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Barre chord finger pain.

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GeoNjules
(@geonjules)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 50
Topic starter  

I've been trying to do some barre chords. Problem is I can't practice very long, maybe a minute or two. The fleshy part of my index finger (closest to the hand) hurts like h***. It is VERY tender and seems like I'm not even coming close to holding the strings down.
Will this area callouse up after awhile like my fingertips? Any suggestions?
I read to maybe start with partials (3 or 4 notes) and work your way up to full chords. Can anyone post the partial fingerings for me?
Thanks.

" Thoughts that pay homage to frustration will attract frustration. When you say or think theres nothing I can do,my life has spun out of control,and I'm trapped,thats what you will attract ".


   
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SMOKEHOUSE
(@smokehouse)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 525
 

its all about building strengh in your hand it only comes with practice, but if poss practice and rest then practice again and so on, i know you think it will never happen but trust me it will..think of anyone starting any new thing its time practice that gets them there..we have all been there! but everytime you practice you are a another step towards your goal...good luck and one day see you in the hear here forum we hope...best...smoke

:WHO INVENTED WORK SHOULD COME BACK AND FINISH THE JOB OFF: http://www.soundclick.com/bartin


   
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ColoradoFenderBender
(@coloradofenderbender)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Everyone goes through it, at first. It is a rite of passage in learning to play. At first, barre chords feel like someone is cutting into your fingers with wire, which is kind of correct! Eventually, your skin will toughen up to the point that you will feel no pain. My index finger never developed callouses, but it "got used" to the abuse it was taking.

While everyone must endure this at first, if you have a guitar with action (string height off the fretboard) that is too high, it is much worse. Also IMO, acoustic guitars tend to be tougher on a beginner, because the string guages are thcker and thus harder to fret. Do you know how to visually determine if the string action is too high? If not, check this out:

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/action.htm

As far as partial chords go, I searched and couldn't find any "free" chord sites.


   
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dogbite
(@dogbite)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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and loosen the death grip. less pressure less pain.
when the string begins to punk out apply a tad more pressure.

don't worry. you will get there in time.

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Musenfreund
(@musenfreund)
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And if your finger hurts, you're using too much pressure. As dogbite says, loosen the death grip. The trick is to learn to let the weight of your arm do the work. When you get the hang of barre chords, you'll be able to barre most chords without even having your thumb touch the neck.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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causnorign
(@causnorign)
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And if your finger hurts, you're using too much pressure. As dogbite says, loosen the death grip. The trick is to learn to let the weight of your arm do the work. When you get the hang of barre chords, you'll be able to barre most chords without even having your thumb touch the neck.

Absolutely. I also found that it was a little easier if I rolled the index finger slightly, also stopped me from muting the B string.


   
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rocker
(@rocker)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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the death grip, lol, remember it well, the muscle right under your thumb used to kill me because i would press my thumb against the back of the neck so hard
while playing barre chords that my hand cramped so bad i would have to use my other hand to straighten my fretting hand out 8)

even god loves rock-n-roll


   
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GeoNjules
(@geonjules)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 50
Topic starter  

Thanks for the tips, all.
Action is fine. Gonna work on that finger pressure, placement, and conditioning.

" Thoughts that pay homage to frustration will attract frustration. When you say or think theres nothing I can do,my life has spun out of control,and I'm trapped,thats what you will attract ".


   
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Henrik
(@henrik)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 45
 

I developed small callouses after a while, I felt that the finger got harder. About the death grip, I don't know what to do I always get it when I play power chords for too long, and I have to use so much pressure so that the E string won't buzz... Didn't think it was worth making a whole new topic for this.


   
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Colonel
(@colonel)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 19
 

I started with barre chords and it wasn't the pain in my index finger but building up strength in my pinkie.

Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.

-- William Arthur Wood


   
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Chris C
(@chris-c)
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And if your finger hurts, you're using too much pressure. As dogbite says, loosen the death grip. The trick is to learn to let the weight of your arm do the work. When you get the hang of barre chords, you'll be able to barre most chords without even having your thumb touch the neck.

+1 to that.

I've found that barre chords are not much different to anything else about guitar - you need much less pressure than you first think.

To begin with I pressed everything way too hard. Partly this was because I didn't have the whole posture/position/balance thing right and I was trying to control the neck mostly with my left hand as well as play. But my finger positions were wrong too.

To start with, you're happy to land a finger anywhere roughly near where it should be, and you press harder to try and compensate for not being in the most efficient spot. Barres are no different - they can work with reasonably light pressure, so long as the finger is in the correct shape and position. Try moving it around to find the best spot, and then practice landing it accurately. For instance, I found that simply sticky my finger further across the fret (more overhanging tip) made a big difference to whether I could play without buzzing strings.

Finger strength is an issue with guitar (especially with the pinky) but control and accuracy are more important than sheer strength. And mostly I learned accuracy through first making sure I was aiming for the most efficient positions, and then honing it through a series of tiny (often subconscious) adjustments as I practiced. Worked for me anyway... :)

Cheers,

Chris


   
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Vic Lewis VL
(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Posts: 10264
 

I have problems playing barre chords for more than a few minutes because of hand injuries I've had in the past; I compensate by using my thumb for the bottom two strings. This is not the recommended method, but it's the one I've had to adopt from necessity, and it does help if you have big hands.

As for the partial chords - play them the same as you would the barre chords, but don't put your index finger all the way across to the bottom strings; a mini-barre over the first couple of strings should do.

It's better to try and learn them correctly first, though, then maybe experiment later.

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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matteo
(@matteo)
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Posts: 557
 

hi all
I've been playing for almost three years now and I finally start to get a grip on barre chords but for a long time I did sound terrible playing them.

What really matters is not the amount of the pressure but the position of the hand: to play barre chords you have to put your thumb straight behind the neck, parrallel to the frets and also keep it quite low (like if you play the classical guitar). This way your hand will be distant from the neck and your index finger will be able to press the strings more efficiently.

Also if you play 5th-string barre chords be sure to correctly press down the ring finger: check thi excellent site for more infor about it

http://guitarprinciples.com/Guitar_Technique/5th_String_Bar.htm

cheers

Matteo


   
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