#1
I've been doing barre chords for at least two monthes now, but the pain has only started recently. I'm not pressing that hard so its weird that I'd have tension. Its somewhere around where the thumb meets the palm. Maybe my barre chord form is wrong?

I can post a picture of my hand if it helps.
#2
Its just because of the way you hold the neck while you play, i have the same problem so i dont what to do about it.
#3
I think you have AIDS, most people NEVER have this problem....

Only joking man literally every player has been through this, its just one of those annoying things that you just deal with, one day you will be playing merrily away and you suddenly notice that you dont even think about barre chords hurting anymore
Diezel, Motherfucker
#5
No, playing a barre chord is a lot like having sex.

Well no barre chords are more like chocolate pudding...

Okay barre chords are like the new coke, it tastes awful at first...

Barre chords are like a puddin' pop, hard shell on the outside until you bite into it and it becomes all soft and gooey...

...Seriously normal, good, goes away after you practice
#6
right, what i'm saying is, that this problem came up after i was already playing barre chords properly without buzzing. I already went through the phase where it hurt like hell and you couldn't stop the buzzing.
#7
^^

This is a public service announcement. Drugs are bad for you. End public service announcement.


But he has the right idea, practice will help things like that go away. Think about how small the muscles in your hand are and how much work they do when you play guitar.

Also, as a point of reference, I keep my thumb perpendicular to the frets of the guitar on the treble half of the neck. I find there is less tension in my hand this way.

Gear:
Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
#8
get those hand grip things and use them to build your grip. Worked for me. Pain free!!!!
#10
well if all of you say so. Thanks guys.

And on another note, is it even possible to alt strum while palm-muting? I can strum just downstrokes fine, but alternating moves my palm too much.
#11
Barre chords are really hard on your wrists. Especially if you play standing up a lot. Unless of course you happen to wear your guitar way up high. You're wrists will indeed get stronger and the pain will diminish a lot though.

But I play rhythm guitar for the band I'm in, and during any gig we play roughtly 4 sets equalling about 40-50 songs, and by the end of the night my wrist is killing me. While I could play lead type stuff for twice as long and still not have sore hands.

There are a couple things you can do to help though. Most important... stretch you hands. Seriously. Do it.

Also, play barre chords hendrix style with your thumb. Wrap your thumb around the low E, mute the A, then all you need is to bar the high E and B strings with your index finger.

And yes, it's possible to mute alt strums. You just have to drag the side of your hand up the strings after the pick hits them. Hard to explain, hard to make sound good, and not really all that practical. I'm assuming we're talking around powerchords here since you don't really see people palm mute full chords. So you're really better off just muting with your fret hand, or just sticking with downstroke mutes.
#12
Many people are of the opinion that thin (or "low") profile necks don't suit them and swear that comfort improved immeasurable when they got a guitar with a thicker neck which seemed to offer more support and cause less cramping and aching. See if you can find a guitar with a chunkier neck than yours and see how it feels.

Good luck.
#13
Barre chords are really hard on your wrists. Especially if you play standing up a lot. Unless of course you happen to wear your guitar way up high. You're wrists will indeed get stronger and the pain will diminish a lot though.

No wrist problems for me. Its all in the area where my thumb and index meet, closer to the thumb.

There are a couple things you can do to help though. Most important... stretch you hands. Seriously. Do it.

Alright, stretching's easy.

Also, play barre chords hendrix style with your thumb. Wrap your thumb around the low E, mute the A, then all you need is to bar the high E and B strings with your index finger.


My hands are too small to do this comfortably, and yes I've tried on multiple occassions. It just isn't my style.


And yes, it's possible to mute alt strums. You just have to drag the side of your hand up the strings after the pick hits them. Hard to explain, hard to make sound good, and not really all that practical. I'm assuming we're talking around powerchords here since you don't really see people palm mute full chords. So you're really better off just muting with your fret hand, or just sticking with downstroke mutes.


The specific song I was considering it for was the acoustic version of Hands down. It can be played all downstrokes, but its pretty fast picking. I've also been curious if its possible and practical, just in a general sense.

Many people are of the opinion that thin (or "low") profile necks don't suit them and swear that comfort improved immeasurable when they got a guitar with a thicker neck which seemed to offer more support and cause less cramping and aching. See if you can find a guitar with a chunkier neck than yours and see how it feels.

I've got an acoustic that has your standard thick neck, and an electric with a thinner neck. I've noticed no real difference between comfortability. The pain still kicks in on both necks. Thinner necks also feel nicer to me

Thanks for the replies guys. U-G is a really good board for guitar help.
Last edited by BlazeWizard at Oct 2, 2007,
#14
it just takes time and although you'll be able to barre longer you'll always get pain eventually.
#15
are you holding the guitar right? the majority of people these days are holding the guitar incorrectly. they hold it like a drugged up cowboy rather than someone who values the joints in their hands. in other words, are you holding it in btween your legs or off to one knee? the tension from your back sends pain to your arm and makes it uncomfortable and ineffective for barre chords. hope this helps and if your already holding it right treat it as a reminder.
#16
Something i think people forget to mention alot when it comes to barre chords is that there are ways to allow natural forces to help you fret the barre, gravity. So, try this. Fret the barre with a light grip, now allow the weight of your arm to help assist you. Now start applying small amounts of pressure from your thumb and barring finger until you find the right amount of force that will allow the strings to ring out cleanly.

I say this from a similar experience. When i began working on barre chords i started developing the same pain. I found that it was from applying way to much force from my thumb. Needless to say you must develop a certain amount of strength in your fretting hand but you don't have to be able to crush a walnut with your hands either to fret a barre chord. You do need to ease of if when the pain start to become noticeable also.

Last thing i would like to mention, some guitars just aren't barre chord friendly.
epic7734
#17
A bit of fatigue is normal learning barre chords. Those are some tiny, mostly unused muscles you're trying to work. Try turning your thumb so it's more parallel with the neck, that makes your fingers naturally want to curl in a way that's conducive to barres.