#1
I'm a new-bee (I'm a month old today LOL) and while I can do quite a few chord changes fairly smoothly and without a lot of "where the H does this finger go", I'm really having FITS with changing from A to Bm (as in "After The Gold Rush") and Am to Bm (as in Eric Clapton's "Badge")

There appear to be two different ways of approaching this--one with Bm as a barre chord as it's diagrammed on the After The Gold Rush sheets, and not as a barre chord as on the Badge sheet music. I can do the second one SOMETIMES but switching to that Bm as a barre chord, well, you could drive a truck through the gap between the A ending and the Bm ....

My buddy, who's played professionally for over 30y told me not to fall into the unbarred version but to learn the barre because it would get me through a lot of stuff later on....

SOOOOOO, anyone got any suggestions for a smooth A to Bm transition? I don't seem to have a lot of problem getting OUT of the Bm but getting into it...

Also having a similar problem in "The Weight" going from A to C#m....

I practice these things every freakin' day and it doesn't seem to be improving--R I missing something??
#3
x2. You're just going through the growing pains. Barre chords are the bane of a new guitarist's existence. Just keep plodding through and you'll be changing chords in your sleep in no time.
Hi, I'm Peter
#4
Quote by Dirk Gently
x2. You're just going through the growing pains. Barre chords are the bane of a new guitarist's existence. Just keep plodding through and you'll be changing chords in your sleep in no time.


Well, thank ya--at least now I know it's not some deep dark secret thing I just missed...Bm freakin sux...isn't even a great sounding chord when I DO hit it
#6
at first i sucked changing chords like that, but practice it over and over again.


now if only i could solo well...
#7
it would be way easier if you were using barre chords for the A, Am, Bm, and C#m. It takes some time to learn barre chords but once you learn them it will be easier to learn those songs. You can hold you hand in the same shape and just move it around the neck using the barre chord as opposed to turning your hand into a can of works using only open chords.


   A    Am    Bm    Bm*   C#m*  C#m
e--5-----5-----7-----2-----4----11------------------------------------------------
B--5-----5-----7-----3-----5----11------------------------------------------------
G--6-----5-----7-----4-----6----11------------------------------------------------
D--7-----7-----9-----4-----6----13-----------------------------------------------
A--7-----7-----9-----2-----4----13-----------------------------------------------
E--5-----5-----7----------------11-----------------------------------------------

Two different ways to do the Bm and C#m, I would use the ones with the * on them though
#8
Quote by evansut7
it would be way easier if you were using barre chords for the A, Am, Bm, and C#m. It takes some time to learn barre chords but once you learn them it will be easier to learn those songs. You can hold you hand in the same shape and just move it around the neck using the barre chord as opposed to turning your hand into a can of works using only open chords.


   A    Am    Bm    Bm*   C#m*  C#m
e--5-----5-----7-----2-----4----11------------------------------------------------
B--5-----5-----7-----3-----5----11------------------------------------------------
G--6-----5-----7-----4-----6----11------------------------------------------------
D--7-----7-----9-----4-----6----13-----------------------------------------------
A--7-----7-----9-----2-----4----13-----------------------------------------------
E--5-----5-----7----------------11-----------------------------------------------

Two different ways to do the Bm and C#m, I would use the ones with the * on them though


I'm sure it would be but I'm only a month in and haven't quite progressed that far yet. I am TRYING to practice the barre chords some now but at this point I'm just playing the chords in the "offending songs" as shown on sheet music I have because I haven't built up enough strength yet to do the barre chords and cuz my part-time guitar teacher is a really big dude and I think he wants me to follow the instructions
#9
^^^ And I think taking the "easy" way out isn't a good solution for a beginner. You're trying to work on the fundamentals, and being able to transition from open chord shapes to barre chords is an essential skill.
Hi, I'm Peter
#10
Quote by Dirk Gently
^^^ And I think taking the "easy" way out isn't a good solution for a beginner. You're trying to work on the fundamentals, and being able to transition from open chord shapes to barre chords is an essential skill.


That's the approach but it sure is frustrating. That's why I thought perhaps it was something I was doing wrong -- turns out it's just plain not easy

I'll keep pluggin' away at it.
#11
To be playing barre chords the first month in is tough. But it sounds like your teacher is trying to get you to work on something tough now instead of just doing open chords for months and then making barre chords some big hurdle down the road. He is probably doing you a favor that you can't realize yet. And, Bm is a chord that shows up in a lot of songs. Don't sweat it mentally, just physically until you get it. Then you'll be jacked up and other barre chords won't seem so hard.
#12
Quote by gmsje
To be playing barre chords the first month in is tough. But it sounds like your teacher is trying to get you to work on something tough now instead of just doing open chords for months and then making barre chords some big hurdle down the road. He is probably doing you a favor that you can't realize yet. And, Bm is a chord that shows up in a lot of songs. Don't sweat it mentally, just physically until you get it. Then you'll be jacked up and other barre chords won't seem so hard.


