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#1 2007-02-23 13:29:40

sixstringrich
Junior Member
Registered: 2007-02-23
Posts: 1

I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

I am a beginner and need a simpler F and Bm chord...I am using a 6 string acustic... Is this possible??

Thanks Rich <font size="2"></font><font color="purple"></font>

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#2 2007-02-23 15:05:43

James McCormick
Moderator
From: Starkville, Mississippi USA
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 2069
Website

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Hello sixstringrich - One solution may be to use chordie's nifty-keeno transposing tool (right side of a song's screen) to change a song's key.  This is one way around the problem and can provide a temporary fix.

Not all songs are properly coded to allow transposing - but most are.  Play around with the transposer until you move the song into a key that is in your comfort zone.  Hope this helps - James


"That darn Pythagorean Comma thing keeps messing me up!"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_comma

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#3 2007-02-23 15:07:31

Roger Guppy
The Laid Back Moderator
From: Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 4805
Website

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Hi Rich

The easy answer is to transpose the song to a different key. Down one semitone and F becomes E, down 2 semitones and Bm becomes Am. However the real answer is to actually learn to play them. Try and find a song that you know that has either one F or one Bm in each verse (or transpose the key until it does) and practice on that.

As you probably realise, it has been written in the forum time and time again, the three key words to learning to play the guitar (or any instument for that matter) are practice, practice and then more practice.

Persevere and you will find it slowly getting easier as your fingers get stronger, more supple and automatically go to the right position.

Good luck

Roger


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)
Do, or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

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#4 2007-02-23 15:27:14

tunedeaf
Member
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 61

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Hi Rich:
Here we go again! <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_rolleyes.gif" border=0 alt="Rolling Eyes">
Once more I'm about to aggravate the purists and serious players here who will inevitably say "practice practice practice", and they are of course correct.
Playing the full fingerings of any chord does indeed sound better, and I'm sure that with the recommended finger strengthening exercises and months of the aforementioned practice, practice, practice, most people could eventually play all the barred chords reasonably well.
If they did'nt first get frustrated to all get out and quit.
I'd be willing to bet that F and Bm and the rest of the barred chords have much to do with a lot of guitars gathering dust in unopened closets.
That being said, there are definitely easier ways to play F and Bm than the official and proper fingerings.
For those of us with no delusions of ever being Liona Boyd or Eric Clapton, F can be fingered 003211 with the first finger fretting e and b on the first fret , the index finger fretting g on the second and your ring finger fretting D on the third fret.
Bm can be done 004432 with first finger second fret e, index finger third fret b, ring finger fourth fret g and baby finger also on fourth fret but on the D string.
Yes I know that this isn't proper and that there are the dreaded open strings and that I will probably burn in Hell for attempting to seduce a beginner away from the pure and proper path to true guitar enlightenment, but to heck with it.
I play because I love to play and if making some chords easier, if less than perfect, keeps us amateurs pickin and grinnin rather than fumin and fussin and storing our guitars in the closet, then it's all good for me.
O.K. purists....let the Tunedeaf bashing begin! <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif" border=0 alt="Laughing">

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#5 2007-02-23 15:31:19

cytania
Senior Member
From: Nottingham, UK
Registered: 2006-08-08
Posts: 690

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

First off make the chords the cheat way without the back 'barre' finger and only play the strings you are holding. That still makes these two chords full blow 4-finger chords though.

Look to practises chord changes that greak your fear of F and B. Try C F G, you'll need these for so many songs.
Particularly make the C a full-on 4 finger C then you are just shifting the shape and the G becomes much more accented as in 'D'You Wanna Dance', try that one slow 'Mamas and Papas' style before building up to rock version speed.

In a few songs I've seen tabbed the Bm is an accent chord following a vocal harmony rise and so isn't necessary (I removed Bm from 'Build Me Up Buttercup' by following the earlier verse pattern, as I'm not the Four Tops vocally!). Likewise last night I worked through 'You Give What You Get' and found most the song can be done acoustic with just the Fmaj7 Cmaj7 Amaj7 A progression and some judicious D at the true chorus, that's not to say adding electric flourishes wouldn't use the bits I dropped though...


'The sound of the city seems to disappear'

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#6 2007-02-23 23:56:02

Roger Guppy
The Laid Back Moderator
From: Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 4805
Website

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Hi Tunedeaf,

No bashing from me, in fact I will let you into a little secret as long as you promice not to tell anyone else. I often play F as x33211 and Bm as a xx4432 especially if I am learning a song or I want a quick chord change.

The fact is I learnt to play them that way. I then later had to learn to play them as barre chords and I wished that I had done it properly from the start which was the reason I was advising Rich to learn the barre chord now.

Maybe you and Cytania are right. Rich will certainly be able to play these chords easier this way and if it keeps him playing, then that is good.

