extra pressure with your thumb.

You DON'T need a lot of finger strength.

Do this simple exercise:

1) Lightly put your index finger across all 6 strings. Do not press the strings down.
2) Now RELAX your arm.
3) Let the weight of your arm transfer through your index finger to push all the strings down.
4) Easy! Wasn't it?

That's exactly what you want to do when you're making the chord.
i have a Question to, thought it would fit in this post

since of yesterday i have a brand new accoustic guitar, the other 1 i had (from a friend) was like 30 years old and crap.

With my new 1, my fingers hurt when playing chords, like when i first started guitar cuz the strings seem much stifferener or harder .. that also results in very painfull hand when trying a Barré chord

i tried edg his tip, but that dont work, they need to pressed alot harder to ring nice

is this normal for new guitars ? will it go away fysicaly due to wear off or does it need to go away mentaly

i got little but strong hands btw.

srry for bad english
Vintage love
Last edited by BeGietar at Jun 21, 2006,
my hands are pretty big
but i had my finger strength needed a little work
...luckily i like jack johnsons music
which uses a lot of bar chords
try sitting waiting wishing, whole song is barred