Well, it was actually my decision to work on Bm because it's in several otherwise easy songs I wanted to play.

Years ago I took a guitar class in high school (1970-71) but didn't stick with it. I spend half my time in one town where I live and half in my hometown where my mom lives. I've got a "teacher" and a "mentor", both of whom were in that guitar class but unlike me, they kept on playing (in fact both had played for some time before that class ever took place).

I bounced the Bm thing off my "mentor", who is a killer lead and slide player who's played since he was about 4...he told me if I could nail the Bm barre, the F and Fm, I'd be in really good shape on about anything else, so encouraged me to go for it.

My teacher told me he thought I was way ahead of where most his beginners are and agreed with this approach of learning those barres while I work on the others.

Since I for some reason still retained a lot of chords in my mind over the years, I already knew a number of chords when I picked my guitar up a month ago. My teacher said I "already have this stuff in my head, we just have to get it back to the hands again".

While I still can't get a smooth change into the Bm, at least now it only takes a minute instead of FIVE to get my fingers into position and get the chord to play without dead strings or buzz. I was hoping to have it down before I went back to Orlando the 13th and my teacher sees me, but it's not looking good unless the chord fairy waves a wand over my hands.

I've been avoiding playing in front of my "mentor" --while he's very encouraging toward my efforts, he's such a killer player he intimidates the crap outta me and I just can't see myself sitting down and chording through "House of the Rising Sun" in front of him. He's 6'5" and if he hits the floor laughing, I don't think I could pick him up and I'm SURE he wouldn't bounce.



I'll keep pluggin' away at it.
#13
If he's a real mentor he shouldn't be hitting the floor laughing. If he wants to solo over your playing he'll probably be understanding so he can get a decent work out. I also have taken a similiar journey; i.e. - started learning chords as a kid in the early sixties, but only played on and off a year at a time or so, maybe once a decade. About two years ago I started playing songs with a close friend who's played keyboards all his life. Being able to play and sing with somebody and the resources available now over the internet have helped me learn stuff on my own I was never shown by someone in the past. Hang in there with your mentor. I'll bet it will be a very positive experience. Keep on keepin' on.
#14
Quote by gmsje
If he's a real mentor he shouldn't be hitting the floor laughing. If he wants to solo over your playing he'll probably be understanding so he can get a decent work out. I also have taken a similiar journey; i.e. - started learning chords as a kid in the early sixties, but only played on and off a year at a time or so, maybe once a decade. About two years ago I started playing songs with a close friend who's played keyboards all his life. Being able to play and sing with somebody and the resources available now over the internet have helped me learn stuff on my own I was never shown by someone in the past. Hang in there with your mentor. I'll bet it will be a very positive experience. Keep on keepin' on.


I don't think my mentor would really laugh at me--he's too polite and besides he knows I'd el-cabong him with my guitar if he did. Doesn't intimidate me in any other aspect of life, since I've known him since Jr High but playing in front of him is something else...color me chicken-**** yellow I don't anticipate we'll ever be playing together unless it's at a party or something. Actually I felt much better after my teacher told me he was ALSO intimidated by my mentor My teacher and my mentor have both played together on numerous occasions though
#15
You'll be playing with both of them at some point I'd wager. And playing at a party is no small potatoes. Any audience makes it a performance. I think you have alot of fun guitar playing in your future.
#16
Quote by gmsje
You'll be playing with both of them at some point I'd wager. And playing at a party is no small potatoes. Any audience makes it a performance. I think you have alot of fun guitar playing in your future.


We shall see...first I gotta learn to play
#17
Quote by outlawgal
Well, thank ya--at least now I know it's not some deep dark secret thing I just missed...Bm freakin sux...isn't even a great sounding chord when I DO hit it



when i first started out (which is like 5 months ago LOL) C barre chord (A shape) was the hardest for me... Bm was easy... now i can do it with very little force on it
#18
Quote by psytox
when i first started out (which is like 5 months ago LOL) C barre chord (A shape) was the hardest for me... Bm was easy... now i can do it with very little force on it


I can play the Bm -- I just have major problems getting into it from other chords, particularly A and Am --- I work on it every day because it's in several songs I can otherwise play all the way through. I'm still not there yet but hey, I've only been playing for 5 weeks...

I thought maybe it was something I was doing wrong since I'm primarily self taught but apparently it's just a "gotta get my hands in shape" situation that eventually will cure itself.
#19
Apparently I was wrong -- I'm now 7 months in and STILL stuck on that da&****ned Bm barre chord. I can play the chord, but STILL can't seem to transition into it properly even with daily practice.

