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Songs with lotsa barre chords?

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 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
Topic starter  

So here's the thing- like most newbs, I despise barre chords. Find them murderously difficult.

But with a little bit each day, they're getting better!

So to keep me practicing, what are your favourite songs that contain lots of these difficult devils?

Specifically, I don't have too much trouble with A shaped and E shaped- they come up alongside a lot of open chords in songs I already play, and aren't too bad. But C and D practically stop my rythm as I try to get the fingers right...

so what should I play that has a lot of C and D shaped chords?

Many thanks,
Ande


   
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(@spides)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 157
 

under the bridge by RHCP has some great arpeggio work over Cshapes and also has some cool funky stuff over a D-shape in the chorus. I tend to find i never really use C and D shape barre chords as full barres tho, but it is good to learn them as the shapes do come up in summarized form. A good trick if you CBF switching mid song to one of these bad boys tho, is instead of barring, play the top four strings only(ebgd) and position your fingers to hit only the relevant notes of the chord. This leaves all chords open for 80% of crazy jazz add ons as well, and is used almost exclusively to play chords in funk and ska music. this approach can be taken to any grouped four string combination within most barre chords as well. The main thing with chords is knowing how to build them (1,3,5 major triad etc) and knowing the fretboard well enough to construct them on the run.

But yeah Under the Bridge.

Hope this helps.

Don't sweat it dude, just play!


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
Topic starter  

Thanks! Will be having a RHCP kinda day today!

Best,
Ande


   
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(@musenfreund)
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Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5108
 

"Lay Lady Lay" by Dylan is a good one too.

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


   
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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5840
 

You can play almost any song, using barre chords, instead of open chords. Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door", "All Along the Watchtower", The Troggs' "Wild Thing" - and, playing more or less the same chords, "Louie Louie". If I remember rightly, "Willie and the Hand Jive" also uses those chords.
A lot of country music uses G, C, D:
E---3--3--5--|
B---3--5--7--|
G---4--5--7--|
D---5--5--7--|
A---5--3--5--|
E---3--X--X--|
G C D

Knocking on Heaven's Door uses G - D - Am - G - D - C
E---3--3--5--5-|
B---3--5--7--5-|
G---4--5--7--5-|
D---5--5--7--7-|
A---5--3--3--7-|
E---3--X--X--5-|
G C D Am

The songs may not sound like the original, because open chords have a different "ring" to them than barre chords, but they are perfectly playable.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
Topic starter  

Again, thanks-

I love heaven's door- am heading out to start playing it.

Another thing I've been doing is to play songs I usually use a capo for, just using index as capo...hard, though.

Best,
Ande


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4459
 

Try "Buddy Holly" by Weezer it's pretty much all barre chords and there aer some quick changes in there that will get you moving.

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


   
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(@kingpatzer)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

A great lesson I give my more advanced students is to take a simple chord progression, say the 12 bar blues.

(I use this both as a teaching tool, and a "humbling stick" when a student starts thinking they don't have much to work on . . .)

Now, start playing it, but every time through they have to use a different fingering of the chords (for the really advanced, they're allowed do chord substitutions, but that's not what we're talking about here). And they don't get to stop till I let them.

Now the first few times through, it's easy, open chords, E-shape barres, A-shape barres but then it's into the harder D, C and G shapes. After that it's inversions, partial fingerings, partial chords ... You can play the same chord progression using different fingerings each time a very, very long time before the possibilities are exhausted. (If you have Greene's book "Chord Chemistry" you understand - look at how many ways to play A major he outlines).

You don't need to find a song "with barre chords" to do this. Any song will do. What you need to do is focus on making yourself play the chord progressions using those different forms.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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King,

That's a great idea I'll have to try that method. I can see where it would get difficult after the first two or three times around.

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


   
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(@spides)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 157
 

start playing it, but every time through they have to use a different fingering of the chords (for the really advanced, they're allowed do chord substitutions, but that's not what we're talking about here). And they don't get to stop till I let them.

Dude that is awesome. I've been trying to give my chord vocab a boost and this is the cleverest exercise ive come across in a long time. I've been doing a lot of reading on piano, style approaches to chords (starting root position triads then going into inversions, add ons etc) and this would be a great way to get my fingers finding the shapes faster.

Cheers.

Don't sweat it dude, just play!


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
Topic starter  

Ouch. Many thanks KP. I'm getting there- My fingers hurt, and so does my brain. But I'm getting there. I've been playing a lot of my old standards this morning, but changing the fingerings each time through.

I can get through some songs 5 or 6 times before my head explodes.

Best,

Ande


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
Topic starter  

thanks for all the cool ideas!

Enjoying them all, though King's gets really hard after the first few times through. In addition to barre chords, it's really helping me with ALL the different chord forms and positions I know, and forcing me to learn some new ones.

To add an answer to my own question- they aren't barre chords in the original, but basketcase by greenday is good fun with barres. Playing it with e-shaped and a-shaped chords at the 7th fret makes it sound a little punkier and cooler than power chords, which is how I was playing it before. Also lets you use full strums so you can jump around like a lunatic while you strum without messing up the right hand. Just be sure to back way off on the tone, because the additional strings give you a lot more highs. (With my single coils, it gets a bit shrill if you don't back it down.)

Best,
ande


   
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