#1
My fingers are skinny, so the knuckles kind of "bubble out" (wtf that doesn't sound good...), and it's hard to press down the strings in between. Also, I have a hard time getting my other fingers in position and actually keeping them pushed down hard enough with my finger across the neck. Especially my ring finger. It tends to go off on weird angles and shit. I think it's a combination of it being long and the fact that the knuckle nearest the tip of it got jammed out of place this summer and never really healed completely (there's a little bump that you can see if you compare it to the same finger on the other hand, and if I push it down into a table it's so noodly I can bend it back almost to the point where it looks like it's broken).

But I've seen skinnier and more weird-fingered people do bar chords perfectly, so it's no basis to bitch. Instead, I'm asking you guys for help.


Help?
#2
practice a lot for a long time.

and btw, its "barre"
Quote by iceman95
ok
here's what you do
1. Take a fork, preferably metal.
2. Put some tomato sauce on it.
3. Let tomato sauce on fork dry.
4. Turn it in and call it: "The Spaghetti Massacre."


New guitar fund = beer/0
#3
Just Practice. a lot. it'll come to you.

Good Luck.
Quote by alteredstates
If you are rowing down the road in your canoe and your wagon wheel falls off. How many pancakes does it take to make a doghouse?

Green, because a vest has no sleeves.

Can't we all just get a bong?
#4
strengthen your hands. buy a stress ball or some kind of hand exerciser. you can even use your guitar to exercise. just hold different bar chords as long as you can till your hands/forearm get tired, NOT cramped or sore. remember while doing this on the guitar or whenever playing guitar for that matter let your hand do the work and dont let it tense up your whole arm, shoulder, or back. the issue isnt even really strength since you already can play them in the first place. its stamina. you have to exercise your hand to get it strong enough to be easily and repeatably articulate.
#5
Everyone has this problem, the only solution is practice, although you might try using the front of your finger to barre rather than the side.
#6
When I started playing guitar my friend told me to try a barre chord and I couldn't do it. Now about a year later and no practise with barre chords I'm able to do them effortlessly. You probably lack finger strength and indepedence. BTW I have fairly small hands ;P
#7
If worse comes to worse, try the Jimi Hendrix/John Frusciante style of Barre chords: Wrap your thumb around the top of the neck and press down on the Root note, and use the tips of all of your other fingers to fret the other strings.

That's how I play barres, I can't play them "normally" it's too uncomfortable for me, but it might be fine for you.
Rig
Fender 09 Standard Strat>Wilson Ten Spot II Wah>Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion>EHX Big Muff Pi>Boss CE-2 Chorus>Crate V32 Palomino 212
Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass>(Same Pedals)>AcousticB20

Quote by WtrPlyr
I'm with DeltaFunk
#8
Quote by MichaelOfCanton
strengthen your hands. buy a stress ball or some kind of hand exerciser. you can even use your guitar to exercise. just hold different bar chords as long as you can till your hands/forearm get tired, NOT cramped or sore. remember while doing this on the guitar or whenever playing guitar for that matter let your hand do the work and dont let it tense up your whole arm, shoulder, or back. the issue isnt even really strength since you already can play them in the first place. its stamina. you have to exercise your hand to get it strong enough to be easily and repeatably articulate.

I can't though...
#9
Quote by DeltaFunk
If worse comes to worse, try the Jimi Hendrix/John Frusciante style of Barre chords: Wrap your thumb around the top of the neck and press down on the Root note, and use the tips of all of your other fingers to fret the other strings.

That's how I play barres, I can't play them "normally" it's too uncomfortable for me, but it might be fine for you.


this tbh

a lot more freedom here, and a good technique to have, but you should still eventually when you have stronger fingers
My gear:
PRS SE custom
~!~--Peavey XXX super 40 EFX --~!~
Peavey VK 112

===WGS Vet30
===JJ power tubes

---Pedals:
-ISP Decimator
-Digitech Bad Monkey
-Crybaby wah
-Korg Pitchblack
-Danelectro FnC EQ
#10
Make sure you're not playing with alot of tension. You shouldn't have to use alot of finger strength if your hand position is correct. Make sure your wrist isn't twisted under the neck, try to keep your thumb in the middle of the back of the neck.