ARGHHHH...
#20
Your friend is right in that you shouldn't cheat because then you'll always give into it and fall nehind in your playing... like I did. Changing between barre chords isn't easy, but practice is literally the only solution. Make sure you are fretting the barre chords right, and master doing it slowly and slowly increase speed. Don't do it sloppy and try for speed each time. Do it correctly and slowly and build on it. You'll have it down pat in a couple weeks, good luck.
A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time. --Alfred E. Wiggam
#21
Unfortunately, I've lost my guitar teacher due to his wife's recent cancer diagnosis and my "mentor" is no longer very encouraging either...don't think that's intentional but more that his band is taking off and he's got a full time job. And by the way, he DID laugh the one and only time I played in front of him....still stings....

SO, 7 months in and I'm still no further along on the barre chords than I was before, and I'm still looking for a good way to memorize the notes on the fretboard. Tabs still don't make sense to me either....I'm actually feeling a bit "lost" and just tossing in the towel and selling my guitars is beginning to look like a viable option.
#22
Don't do that. I think around 7 months is a time when many new players feeling like they've stopped making progress. In the first few months, their playing improves leaps and bounds and then all of the sudden, they get stuck in a rut. That's what happens. Once you get basics down, the progress doesn't happen as quickly. Stick with it, you'll be glad you did! Guitar is very rewarding and it keeps rewarding you the better you get.

As for tabs, find tabs for songs you know and songs that are easy, you'll see how it works. It's awkward to read but after a while, it gets easier. Maybe even try tabbing something yourself to help familiarize yourself with tabbing. Tabbing will also make sense to you as far as your guitar skills. I couldn't understand tabs for things because I had never played songs that advanced, but now they make more sense. Don't read tabs for expert players when you're a beginner, it'll overwhelm you.

Don't get stuck on barre chords, you don't truly need them anyway. I mean, they are great to have but, if need be, there are ways to play any chord open. Don't substitute the barre chords because then you'll never learn them, but if you're playing a song or something, don't give up just because there's a barre chord.

That's all the advice I have, but good luck and don't give up on guitar!
A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time. --Alfred E. Wiggam
#23
The easiest way to nail the A - Bm change is to barre the three notes of the A with your index finger, so when you want to change to Bm you just shift the index finger up to ad the A string to the bar and drop your other three fingers in. If its Am to Bm, fret the Am with your 2nd, 3rd and 4th finger - that way you can just slide along and drop the barre in at the 2nd fret behind them.

Barre chords are actually really useful in memorising the notes on the fretboard, or at least they were to me. I'm assuming you know the basics of the fretboard "map" ie 12 frets is an octave, the 7th fret of the next string up is also an octave (eg low E string and 7th fret on A string) except the G string to B string where it's the 8th. 2 frets along and one string up is also an octave (again except for the B string where you have to shift one fret up)

That gives you some basic "safe" points....places where you know what the note is currently. From there it's just a case of filling the gaps . 3rd fret on the low E is G, i learned that because it was the root note of the G chord. That means 2 things - first, I can play the E-shape barre chord there and it becomes a G, secondly - I can, working from that note, eventually find every G on the fretboard. Starting at the third fret on the low E...if I move 2 frets along and 2 strings up to the 5th fret on the D string there's another G. Also if I move 12 frets up to the 15th on the low E, there's another G....and 7 frets along on the next string up (the A) is another G.

It takes a while, but you can eventually start to work out where all the notes are, and whilst you won't remember them all you'll usually get to grips with the bottom couple of strings quite quickly. Barre chords are handy because they get you moving around the fretboard, and becasue you know the names of the chords you're playing you start to remember the notes, conversely it's worthwhile converting the stuff you know in open chords to barre chords to give you practice in finding notes.
Actually called Mark!

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#24
Put your time in and you'll get in time....

The better you practice, no matter how tedious, the less time it'll take....

gratz on decding to learn, and it seems like your mentor knows what hes doing...
Quote by thundrstruk891
do EXACTLY what rock savior said.


EXACTLY.

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#25
Also, to memorize the fretboard, pick one of the 12 notes and learn it all over the fretboard...

Add one each day and you'll be done in 2 weeks....make sure you review the old ones to so you memorize all of them...
Quote by thundrstruk891
do EXACTLY what rock savior said.


EXACTLY.

Quote by SGKIDD
^^ X2,00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

To me

Member of the 'Guitarists Born In 1991' Club. PM greendayguitar or blues_rocker to join.
#26
Barré chords take a long time to feel comfortable, just take your time and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Like someone said before, 'if it was easy, everyone would be a great guitarist'.
#27
Practice like hell. Im quite the newbie too, but the way I learnt to get over barre chords is just playingsongs that require you to use them and change to them fast. And when using barre chords, make sure your barre finger is not flat against the fret board, but slightly turned, this way you get a better cleaner sound.
#28
Well, I'm 10 months in and still in that rut. I think a lot of it is that I don't have anyone to play with (no input) so I don't know where to go next.

I am making a little improvement on the barre chords - I bought a book that actually made sense of the root chord -- now I'm just having to work through the lack of strength in my fingers...

BUT, I'm still hangin' in there...

Thank God for John Prine songs LOL