#1
i cant get barre chords down and there making me pissed off. I cant even barre all the strings on one fret. Theres always one or two strings that turn dead. I know practice makes perfect, but ive been practicing for 2 weeks straigh about a half hour on barre chords a day and i still see no improvement. I know it takes time, but i feel like im just wasting my time.

So for all you guitarists out there i have three questions

1. When you first learned barre chords were you going through the same crap i am? The dead notes and feeling discouraged?

2. how long did it take you to get them to sound good. how many hours did you practice everyday.

3. What would you recommened that helped you.


I turn my index finger and everything but i still have those dead notes. its always at least two strings. please help
#3
try the john frusciante method?

say you want to play a G

mute the bottom string with your thumb

play 5th fret A with your ring finger
play 5th fret D with your pinky
play 4th fret G with your middle finger
play 3rd fret B, and mute the e, or double stop them both on 3rd with your index finger

your hand should look like youre holding a 2.5" diameter drumstick

good luck!
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#4
I tried them for about a week, and got so pissed off, I gave up. I just played other things on guitar but not barre chords, and about 8 months later I tried one and it sounded half decent. So I carried on, and I now look back on those days and laugh.

I'm not saying it will take you 8 months, I'm just saying I understand your frustration, but have faith. You'll be able to do them eventually, and you will also look back and laugh!

In a couple of years you might even be on UG givin someone advice on how to not get discouraged with barre chords!!! Good luck though.
#5
Back when I first learnt barre chords, I was extremely pissed off I couldn't get them right. Always buzzing, sounding off, etc. Also, I practised far laees back then than I do now, so I'd say I was getting in just a few hours a week back then. Now, if I don't get a few hours a day I'm pissed off.

Trust me, time will show improvement.
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#6
btw the fact u cant barre strings on 1 fret isnt anything. because look at it this way.. say ur trying a E shape barre chord..such as "F" which is likely when your a starting out. At least when your using your other fingers to make the F chord, you may actually not have enough pressure on the string..but since your pressing down on the fret above (using F as an example still) the string sounds anyway. I noticed that when I was doing E shape barre chords every string was ringing perfect, (took me ages dont worry) but if I tried playing just a barre on 1 fret it wasn't right. So I went back to the drawing board and built more strength and now I can do them fine. Here's some tips for you. You tilt your finger a little to the side. So your leaning it toward the headstock of the guitar. Also it helps if you place your fingers down and then put the barre on. That's how I learned. The reason you have been trying so much and your still not getting anywhere is most likely because your using a part of your finger that isn't right. Try moving your barre finger up or down (not along the fretboard, but if your moving up for instance more of your finger sticks out past the 6th string) That mixed in with the fact that maybe you still need to exercise strength is the reason your having trouble. Keep trying. Once you get barre chords down you unlock a whole new world..na joking..but they are pretty cool.
#7
I just had to reply to this because I'm at the barre-chord stage too - I also sort of gave up on them for a while after encountering B Minor and went off to practice other areas, which was a mistake in hindsight. It turned out that when I sat down again and resolved to get it right, all I needed was about half an hour of switching back and forward between that and the easier chords I was familiar with to be able to play it - I'm using Canon in D's chord progression (D, A, Bm, F#, G, D, G, A), which gives you an easy section followed by switching in, between, and out of barre chords. Although you'll probably be utterly sick of it within a couple of days.

It felt totally impossible to me at first, but it's amazing how easily your fingers start falling into place after a while of practice. I still can't do it perfectly convincingly and need a half-second to put all my fingers in the right places, but that's a marked improvement on taking at least four seconds of finger-twisting previously. Sadly I seem to have strained by hand rather badly while practising it overenthusiastically, so I'm going to have to work on my posture as well
#8
It's probably going to take longer than 2 weeks, especially if you haven't been playing that long yet. I didn't attempt them until a good few months of playing and it still took a while to get the hang of them.