Roger


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)
Do, or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

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#7 2007-02-24 03:37:19

tunedeaf
Member
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 61

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Ah, the Puppy is wise!
Funny thing is, I played a bit when I was a teenager and learned my chords from the chord books I bought. That's where I learned, like you, to play them the way I do.
It wasn't til 30 years later when I discovered Chordie that I found out that those chord books had shown simplified fingerings for many of the chords I play.
Also like you, I kind of wish that I had learned the proper fingerings from the start, but I also know myself well enough to know that the struggle to play them "right" would have led to a nasty case of dusty guitar.
As you point out, the simpler fingerings allows for swifter progress and it's that progress that keeps me playing!
Thanks for the backup!
Tunedeaf

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#8 2007-02-26 19:49:36

tkg3
Junior Member
Registered: 2006-03-19
Posts: 9

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

I too learned to play the "easy" F and Bm.  I have always played them like that and I always will. After 20 years it's hard to unlearn.  I just taught myself not to hit the open strings.  When strumming quickly, I think <b><i>not</i></b> hitting the open strings takes as much talent as playing the barre chords.  No bashing from me tunedeaf <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_smile.gif" border=0 alt="Smile">


I swear---by my life and my love of it---that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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#9 2007-02-28 02:23:00

bootleger
Senior Member
From: Pico Rivera, Calif. U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-10-26
Posts: 785

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Play a bass you don't have to form the chord just the note.  <img src="images/smiley_icons/icon_lol.gif" border=0 alt="Laughing">

Bootlegger.

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#10 2007-03-05 13:23:14

surenperera
Junior Member
Registered: 2007-02-21
Posts: 7

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Hi guys ... I am well ... a beginner of sorts .. although I seem to have gotten better. I too started playing the easy F's and Bm's but what I am doing at the moment is since I can play the easy F's and Bm fairly well, I have begun to attempt the barre chords. Its a bit easier now because I know exactly where my finger placement should be. So now the challenge is barring with the index finger. Try it. It actually works.

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#11 2007-03-08 15:55:20

mrpatwinn
Junior Member
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 1

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

<font face="Arial">I just wanted to say that i had to cheat my F for years until i got a decent guitar. I would have needed a G clamp to play bar chords on my old one!!!
I consider my self to be a very basic player but i dont think there is any thing wrong with cheating if its a good sound. I used to baffle the hell out our "proper" guitar player in the band, as i made a decent sound with odd shapes that sould not have worked!   </font>

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#12 2007-03-12 06:50:57

american chaos theory
Senior Member
From: Murphysboro Il
Registered: 2007-02-10
Posts: 292

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

   Rich,
First off, it's great that you are learnning to make music!!!! By now I'm sure someone here has told you how to short cut them, how to eliminate them by transposeing the song and of course practice. Well the truth is...they are all very correct! each method has it's draw backs but I suggest using each one.

1) Simplified (cheat) chords are very appropriate in certain situations in some songs, especially if you are picking runs between chords which I do alot in country and blues.

2) Being able to transpose a song is a good skill to have. The vocalist may need the key of the song changed, you may be playing with a harp blower who has a limited variety of harmonicas, there are lots of situations where this comes in handy.

3)Barr chords were among some of the first chords I learnned. I didn't know they were hard because nobody bothered to tell me. My point is that you gutted it out and mastered the other chords so don't wuss out on these they are no harder that the others just different.

Good luck to you Rich!!!
                             -Mike


"Nobody paints by ear so why would I play guitar by sight?" hmm

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#13 2007-03-12 07:19:13

gitafiddle
Junior Member
Registered: 2007-02-17
Posts: 6

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

<b></b><i></i>
F chord is a real tuffy on an acoustic guitar for beginners. The only advice I can give you is make sure that your thumb is near the center of the neck of the guitar, which may give you a little more leverage. Also make sure that the neck of the guitar is not bowed downward so that the strings are too high off of the fret board. An electric guitar helps, the "action" on them is much shorter and will allow you to get your fingers callused up enough to switch back to your acoustic. Another idea is to use a "capo" up 2 or 3 frets and then practice the tough chords down farther down the neck where the strings are easier to press down on. The farther down from the "nut" the more pliable the strings become. Keep practicing them till you get a good clean sound from each and every string. Once you get the "feel" for F start moving the capo toward the nut and keep practicing  . Keep practicing the chords that you have mastered too! Make smooth chord switches.

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#14 2007-03-12 18:31:39

scrimmy82
Senior Member
From: Perth Scotland
Registered: 2006-12-19
Posts: 235

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Heres the F I play, its simple.

Can someone let me know exactly how accurate it is?

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#15 2007-03-12 19:25:20

jcellini
Senior Member
From: U.S.
Registered: 2007-01-24
Posts: 254

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

That's the only "F" I know, other then the barr chord.

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#16 2007-03-20 23:11:33

wewin03
Junior Member
Registered: 2007-03-20
Posts: 5

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

My advice is to keep playing the Bm and F chords. And all the other barre chords for that matter. The problem with taking shortcuts is you'll never become a truly good player if you quit on certain chords because they're difficult. Keep trying.

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#17 2007-03-24 22:25:30

jerryratpack
Member
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 43

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

If you look at the make up of a major chord, you have the Root, 3rd and 5th .. The "F" Barre has THREE ROOTS.. So if you do not play one of them, it is ok.