Start with barre chords that are at the 3rd or 5th position, it's easier to hold down the strings than at say, the 1st position.
#11
It's hard not to press down hard because I'm playing on an old discontinued 12 string Sigma (with 6 strings taken off because one of them broke and I was too lazy to go out and get new ones). This guitar is pretty old (older than me I think, it belongs to my dad), and I don't know if it's warped or what but unless I press down hard I get fret buzz. And the strings are really tight, which doesn't help (I've compared it to the crappy 6 string in the closet, they are definitely tighter). And there is no way to adjust anything on this guitar as far as I know. I'm using lights.


Of course, I might just have really weak fingers, in which case some ways to strengthen the muscles I need for guitar would be greatly appreciated.
#12
Quote by i_don't_know
It's hard not to press down hard because I'm playing on an old discontinued 12 string Sigma (with 6 strings taken off because one of them broke and I was too lazy to go out and get new ones). This guitar is pretty old (older than me I think, it belongs to my dad), and I don't know if it's warped or what but unless I press down hard I get fret buzz. And the strings are really tight, which doesn't help (I've compared it to the crappy 6 string in the closet, they are definitely tighter). And there is no way to adjust anything on this guitar as far as I know. I'm using lights.


Of course, I might just have really weak fingers, in which case some ways to strengthen the muscles I need for guitar would be greatly appreciated.

You will build up strength with more practice. Once you get better (not just at barre chords but other things too), you will appreciate a new guitar (if you get one at some point that is) that much more.
my MG15DFX has a button that simulates the sound of one of the expensive tube marshall amps


Fender Stratocaster HSS
LTD EC-400AT
Traynor YCV-50 Blue
Peavey Envoy 110

Wishlist: Hamer USA Explorer, Gibson Explorer
#13
Would some heavier gauge strings help? Maybe I'd be able to get a sound out of them without so much effort?
#14
Quote by i_don't_know
Would some heavier gauge strings help? Maybe I'd be able to get a sound out of them without so much effort?

No, they'd make it harder.

Nothing is going to help other than practicing - barre chords are a tricky technique to get right and it takes time, patience and perserverance to get them nailed - there is NOTHING wrong with your hands, you're just trying to do something they don't quite understand yet.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#15
i can't believe not one person has told you the correct technique yet in this whole thread.

here is one very simple thing that all classical guitar players know and all you 'do it yourself guitarists' just try to work around: let your index finger come up a lil bit above the strings, this allows you to apply much more pressure much more easily, barre chords shouldn't be the hardest thing in the world, just the Fmaj.

Your not using the tip of your index, if you have to, try to use from the last knuckle down only, the very top of the finger has no way to apply pressure to the highest strings, at least not the kind you need without squeezing a tennis ball for 4 months straight like most people would tell you.
#16
As one who's still working on various flavours of barre chord, I'll certainly agree with the strength-related points, especially for the finger making the barre. My first attempts at barre chords were (as I suspect everyone's were...) a disasterous mix of fret buzz and hand cramp. That said, after a few weeks worth of practice, they at least started to sound half-decent, even if it did take (and still does, in the case of major chords with the root on the A string) an eternity to actually fret the things in the first place.

One possible tip... (well, it helped me, anyway)...

Forget the major barre chords at the start, and just trying the minor and 7th barre chords with roots on the low E and A strings. They're easier to fret, and give you a chance to build up strength in the barring finger whilst not having to worry quite so much about what the other three fingers are up to.
Oh, now I've gone and spilled my tea. This really won't do at all.
#17
Okay, I got the closest I could to a decent sound by pressing my finger across the strings until I felt like my knuckles were going to shatter or something.

