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Barre Major chords?

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(@audioboy)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Alright, so on my quest to become a better guitar player, I am spending my late nights playing and eating pineapple icecream. :lol:

But while learning how to play this song called Gold Lion by the Yeah Yeah Yeah's ( http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=2096735 ) I was reading the tabs ( http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/y/yeah_yeah_yeahs/gold_lion_ver2_tab.htm ) and it says there that the main chords are F#, A and E. But the question is, those chords are barre chords. While they sound similar to their regular chord formation, I don't really understand why they are different. Is this just a different chord voicing for the same chord or what? :?:


   
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(@progressions)
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It's just a different chord voicing, but it does sound different than the open voicings. If the song you're working on is a rock song with a heavy sound then it would make sense.

It's often a heavier sound when playing with barre chords, and it also makes it easier to play very sharp, staccato or chugged strokes when the whole chord is barred because with your left hand you can release the pressure and cut short the chord sound.

Hope that's not more confusing than it should be :)

Jeff

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(@artlutherie)
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A and E are usually open chords unless specified.

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(@jasonrunguitar)
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A big part of the difference between open chords and barre chords is actually what happens when you're not playing the chords. When you're switching between two open chords, all of the open strings (and possibly some strings where the fingerings don't change) will keeping ringing while you're switching. With barre chords, on the the other hand, you have to move just about every string for each chord change (since there are no open strings), so nothing rings out while you're switching chords. This gives you more of a staccato (sharp and closed) sound instead of the more legato (smooth and long) sound that you get from open chords. Hope that helps :smile:

PS: I totally agree: late night ice cream is definitely an integral part of any road leading to guitar greatness :wink:

-Jason
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To those about to rock, we salute you!
http://www.soundclick.com/jasonwittenbach


   
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(@audioboy)
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Topic starter  

So let me see if I am understanding this correctly,

If I were to play an open A chord with heavy distortion on it would sound more like noise rather than music, but if I did a Barre A chord, it may have a better sound with distortion on rather than the open A. Is that right?


   
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(@Anonymous)
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If I were to play an open A chord with heavy distortion on it would sound more like noise rather than music, but if I did a Barre A chord, it may have a better sound with distortion on rather than the open A. Is that right?

Yes, in Theory!

You may find that too much distortion will inevitabley make any open chord sound like 'noise', hence the reason power chords were invented/discovered/came about.

From reading the tab you posted the link to, it looks like the guy may be playing the first A as a barre chord as it makes for a much easier move from F# to A barred (simply sliding up a few frets).

The E is open, as is the next A, again for ease of transistion.

Depending on how you are playing the song (I don't know it myself) you can approach like so;

Play any chord that can be open, open (on acoustic/low distortion)

Play it as it is written (on acoustic/low distortion)

Play all chords as barres (high distortion/electric)

Hope this helps! :)

Pete


   
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(@niklas)
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I think the end of Stairway to Heaven is a great example (the part after the solo). It's distorted and played with barre chords. It sounds better than open chords and it makes the transition from G to F alot easier.

"Talent is luck. The important thing in life is courage."


   
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