I have recently been playing alot of jimi hendrix and such and I recently learned the intro to rooster by alice in chains, and was wondering if its ok to play barre chords using the thumb and index because I haven't gotten down the technique to play barres yet.
Last edited by Rooster422 at Apr 3, 2008,
Sure. If the chord comes out clean, it doesn't matter how you make it, so long as you don't give yourself RSI or anything.
You can, but you'd probably be better off in the long run getting the proper technique right
My friend told me that the main reason to not use the thumb is that it will reduce your mobility on the fretboard if you get in the habit of doing it.

It's taken me like 6 months to finally be able to play barre chords without too much trouble, but my hand still cramps up if I play straight bar chords for a few minutes. But I'd imagine if I cheated with the thumb stuff I wouldn't be even where I am now in being able to play them.

As an example - I started off using the "cheat F" that only frets and strums the bottom 4 strings. Even though I can play bar chords I still use the cheat F because I'm so used to it
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About the thumb . . .

Many guitarists modify their playing to use their thumb; John Mayer, John Frusciante, and Jimi Hendrix included. It is a different approach to guitar playing, and is definitely not for everyone, especially if you have small hands.

Most teachers will tell you that using the thumb is not good technique. They'll teach you the most versatile approach to guitar playing, and they'll teach you what has worked for them. It doesn't mean that there is only one way to play an instrument. After all, it's in the way that you use it.
I know it probably would limit your playing and I'm getting a little at using the standard bar chord, but at the same time the thumb barchord as (john frusciante says) allows you to use your fingers for all the bottoms strings while your thumb hits the bass notes. I've always felt comfortable with the thumb and I can let all the notes ring out perfectly with this way.