Have your "Action" Checked on your guitar, if it is to high, it is allot harder to play a BArre Chord than it normally is.

Just to be a well rounded player, eventually you should practice the Barre Chords.. They are not that hard at all after you practice for awhile.

Good Luck,

Jerry

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#18 2008-11-07 20:00:42

cho ordinashun
Junior Member
Registered: 2008-11-07
Posts: 1

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

I know the last thing you wanna do is shell out money ... but i'll tell you what I got fed up with my $200 Glossy/pretty big wide necked acoustic guitar that I bought to learn on.

I saw this 3/4 size Gretsch Americana series acoustic on Guitar center's web site, and all the reviews said how easy it was to play and great for beginners and experienced guitarists. It has some funky picture of a cowboy on it and a sort of rought finish but it was only $100.

I also am a police officer who works grave shift in Atlantic City and even in AC sometimes the winter nights can drag. So I figured.. "what the hell?" It's small,  and not too delicate or expensive, I could throw it in the trunk of the police car and not have to cringe every time I hit a bump on the way to a call.

So I ordered one... It was the best thing I did for my wanting to learn. It made playing sooo much easier, it had a narrow/thinner neck because it's scaled down annnd the strings werent heavy duty like the ones on my $200 mitchell where sometimes you think its gonna cut your finger open. So it's easier to hold a barre chord or any chord, mind you the fret is a little smaller but not noticeably but it really makes playing fun.

The only other difference you might experience with a 3/4 size acoustic like the one Im talkin about is that it has a rough/worn sound which  makes my shiny full sized acoustic sound like its always hooked up to an amp, but its great for practicing or playing for your friends it just makes it fun, Im no expert, ive only been playing for like 3 months but time after time if theres something I cant pull off on the full sized guitar... the 3/4 Grestch always makes it feel effortless.

I found a video on you tube of a guy playing one just like mine if you wanna check it out.. If you wanna buy one look around guitar center's website they should still have some.

youtube.com/watch?v=JZOaqCxAuOk

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#19 2008-11-08 05:19:33

thegoofynewfie
Junior Member
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 1

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

This is a great thread, as I am in the really early stages of playing.  I have always agonized over F; I have called it the "F-ing" F for a long time.  I am going to try the methods described here and see how they go, as F is keeping me from playing some songs I really like.

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#20 2008-11-08 06:44:05

Russell_Harding
Alien moderator
From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 6626
Website

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

well theres always guitar hero lol


"Growing old is not for sissies"

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#21 2008-11-08 13:20:15

Radchael1975
Senior Member
From: Ipswich, UK
Registered: 2008-05-20
Posts: 101

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Russell_Harding wrote:

well theres always guitar hero lol

Yea.. lol.. and that's difficult when ya start trying songs with that bloomin orange button!!


The time to be happy, is NOW !

Freshman acoustic, IbanezGAX70, MarshallMG15cd, Digitech:RP100

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#22 2008-11-08 15:22:21

badeye
Honoured Member
From: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 2920

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

Wat if yer color blind??  lol

  Badeye  cool


one caper after another

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#23 2008-11-09 15:09:51

StephenP
Junior Member
From: Beaver Bank, NS
Registered: 2006-08-28
Posts: 6

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

I too use the simplified, or cheater, F, that was the way I learned it from a Neil Young song book.  I am currently forcing myself to learn the Bm chord as the barre chord. I figure that I'll have it down in about month and not have that pause as I get my fingers on the correct strings.  I figure that when it finally becomes natural it will be easier for me to play the other barre chords.

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#24 2008-11-10 10:44:01

vheissu
Member
From: Lincoln
Registered: 2007-05-16
Posts: 36

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

I occasionaly throw in an "easy f" when playing...but only depending on the song and tempo... I usually play the barre though...

However... There is a way to cheat and still play it barred...

*prepares to be shouted at for bad habits*

Now as most of you know... the "F" barre chord is a barre across the first fret, and then an E shape... which leaves us with

133211  from low E to high...

What I sometimes do (though mainly with chords such as D/F#) is bend the thumb around and use my thumb on the first string...

My guitar naturally sits in the arch between my thumb and my index finger... Whenever some people see this they say it's a bad habit... and yes... it is... But it works for me and it's how I play... I know other people that this method works for too...


It's not how well you play... It's how much effort you put into the playing

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#25 2008-11-15 02:18:17

TakamineEG341C
Member
Registered: 2007-01-03
Posts: 36

Re: I NEED SIMPLER ALTERNATIVE Bm and F CHORD

I don't consider myself a "purist" and I have no problem with cheating on a couple of chords in order to allow you to keep learning and progressing. After all, as some have mentioned here, there are many guitars collecting dust in closets because of new players getting frustrated with tough new chords that are quite frankly not so easy to get the hang of.
So I say go for it - by all means learn the little tips being offered here if it will keep you playing. Just do yourself a favor and never settle for that in the long run. I've been playing for around 20 years or better now and I occasionally struggle with a chord here and there and I still need to practice at least a little every day to keep up on things. So do what you must in the early stages to keep interested, but keep challenging yourself to take on those chords that seem impossible right now.

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