But how do I learn to fret them faster? I know I'll be able to get my finger across more easily once it gets stronger, but getting all the fingers in place for the chord is HARD. Are there any exercises or something that can help me with this? The last thing I want is perfect sounding barre chords that I can't even fret fast enough to use.
#18
jsut practice basic barre chord shapes, like an F Major, A#/Bb Minor, as you practice them, just like normal chords, your fingers will be able to finger them faster. It takes a bit more time because now all 4 of your fingers have to work *in most cases* Practice higher on the neck, the frets are closer and easier to practice. try a barred F minor chord, using the F note on the A string as the base (from string 5-1, frets are x-8-10-10-9-8) thats how I practiced them, and now i'm almost flawless at barres
#20
Quote by i_don't_know
Okay, I got the closest I could to a decent sound by pressing my finger across the strings until I felt like my knuckles were going to shatter or something.

But how do I learn to fret them faster? I know I'll be able to get my finger across more easily once it gets stronger, but getting all the fingers in place for the chord is HARD. Are there any exercises or something that can help me with this? The last thing I want is perfect sounding barre chords that I can't even fret fast enough to use.

You practice, same as with any skill you're learning for the first time - the best exercise for barre chords is more barre chords.

Think about it - how long did it take you to learn to walk, talk or read? It took you quite a while to get the basics down, but even longer to actually perfect them and be able to use those skills effectively - this is no different. You can't expect instant results, you need to be patient - once you've learned to do somethng correctly on a consistent basis is when you can start to worry about how to speed things up, not before.
Actually called Mark!

Quote by TNfootballfan62
People with a duck for their avatar always give good advice.

...it's a seagull

Quote by Dave_Mc
i wanna see a clip of a recto buying some groceries.


stuffmycatswatchontv.tumblr.com
#21
Its definitely technique rather than finger strength - I've got weedy girly fingers (by virtue of me being a girl and all), but barre chords suddenly got a whole lot easier when my teacher pointed out I didn't necessarily barre all the strings with all my fingers - like if its an A shaped barre chord your first finger only has to worry about the A string if you mute your top e, so you don't have to hold down all the strings with your first finger... and let your thumb move for different shaped chords if necessary - some chords its easier with it in the middle of the neck, others its easier with it curled right around the neck.

As far as learning to fret them faster goes - to start off only try moving between two chords at a time. So if your trying to learn a song, do it in tiny steps, when your comfortable moving from one chord to another slowly then move to the next bit. Sounds boring as its repetitive but it works.
#22
Mmh long hours of practicing ...

It'll feel better with light gauge strings or an electric guitar to start with...
Begininng with an classical guitar is quite hard but it's very good to build a solid fretting technique.
#24
Quote by zhilla
like if its an A shaped barre chord your first finger only has to worry about the A string if you mute your top e

This is entirely true for that particular shape, but that doesn't work for barres rooted on the E string, as there's no way of fretting all the strings you'd need to fret at the root fret position with the available fingers unless you use your first finger as a "proper" barre.

<pre-emptive reply>

Yes, you could use your thumb to fret the low E and kinda fudge it that way, but that seems like an outrageous amount of effort to achieve the end.

</pre-emptive reply>
Oh, now I've gone and spilled my tea. This really won't do at all.
#25
Don't neglect this skill, bar chords are very important... what I would do if your index finger is giving you troubles... drop all the other fingers for now and just bar the fret... and make sure you are putting enough pressure to make all the strings ring. Once that works and feels comfortable, add a finger. But when you add a finger to the chord make sure you keep the pressure up with your index finger. Know how much pressure feels like to your finger and hand.

Using that technique to add more fingers until you have a complete bar. Plus, just play songs with bar chords or make up your own little riffs. Play LOTS of bar chords
AROUND THE WORLD



Click here if you like the Washington Wizards