#1
I been playing about two years now but I still can't seem to do barre chords. I mean, I can do them but it takes me forever to get it placed and I have to hold down REALLY hard just to get a decent sound other wise some of the strings will sound muted.

I figured maybe it's just the action so I had it professionally lowered and the same problem persists. I've played other guitars and I've noticed this problem only persist on acoustic guitars, I can do a barre chords absolutely perfect on an electric.

I've tried building strength in my fingers (etc, squeezing a tennis ball) and I've been doing that for about an hour a day the last few weeks and I've noticed no help. A lot of people just told me to keep with it and I'll eventually get it but it seems that no amount of practice is going to be enough for this.

I just feel very distraught because I've tried everything and it's annoying me so badly.

Any advice?
#2
ive been playing for 4 and a half years and just getting them down good, as the old saying goes, keep practicing

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus-Top, SH-2 and SH-5
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Boss MT-2 Metal Zone
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#3
What type of guitar are you using? On my acoustic, barres are somewhat hard cause i have to push down so hard, but with my electric they are quite easy to push.
Gear:
Electric
Yamaha RGX520
Fender Strat HSS

Acoustic
1952 Martin and Co 00-18.
Yamaha FGX730SCA

Amp
Fender Twin Reverb
Fender Amp FM25 DSP

Pedals
Boss DS-1
#4
Quote by jxmxaxn
What type of guitar are you using? On my acoustic, barres are somewhat hard cause i have to push down so hard, but with my electric they are quite easy to push.


Washburn D10S
#5
acoustic guitars are the hardest for barre chords because the strings are a higher gauge and the tension is higher and the frets are smaller.
you need to have really strong fingers and you need to position them right.
#6
Yeah it might just be cause you are playing acoustic. I can do them on mine, but sometimes they sound iffy. Hmm, i dont really know what advice to give to make them easier to play.
Gear:
Electric
Yamaha RGX520
Fender Strat HSS

Acoustic
1952 Martin and Co 00-18.
Yamaha FGX730SCA

Amp
Fender Twin Reverb
Fender Amp FM25 DSP

Pedals
Boss DS-1
#7
Yeah, I just may be jumping beyond my abilities right now.
I'm sure it will come with some more practice & I'll try to do exercises to strengthen my fingers. It's just so annoying when you can't make something sound right, Makes me want to smash the guitar into the wall.
#8
To be honest, same happens to me. I've been playing for 4 years, and I have trouble with barre chords alot on my acoustic too. Same guitar, Washburn.
WHY IS EVERYONE IN THE PIT A FUCKING METALCORE KID
#9
Quote by Kartman
To be honest, same happens to me. I've been playing for 4 years, and I have trouble with barre chords alot on my acoustic too. Same guitar, Washburn.


Well in all fairness I was using an Epiphone AJ-1 and (just today) got my Washburn and compared to the AJ-1 it's a lot easier on the washburn. I can nearly do the barre chords just fine it's just usually one or two string are either buzzy or muted.
#10
^Really the only barres I can't do on acoustic are minor barre chords on the E string.
WHY IS EVERYONE IN THE PIT A FUCKING METALCORE KID
#11
Practice. Everyone has trouble at first but keep practicing and it will get easier.
#13
practice practice practice...

ive only been playing for about 3 years... and barres are nothing to me. its not how long youve been playing the guitar, its how hard youve been practicing.
#14
Well with practise will come placement of your fingers, keeping your pointer finger straight layed evenly across the string etc. Just keep playing acoustic and your fingers will strengthen, if you've been playing electric a lot over the past while, then of course it's going to be very hard to play on acoustic. Just stick with acoustic mainly for awhile, it will make electric that much easier to play as well.
#16
I feel ur pain man...I have been playing roughly two years and I have the same acoustic you do.....and although I have a pretty strong grip I had trouble fingering them..... I love jack johnson and jason mraz and as a lot of their stuff uses them (basically 100 percent of jacks songs are barre) I had to get better at them....practice practice practice and they will come....also I would switch to a lighter gauge of strings and make sure your index finger is completely parallell and to the metal piece on the fret and as close to it as it can be...I noticed when I was learning them that I had a tendancy to let my index finger be angled and when that happens they sound horrible.....god luck
#17
I've only been playing about 3 months, but I learned something, and even with my low skill, I can barre with little or no buzzing on the third fret, and some on the second fret. Use the classical position-rest your guitar on your left leg and point it 45 degrees into the air. This makes it much easier to barre chords. Otherwise, practice.
#18
Contrary to the belief of many guitarists, it is not necessary to pinch the neck of the guitar. You have to hang on it a bit and use the weight of your hand and gravity to press down on the bar. This will relieve the stress in your hand and you will be able to play it without any difficulty. What happens is, most people start playing the chord with all their might with no avail, then, as they keep practicing it, they lose a bit of their will and then just start using their weight automatically without knowing that they are really doing it. Well, if you know this to begin with, playing the bar chord should be immediate. Try it, hang on the fretboard, don't squeeze it.
Michael Ferris
ferrisguitar.com
#19
^^ try doing what he said

