Bar Chord Problems

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Wattsiepoops
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Bar Chord Problems

Post by Wattsiepoops » May 22nd, 2008, 2:39 am

Ive seen on this forum there called Barre Chords on this forum, but i think ill stick to Bar Chords.

Well i have a problem, i cant change fast enough to fit them into songs, and im not acurate enough to hit the chord properly, and even if i take the time to place my fingers properly with the bar, the chord is far from clean, something like all but 2 of the strings are muted.

David
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dogbite
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by dogbite » May 22nd, 2008, 2:57 am

a trick is to retain the barre shape with your hand and release ever so slightly to slide noiselessly to the next barre. I find that I mute the thin high string sometimes, because of my fat fingers. they are not slender. I keep the thumb on the back of the neck; it is angled towards the headstock and never pointing up. that way your hand can kind of be rolled toward the frets and the arch of the hand helps prevent muting. in time it all becomes fluid.

tonyo50138
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by tonyo50138 » May 22nd, 2008, 4:27 am

i hear you man, youre not the only one struggling with bar chords

DylanBarrett
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by DylanBarrett » May 22nd, 2008, 5:57 am

Ditto, but practice, practice, practice and I'm told it does get better... :roll:

It's very satisfying when you eventually get a clean sounding barre. What I have noticed though, is that quite a few people use their thumb on the E (and probably A as well) and barre the lower B and E then use the rest of the fingers to form the chord - pretty complicated although it's like most things - don't knock it 'till you've tried it.

Rock on!

D 8)
I'm nowhere near Chicago. I've got six string, 8 fingers, two thumbs, it's dark 'cos I'm wearing sunglasses - Hit it!

clideguitar
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by clideguitar » May 22nd, 2008, 6:42 am

Even if they sound bad just keep playing them. When I BAR the "F" chord it never really sounds clean but you know what it is. I'll include Bb and the B chord, I'm at 50 - 50 (half the time it sounds good).

Bob Jessie

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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by Mac Manc McManx » May 22nd, 2008, 7:22 am

If it makes you feel any better, it took me more than 6 months to get Barres to sound good. Even now I'm not totally comfortable. I find my left hand tiring pretty fast when i play songs with mainly barres. Persist. But learning them is great though. Opens up a lot of possibilities.

F is definitely harder than the other barres because it's the closest to the nut. Pay attention to your index finger and experiment with different positions. Barre chords don't require as much strength as it seems. I still haven't got it down perfectly either but i'm trying to make an effort to gauge how much strength is required for the chords to sound cleanly. Folks, if i can play Barres anyone can :lol:
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by unimogbert » May 22nd, 2008, 11:09 am

clideguitar wrote:Even if they sound bad just keep playing them. When I BAR the "F" chord it never really sounds clean but you know what it is. I'll include Bb and the B chord, I'm at 50 - 50 (half the time it sounds good).

Bob Jessie
I use my thumb to do the F.
For Bb and B I go up much further and use the E form instead.
Those 1st fret bar chords are tough!
Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)

dogbite
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by dogbite » May 22nd, 2008, 12:40 pm

whereas, thumb over the top can form a chord and is popular (I do it a lot) it is not a true and proper barre form. spend time learning the true form. it takes time, but your finger strength will build.

Wes Inman
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by Wes Inman » May 22nd, 2008, 12:42 pm

First of all, this is one of the most frequent questions on this board, so don't feel bad, barre chords give everybody trouble at first. But as everyone has said, in time they will seem easy and you will be able to change from one chord to another without even thinking about it. It just takes practice.

There are some things that help. Make sure your thumb is behind the neck, not wrapped over the top.

Image

Also, you do not hold your index finger straight when you barre, as when you point. No, the finger is arched, and you also roll the index toward the thumb. It is not altogether on it's side, but about halfway.

Image

Another view:

Image

And here is a small "mini-barre" where the index is covering just two strings. But again, notice how the finger is rolled toward the thumb, and the thumb is behind the neck, not hanging over the top.

Image

So, it is more proper technique than strength. If your technique is good, it is surprisingly easy to fret all strings. And as others said, when changing chords, or sliding up the neck, release pressure with your fretting fingers. In fact, releasing and reapplying pressure is a great technique that is used in rhythm guitar to get mute sounds. So practice sort of bouncing your fretting hand up and down on the strings as you strum. You will hear the effect. Learn to use as light pressure as possible, it really doesn't take much.

Just stay at it and you will get it, we all did. :D
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

dogbite
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by dogbite » May 23rd, 2008, 3:50 am

um, I have to take issue with the picture showing the thumb pointing upwards. that is not the best way to place it. if you angle the thumb towards the headstock, almost in line with the direction of the neck, you will be able to better add pressure.
pretend you are going to hitchhike. with your hand in a fist out in front of you...stick your thumb out (as in the hitchhike position. then then stand your fingers straight up. next place the guitar neck in your hand. notice that your thumb is to the left of the fingers. you then have great leverage working in favor of your fingers. you use less pressure actually that way .
with your thumb pointing up you hand acts like a clamp and you have to use more pressure to play the barre. you will find limitations that way. trust me.

Wes Inman
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by Wes Inman » May 23rd, 2008, 12:51 pm

I agree with you about the thumb angle, but it's hard to find a photo of the thumb behind the neck. :D

Actually, there is no set and fast rule on the thumb position. When I play a F chord (4th photo), I hang my thumb over the top of the neck slightly, but not wrapped over. Just feels comfortable to me. I also do this on an A and D chord. But holding a full barred F chord at the first fret I do place my thumb on the center of the neck in the hitchhiking position you described.

I just think it is important for those just learning barre chords to learn to keep the thumb behind the neck. That was the best photo I could find to convey the idea.

Wes
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

dogbite
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by dogbite » May 24th, 2008, 3:26 am

yeah Wes. I understand. one of those photos does show the thumb angled towards the headstock. it is dark and harder to discern.

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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by BarnaBus RoX » May 25th, 2008, 4:06 pm

A friend of mine done this

Hope it helps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kkk-PfpJu4
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abcxyz
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by abcxyz » May 26th, 2008, 11:13 am

Maybe it would help if you played these chords in a bar...

Well, kidding anyways.

Barre Chords will be fun when you have practiced them enough. So hang on there and keep playing.

Good Luck !

Wattsiepoops
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Re: Bar Chord Problems

Post by Wattsiepoops » May 27th, 2008, 9:09 am

So thumb position is important.

At the moment for open chords my thum is nearly always hanging somewhere near to overhanging the fretboard or just underneath the top of the neck. Is this bad and should i practice to keep my thumb at the 'hitchiking position' behind the neck for all chords?

Will that make it any easier for me.

And no one seems to have adressed the problem i having from changing from open to barre chords? Will accuracy just improve as my barre technique improves and speed will improve from introducing songs with barre chords in them?

Thanks for the input guys!

David
David Watts
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