#1
Ok then, I've had a guitar for three years now and been playing seriously for 18 months. Over that period all I know is the notes on the fret, power chords, a few scales and some bends, pull offs and hammer ons. But over two months ago Ive started learning barre chords and after watching some of my favourite guitarists play powerchords etc, they use their fingers alot different to mine (picture below) and this is not allowing me to perfect or try to perfect the barre chords and heres why.



As you can see, I'm playing an A powerchord on the 5th fret of the E string and my pinky is barring the 7th frets on both A and D strings and Ive tried practicing powerchords by using three fingers for a couple of weeks but I can't seem to get anywhere with it. So in order to help me become more versatile, any tips or suggestions as to what I can do? Because I wanna be able to play more than punk.

Thanks
.:: Current Setup::.

ESP Ltd Viper 50
Line 6 Spider II 30W
Fender Squire Acoustic Guitar
Encore LP Copy
Ibanez GSR200 Bass
Axl B35 Bass Amp


#2
if you arent careful you will mute some strings that way. but its not like it cant be done that way. everyone has their own style(hopefully).
Quote by Peradactyl
alright, off topic but how do i make forum posts



Quote by The_Paranoia
a4lrocker is an offical thread legend.
#3
I can relate... I use my pinky frequently...

...but it doesn't stunt me in anyway....

Just practice.. Hold your fingers on the frets the right way and just strum one chord for a while... Muscle memory should do the rest...
#5
wow how did you even come to play power chords like that? it looks pretty painful/unnatural for your pinky...

just put your ring finger on the a string man...just keep practicing that way...it may feel weird, but it shouldn't take more than a week or so to get it down. it would definitely be worth it...i can imagine how it would be beneficial to keep playing power chords like that...
#6
at least you are using your pinky. i have a habit of trying anything to not use it cuz im not very good with it
Quote by Peradactyl
alright, off topic but how do i make forum posts



Quote by The_Paranoia
a4lrocker is an offical thread legend.
#7
you can play more than punk with any sort of fingerings. that just looks to me to be a different way to play a barre chord, just because it's comfortable.

what I mean, is that some people play barre chords with their pinkies instead of their 4th (ring?) finger. this is a matter of preference.

but if you look at how jimmy page, hendrix, and john frusciante play their chords (a lot of thumb muting over the fretboard), they hardly ever use a standard position. and I'm not sure about page or even hendrix (but you can see how he fingers chords when he plays), but 100% frusciante plays the chords as he does so that his fingers have more freedom to move, and that he can mute certain strings while letting others ring out. by using this playing style he was able to put together the riff to Can't Stop where his hand just stays in one position, but he uses his other free fingers to mute SPECIFIC strings (which is also another plus of using this method) and play others.

for example: if you are playing an F barre chord down by the first fret, using the thumb over technique to give your fingers more freedom, you will press the low F with your thumb, then place your next three fingers where they would normally be and then play the B and F notes with your index finger.

also, if you look at other artists, such as Bradley Nowell from Sublime, he played most of his chords the barre way, and I know he's punk, but he made awesome music, ripped crazy solos and expressed himself through his music, so don't get hung up on playing a certain way.

sorry for the confusing explanation. I'll answering any questions you have though
#8
oh and depending on the size of your fingers and hand, it may be harder to do.
#10
because im self-taught and I just saw tabs on how to play powerchords and it seemed easier at the time but since I progressed in playing guitar it feels like like this could stop me from progressing even more and I believe that I do have potential to become a decent guitar player. I'm appreciated for the help, it's made it more clearer too
.:: Current Setup::.

ESP Ltd Viper 50
Line 6 Spider II 30W
Fender Squire Acoustic Guitar
Encore LP Copy
Ibanez GSR200 Bass
Axl B35 Bass Amp


#11
you need to change your technique now, play the power chord like Glandolina pictured, otherwise when you go to learn barre chords, your going to have a hard time.
#12
Quote by GLandolina
A powerchord? you want to be doing it like this:

that's the most common way.


+1
arched fingers are always better to play with.
as a general rule, for versatility, avoid barring where possible
#13
Quote by succi

for example: if you are playing an F barre chord down by the first fret, using the thumb over technique to give your fingers more freedom, you will press the low F with your thumb, then place your next three fingers where they would normally be and then play the B and F notes with your index finger.

That'll leaves how many fingers spare? I really don't see the point you're trying to make other than as long as it works then it works, which whilst I'd normally agree I also agree that the TS needs to learn power and barre chords in the more traditional manner if he is to continue to improve.

My advice to the TS if he's asking for ways to improve his playing is learn basic open chords before moving onto (or aswell as) barre chords. It might appear a 'lame' thing to do and deffo not 'punk' but it'll improve your playing and knowledge imo.
#14
Quote by succi

what I mean, is that some people play barre chords with their pinkies instead of their 4th (ring?) finger. this is a matter of preference.


4th finger = pinky as far as guitar fingerings go.

pianists would call the ring the "4th" finger, as they label the thumb as "1"
in most piano books/fingerings
#15
Quote by TheCrowing2113




i hope that your thumb position isn't like that when you play. you should try to keep it planted in the center between your fingers behind the neck, at least when barring, it gives you more leverage to shift your individual fingers

also, you said you were playing an a5, but in the picture it looks like you are playing the 6th fret of the g string (C# note), which would make what you're playing an A major chord.
If anything, stop playing that note.
Last edited by silvadolla at Jan 30, 2008,