As well, try kinking your left wrist towards you. In other words, instead of having your left forearm "perpendicular" to the neck, bend it with your wrist towards the neck. You'll notice the angle getting smaller (of your arm and neck). This will help you get those barre chords. Let me know if this helps.
#20
My problem is a little different; I can barre with ease, which has been a result of consistant practice. But, when I was playing in a band for roughly two years, I used to tire my left hand pretty badly after an hour of playing or so, and had to take a little break to shake it off. And the same goes for me today, but it's nothing too serious.

Could this be a technical problem, or just down to my gripping strength/stamina or something?
#21
if you don't want to practic you could cheat like I used to and play them like this

lets say a G major:

3554xx

same thing with the 5th string versions

like a D minor

xx7765
"There but for fortune go you or I"- Phil Ochs
#22
Had a quick read so not sure if this has already been said.

Have you ever changed your strings...if not you are probably on 13s....try coming down to 12 or 11 but thats the lowest you should go. That will help for starters but if you think your action is high try using Country Golds as they are not wound at the bridge and so 'lower'. Also try positioning your fretting hand with the thumb not wrapped round the kneck (which I actually do sometimes to fret the bottom E) as this may help. Finally and i know this is boring but practice...Good luck
#23
Quote by andrewemmel
I feel ur pain man...I have been playing roughly two years and I have the same acoustic you do.....and although I have a pretty strong grip I had trouble fingering them..... I love jack johnson and jason mraz and as a lot of their stuff uses them (basically 100 percent of jacks songs are barre) I had to get better at them....practice practice practice and they will come....also I would switch to a lighter gauge of strings and make sure your index finger is completely parallell and to the metal piece on the fret and as close to it as it can be...I noticed when I was learning them that I had a tendancy to let my index finger be angled and when that happens they sound horrible.....god luck



I could have written that. Seriously, I had to re-read it and make sure it wasn't me posting in an Ambien induced coma or something.

Very true.
Taylor GS8 Rosewood/Spruce
#25
Quote by Made Of Metal
if you don't want to practic you could cheat like I used to and play them like this

lets say a G major:

3554xx

same thing with the 5th string versions

like a D minor

xx7765


LOL!
#26
Roll index finger. Use the bones on the bottom. That's for the major E shape. For minor, you'll need to raise your finger higher, because you need more bone to cover the G string.

I wonder about fatigue, too?
"The end result - the music - is all that counts"
#27
I would suggest taking songs you already know that utilize open chords and substitute barre chords. Just do that every time you sit down to play and you should have them down in no time.
#28
Thanks for the tips guys ive been trying to play the guitar for about a year on and off now too and have always had trouble with barre chords. My problem with them was that when doing the barre chords that require you to stretch your fingers more then normal chords my fingers would not be able to keep straight from the stretching. however after trying to play the guitar the proper way making the guitar face 45 degrees up it seemed to help alot. Also the tip on bending your wrist towards your body instead perpendicular to the guitar helped a lot too
#29
I've been playing acoustic for 4 months but have been playing electric for 7 months and I couldn't play barrre chords on my electric. But when I got my acoustic I really wanted to play Jack Johnson stuff and for like 3 months straight I was practicing barre chords every day. Now I prefer to play barre chords over open chords. So it doesnt really matter how long you have been playing, it's all about practicing