Hey guys,

I have been playing for about a year, and for the life of me, I cannot fret all the strings at once like some chords require.

Should I go to a lighter gauge? I am using freakin light strings right now. Extra light will hurt my pride, but hey, if I can play those stupid chords, it's worth it.

Any tips out there, or should I go lighter?

Start with the smaller chords and build your way up. It'll be tough at first, but you'll get the hang of it. Just don't give up.

If you can't fret the whole chord, just get as much as you can. Keep trying until you're able to get your hand around the whole chord. You'll get it!
why would extra lights hurt your pride? but anyway....practice, that's all, practice...just take your index finger and press it against the fret board over and over again, make sure all the notes are ringing clearly, and over time the problem should be resolved. Also, are you fretting with the inside of your finger (side of palm)? because for allot of people that's where the problem lies, it might be easier to fret with the side of your finger.
Last edited by david_highland at Sep 13, 2007,
+1 on using the side of your finger that helped me master many barre chords
Maybe your strings are too high from your fretboard making it hard to cover the B and E strings? Thats what i faced.. But in the end it all comes down to practice..
I've been playing for about 9 months and started/tried barring for 2 or so months (I'm assuming that's what you are questioning). I haven't got it down yet, but I'm improving, some tips:

* Use the side of your finger, its harder at the start, but there is more bone than flesh

* Start in the middle of the fretboard, the stringers are easier to press down, once you get this, move it closer to the nut where the strings are more tense. Possibly also use a capo, though many on this baord will say you are 'cheating'

* Start with 2 string barres, like the open F (xo3211) than try open Gm (xx0333), then Bb6 (xx3333), starting like this will slowly increase finger strength

* Don't wrap your finger around the neck, I did this and not only is it technically worng, it is fatiguing. When barring, atelast for me, your nail should be over the top of the fret board
Are you reelin' in the years?
Great input, guys. I really appreciate it.

Use the side of your finger, eh? You mean the side closest to your thumb, right?

Thanks oldfart for the tips.

My guitars action feels like it could possible be too high. How do you tell?

Thanks alot!
Check out this link: http://frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/LowerAction/loweraction01.html

If your action at the high e string is higher than, oh, 6 or 7/32" it would probably be considered high. I might be off on the numbers, and it's really up to the person playing and their style whether the action should be lower or higher.
Quote by AcousticSin11
Use the side of your finger, eh? You mean the side closest to your thumb, right?

Side of your figner, as in, make sure your fingernail isn't parrallel with the finger board, have you finger nail 90 degress or as close as you can. This will allow better pressure to be applied to the strings. It will also increase your reach with your other fingers.
Are you reelin' in the years?
well i had the same problem as u mate, but i found it was the way i was actually holdin the guitar...try lowerin ur index finger abit...it seemed to hav worked for me