Just make sure you practice them higher up the neck, around the 5th fret - the 1st fret is by far the hardest one to barre.
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#9
joy, you could always try to strengthen your fingers too. there's a thing available at music stores called "The GripMaster". Here's a pic of it:



Depending on how you hold it, it'll work out different parts of your hand and forearm. Might be something to try.
#10
oh ya man dont worry no one gets barrechords right away....i learned em about months into guitar....i found going from a C shape to an F shape was the easiest transition...some people say E but its all about preference...but jus keep at em....try making a barre chord shape and moving it up and down the guitarjus to get used to them...then try progressing into them....house of the rising sun is a good song to practise if ur jus gonna strum it....its only Am C D F/ Am C E E/ Am C D F/ Am E Am E....lot of open chords and that barre for good measure lol
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#12
It took me a couple months before I could get barr chords down too. The one thing that helped me was, Its much easier to make a barr chord in the middle of the neck. Try making an "E" shaped chord on the 5th fret(that would be an "A")
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#13
Try to build up your grip more, just practising a barre won't work if you don't have a strong enough grip.
#14
Yep, finger strength is your friend. I played for a solid 6 months before I could play a convincing barre chord, even a year later my barre chords could be better. Keep practicing your other chords and devote about 10 minutes a day to barre chords, one day it will just happen and you will be able to play them. It's weird when it happens.
#15
When I started I couldn't hold down the barre chords. It just started getting easier as I practiced them more. Best thing you can do, is practice them, these are difficult for new guitarists because your hand is not trained to do it yet.
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#16
I've been playing since july (about 8) months now. Barre chords I first tried maybe 1 and a half months ago and they really frustrated me. What I noticed (I'm on an acoustic too) is that when I'd move my head and actually look at my finger on the strings, my finger was at an angle making it so towards the high e (bottom of the neck facing the ground) that part of my finger was actually FARTHER from the fret causing it to mute without an insane amount of pressure. So I'd purposely inch my hand and make sure my finger was completely lined up with the neck and I got better results.

A good song to practice with this is anna molly

You can see in over a month of practice how you'll improve
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke1EuqJfRZA (first try after a few weeks of practice)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_avIPWuRK0 (one month later)
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#17
You don't have to necessarily barre all of the strings. For instance, for the major 6th string chords, just barre the 1st, 2nd, 6th strings. The rest are all covered by other fingers (Emajor shape). It helps to have some strategy and not just brute strength.
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#19
when i first started doing them i had the same problem...its just one of those problems that just even themselves out with practice
#20
You gotta take a break from them and work on other things...scales, regular chords, picking speed, etc. You can't learn anything while frustrated....and it's no fun either.
I had the same trouble in the beginning...practiced it a little here and there...left it for a while and then suddenly when I tried them again weeks later I was much improved.

Also, don't try them when your fingers are cold. Warm up for 30-45 minutes and see how it goes.
#21
That's true, too - maybe I was right to take a break from them for a while after all. Don't hurt yourself while trying them, although they're going to feel very awkward at first - the side of my index finger looked literally ribbed after a solid half hour of trying. And I now have a hard patch of skin from where my hand touches the side of the neck.
#22
For Em shaped barre chords and A shaped double barre chords, try putting your middle finger on your index for a bit more pressure.
The main thing I find is thumb strength, make sure you are holding it hard on the neck underneath your index finger to get a really tight grip.
Most likely this will hurt your hand a lot, but after a good bit of practise the pain will cease.
#23
Just keep practicing you'll get them eventually. It took me months to get them down. I was starting to think I wouldn't be able to do them either. Eventually it came to me and I didn't even notice after awhile.

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#24
-Bumping a barre chord thread.

I can get every god damned sting to sound but B. What the hell is wrong with me? Am I retarded? It pisses me off when I can't get the barre chords in a song and the barre chords part is a small part.

Also, thought it probably doesn't matter, I have calluses on all of my left hand fingers. ****ing barre chords.
Last edited by Toniofalcon at Mar 17, 2008,
#25
Are you playing on an acoustic, which makes barre chords harder to begin with? It could be that the tension is a bit too high, making it more difficult. Barres remain a bitch for me when speed is a factor. I'm still working on that, but I agree with the comment that if you just keep at it (don't go ape*** obbessive about it, though), it just happens. And it is indeed weird. When I do manage to level up, It always feels like a leap.
#26
B is the string that I have most difficulty getting to sound in barre chords as well, and I think it's because the joint of my finger falls over it, giving that string a little more of a gap. You could try rolling your finger a little more back, or repositioning that finger horizontally, though neither of those is particularly easy.
#27
If you think you are going to play barre chords with ease after a few months, you should quit.
Anyone who says they can do this after a couple of months is full of crap.

Plan on a year or two to be proficient. Dont try to measure your progess in weeks.