Skip to content
Close

Forum

Notifications
Clear all

Barre with ring finger


(@bjourne)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 37
Topic starter  

Hello good people! Is it required to learn to play barre chords such as Bb and C with only your index and ring finger? The fingering I'm talking about is when you barre the fret board with your index finger, then you mash your ring finger over the (for example) D, G and B strings two frets up. I find that fingering very uncomfortable because I can't bend my ring finger "outwards" very far, like many other players can. On the other hand, the fingering where you barre with the index finger, middle on D, ring finger on G and pinky on B takes more effort to get into position. Plus, switching between Bb and say F when only using index and ring finger seem easier than using all four digits..

So which fingering should I practice with?


Quote
 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

I use my index for the barre and the other fingers for the three strings (D, G, B). Sometimes, if I don't need the lower note over the 5th string (A), I only use my index for the 1st string (E).

Usually the fingering you are talking about is used by players with big hands when they can not play all the notes cleanly. But it is usual to use that barre with the ring finger. In fact there are other chords (some 9th chords) that are played with it.


ReplyQuote
(@bjourne)
Eminent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 37
Topic starter  

Good to know that I'm not alone with my problem then! But what do you do to switch from Bb to F? I always have to reposition my grip so I can't do it very fast at all.


ReplyQuote
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6353
 

I use my index to form the barre and the other fingers to flesh out the chord. when I go to the IV chord I leave my index finger in position and bring down the ring finger to form that chord.
ot takes practice, but switching to any chord, even open to barre or barre to open will go smoothly.
my fingers are fat and not long.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


ReplyQuote
(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 174
 

If you can develop your ring finger to do the mini-barre that will help in the future but... I can't do it either.

Don't forget that a Bb can be found using an E shape barred at the 6th fret. So you could largely hold the same barre shape and just move to/from the 1st and 6th fret to change.

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


ReplyQuote
 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

As Dogbite said, it comes with practice. Practice that change as slow as possible, you will get it very soon! :D


ReplyQuote
(@minotaur)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1092
 

I call it having Gumby Fingers, which I don't have (yet) either. So I mute, or don't play the high E string and just play the other notes. Notice you still have all the notes that make up the chord except the highest note.

And it's true what unimogbert said about the E-shape barre chords on the 6th string. I play Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay that way. Just slide up and down the fretboard (except for an Emaj here and there): G B C B Bb A. Instant Karma too. A F#m F G A. All E-shape barre chords. More than one way to skin a cat (actually refers to catfish ).

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


ReplyQuote
 cnev
(@cnev)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

I personally never use the index and three finger method and always just use the double barre with the ring or sometimes pinky.

In a band situation with multiple instruments etc. playing, muting the E string will NEVER be noticed. I wouldn't kill yourself trying to get the index and three finger method down if it's giving you problems.

Changing from a 5th string root note chord to a 6th string doesn't do much more than just playing it on the 5th string and muting the note on the high E string.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


ReplyQuote
(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I use my little finger for the "mini-bar". It makes going from the I to the IV chord very easy (G and C in the same fret).

My wife cannot do that so she does it the more conventional way. I guess I'm fortunate that my little finger can bend that way.

Insights and incites by Notes ♫

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


ReplyQuote
(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2418
 

I can't do it either, my finger doesn't bend like that, so I use my 3 fingers to make the chord. May have something to do with when I fractured my finger many years ago and can't bend it a certain way now.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


ReplyQuote