#1
For a few weeks, I've been trying to do barre chords (mainly working with the E-shape barre chords). I just can't barre down the B and G strings. I can however barre them down just using my index, without using my other fingers for anything and it's been pissing me off so much that I can't get these two strings with out them being muted. Help?
#2
Hey Chevy,

I went through the same thing. Just do some simple chromatics or other finger exercises to build your finger strength. It will come in time

Chris
#3
I still find it hard to do Barre chords.. especially Em-shaped ones. I always mute the G string.
#4
dude, remember. You're stronger the closer you are to the core of your body, so start rather high up the neck. Like the tenth fret, which would give you a D chord when you're using the E shape. Also, try doing it in impulses and very short periods of time at first, like da da da da. Then graduately try to build up your strength to be able to do: Daaaaaaaa
#5
Quote by Oxac
dude, remember. You're stronger the closer you are to the core of your body, so start rather high up the neck. Like the tenth fret, which would give you a D chord when you're using the E shape. Also, try doing it in impulses and very short periods of time at first, like da da da da. Then graduately try to build up your strength to be able to do: Daaaaaaaa

Barre chords are easier higher up because fretting is easier, I don't think it's got anything to do with how close to your body your hand is. It's definitely better to learn the technique that way before attempting them on the lower frets...if you jump straight in and try to play an F with the root on the low E string you'll be there forever.
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#6
bro have faith in yourself
i almost shot myself in the head (not literally)
but man
i was driven insane

keep at it and in no time ull be money bro!
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#7
Steven, I'm not sure about that because what ever I do, the closer I do it to the center of my body, the more power I get. But it also has to do with the string tension ofc, which you mentioned. Perhaps also with the frets being smaller, and easier to keep the hand at a good angle, anyhow it works so try it
#9
I love the title for this one, to offer an answer to that question, ever seen a man with no hands? I'm sure he's crying about that, and unable to type a message because of the same reason. Just stretch stretch stretch though, but not in an unhealthy way. Hands develop agility with time.
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#10
roll your fretting finger on its side a little.
most pressure at the joint less at the fingertip, dont wrap your thumb and let gavity help.
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#11
Is the problem coming from the index finger? Try rolling it around a bit to find a comfy spot where all the notes ring out.
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#12
i dont know if your trying to barre like in the middle of the fret, but its a lot easier if you get as close as possible to the fret bar
#13
Quote by SunDrop
i dont know if your trying to barre like in the middle of the fret, but its a lot easier if you get as close as possible to the fret bar


This actually helped a lot. Thanks you all for the advice, I guess it's back to practicing now. :P
#14
also, try playing them without a bar.

with your thumb over the neck.
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#15
Bring your arm in toward your body a good bit and place your thumb in the middle of the back of the neck. This will help you press down on the strings easier. These chords drove me crazy and of course was painful until my finger tips strengthened up a good bit! Yes and I couldn't feel a thing afterwards! Barre chords are one of the easiest things to me now! As for soloing... I haven't even begun really... I like rhythm! You'll get it... \m/
#17
It practise mate, I though i'd never be able to do them and then one day I could almost do it so I kept practising them until it was sweet, it gives you a nice feeling of accomplishment when you achieve something like that aswell so keep at it.
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#18
I have that issue with the deadening of the D string for 7 chords
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#19
Quote by StratoTele
Maybe you have fatass fingers. That's another problem.


Grow up.

Anyways, besides for that comment most of them seem pretty good. Try playing higher on the neck, slowly working your way down maybe 1 fret a day, or every two days. Also the standard chromatic excercise doesn't hurt.
#21
Use all of the advise from above. Also, use this mathematical equation that got me through some rough times:

...Bad barre chords
+.Practice...............
Good barre chords

When practicing, keep in mind all of those things said before:
  • Turn finger to bony side
  • Start on higher frets
  • Use a "clamping" technique


But most importantly practice practice practice. Music takes work.
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LET'S GO BUCKS
#22
Quote by AeroRocker

But most importantly practice practice practice. Music takes work.


But is it worth it? Hell yes
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#23
Quote by King85
But is it worth it? Hell yes


On that note, i just stopped practicing because my finger started to bleed. I would keep playing, but i don't want blood on my neck.
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LET'S GO BUCKS
#24
Hardcore
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#25
Quote by AeroRocker
On that note, i just stopped practicing because my finger started to bleed. I would keep playing, but i don't want blood on my neck.

Like the guy above me said, hardcore!!11

Now you have a story to tell at parties when guitar comes up. "I was practicing this method for a sick Iron Maiden riff, and my finger bled from being too good"
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#26
Yes, it's a disease called Practise and your the only person on the planet that has it.
Practise, my friend, thou shalt get there.
#27
I'd recommend trying out Eye of the Tiger by Survivor.

It has some power chords, and some barre chords as well. They're good practice.

Hell it's great practice for me. it's got that annoying major shape with root on 5th where you barre the A shape which is annoying as well. It's good practice and once you have it down, it's a hell of an epic song. It's sure to impress people when I have them over.
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#29
I really appreciate this thread...many years ago I had a first crack at learning guitar....found barre chords almost impossible.....a guitar teacher actually told me my hand was deformed!!

When I squeeze the first finger and thumb together, my thumb is at 180 degrees to the finger. At that point I gave up...thought..'ok I apparently can't do this'...and took up the piano....

Anyway after hearing the story of Django Reinhardt who played with half his fingers missing...I've said 'stuff that advice I received all those years ago that my hand is deformed' I'm going to have a proper crack at it anyway....

So here I am with an electrc guitar and finding I can actually play songs!

At the moment I'm focusing on the easier chords....so with an F or a BM I just forget the tougher barre....my strategy is to get confident with all of these basic shapes..build up some confidence....then move onto having another go at Barre chords....

In the few attempts I've had I can see potential to get this working...it will be tough but the encouragement here is great!
#31
renatofrmsantos It is an interesting question for me...can one still be a good guitar player and not be able to play barre chords? How important is it?

If I look at a BM chord...the easier version just means you've lost one extra bassier note....but still have 4 strings....

In a band with a bass player....does it matter?
#32
Kangaroos` I actually did. One year after starting playing guitar, I formed your regular teenagers covers band and i sucked at barring. It hurted like hell.
So I just left the bass note out. I am not saying its the solution, but it was my solution for the problem at that time.

Eventually I learnt the E9, which requires to barre 3 notes with you ringer finger. So i started to work out the barring with all my fingers (rip barring with pinky, freaking hell on earth)

STILL, I do gravitate to "Stretching and Mini-Barring" rather then Barring.
e.g

x--5
x--5
x--5
x--7
x--7
x--5

I would probably do something like

x-x
x-x
x-2
x-2
x-3
x-5

Or

x-0- (in this case)
x-10-
x-9-
x-7-
x---
x-8-
I really like that first format because it lets me grab a 2(9) in the G string fairly easy.
But at the end of the day it comes down to good practising and grinding.
Last edited by renatofrmsantos at Oct 19, 2016,
#33
renatofrmsantos Thanks very much for all the ideas!...some good thoughts there.....

I think is going to be a bit of 'case by chord' approach for me too....

I'm just working on one key at a time as I practice...

I've actually found I can nearly pull off a C#M barre....I'm as 'slow as a grub' with it..and still have a dud string or two....but that is with no real investment in practice.....and by all reports...serious practice will help....

Will check out all the ideas.... Thanks very much
Last edited by Kangaroos` at Oct 19, 2016,
#34
This is a bit late, but if you check back in, try this.

Start on an upper fret, 1oth or so, and barre all 6 strings, with no other fingers. Just the 6 strings barred.

Play all 6, slowly, and see if any are muffled.

Remove the finger, do it again. Just the one index finger, barre all 6 strings, pick each one and see if one or more are muffled.

It may take a few tries, but you'll gradually get the hang of it. Do that for a few minutes, then move on and don't worry about it, play some open chords, try out a few power chords, doodle a bit, then come back to working with one finger. just a few minutes, don't spend a half hour doing this.

This is a good way to get started learning lead too, especially improvisation. With one finger, you'll tend to be more melodic, and you'll learn the fretboard pretty well.
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#35
First, make sure your guitar has a pro setup so the neck and strings are set properly. Then use very light gauge strings for learning in the first year. After you have played a while and developed your hands and fingertips, you can go to heavier strings.

In the grand scheme of life, barre chords are useful tools but not required to become a virtuoso guitarist. This guy had his hands burned in a fire and barre chords were not possible. He still managed to get along with his music ok:
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Oct 23, 2016,