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#1 2012-08-09 16:47:04

M.B.two
Member
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2012-07-25
Posts: 39

Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Hi Everyone,

I'm looking for songs that have a lot of chord changes requiring barre chords-- like F, Bm, Bb, and B. For example, I've got two songs, Cecilia by Paul Simon, and Big Rock Candy Mountain that go back and forth between between C and F over and over again.

Got any other songs like that? Like one that goes back and forth between G and Bm?

Also, I'm still a little slow going into a Bm barre, so to keep on the beat, I leave the previous chord a little early to give me time to make the barre. Like if I'm playing a G for four beats (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and) I'll leave the G just after the 4 to give me extra time to change. Is this ok? Do other people do this?

Here's another question--I try to do full barre chords, but depending on the song, if it seems too difficult, I'll do an alternate fingering so I don't have to do the chord. Do other people do this? Or do you always make yourself do a full barre?

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#2 2012-08-09 17:42:04

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

I'm the wrong person to answer this because barre chords hurt my wrist too much and I am too lazy to learn them.  It is OK to leave a chord a little early if it makes it easier for you.  You just have to judge the sound change for yourself.  Alternate fingering is also OK as long as it sounds good in the song.  In music, chords especially, you don't always have to follow the rules.  A lot of people cheat on chords and it sounds great.  Yes, it's better to learn the barre chords the right way, but don't always force yourself to follow the rules.  If it sounds good to you, go with it.


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#3 2012-08-09 19:46:15

Baldguitardude
El Modarino
From: Las Vegas
Registered: 2010-12-09
Posts: 1162
Website

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Just play any song  that uses G, D, C but play them as barre chords instead. smile

Regards to your Bm question, keep your strumming going in the right hand and do a left hand mute while you're switching chords or just hit the open strings. It will add texture but as long as you fret the chord solidly it will sound fine. Check this out here at about the 55 second mark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lyw1mte … ature=plcp

As I move from G/B to C I pull all my fingers off the strings and just hit a bunch of open strings. It doesn't really ring as a chord, just sounds like percussive noise. 

This guy is a master of this technique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEVE8l8fYUk  You can see him do it at 2.39, 2.44, and 3.04 repeatedly through the end of the solo. Works just as well on acoustic if you do it right. smile

If you don't like the way that sounds, lay the barre down first and then hammer on the rest of the chord Or if you're having problem with your pinkie finger, just leave that up and play the chord as a Bm7.

Or if it's easier play it up at the 7th fret as an Em barre chord.

ORRRRR depending upon the song you can probably substitute a G/B for the Bm chord.

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#4 2012-08-09 22:23:12

beamer
THE METALIZER
From: Texas
Registered: 2006-07-30
Posts: 1267

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

look up anything by the scorpions. its harder music than your used to but most all barr chords and it can be played very pretty also.same chords same progressions, but acoustic and slower.


Mal - Well, lady, I must say, you're my kinda stupid.
Mal - Jayne, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that
Kaylee - No power in the verse can stop me. BOOK-  you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theatre.

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#5 2012-08-10 00:32:19

Astronomikal
Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Moderator
From: Texas
Registered: 2009-11-01
Posts: 644

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

M.B.two wrote:

I'm looking for songs that have a lot of chord changes requiring barre chords

After a couple of YEARS of steady practice, I'm finally starting to nail my barre chords pretty well.  Here are a few songs that I practice with:
>  Creep / The Air that Breathe:  G  B  C  Cm  G  (all barres)
>  I'm Not in Love:  A  Am  Abm  Ab7  C#m  C#m7 (x2), then A, F#m,  B  then an open E
>  That Thing You Do (lots of barres in this one)
>  Sister Golden Hair

As BGD said, take any song and play your open chords as barres.  You can even go so far as to play your open E with fingers 2-4 and your open A as a 3rd finger barre.  Lay your index finger across the strings between the nut and the tuning pegs so that it feels like a barre.

Above all, keep at it.  It will take some time (years in my case), but it will eventually feel natural.

M.B.two wrote:

...I leave the previous chord a little early to give me time to make the barre. .... Is this ok? Do other people do this?

Yes and yes.  Topdown's rule #1:  If it sounds good, it IS good.

M.B.two wrote:

Here's another question-- ... I'll do an alternate fingering so I don't have to do the chord. Do other people do this? Or do you always make yourself do a full barre?

Oh yeah.  When I'm playing, I still occasionally fake a Bm with xx4432, a Bb as xx3331 or play a "small F" (xx3211).  (Those forms work all the way up the neck, by the way, just like barres do.)

When I'm practicing, I usually force myself to do the full barre.  Speed comes with practice.

Last edited by Astronomikal (2012-08-10 02:04:13)


"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

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#6 2012-08-10 00:43:30

Newbie Dean
Junior Member
From: Northern Wisconsin, USA
Registered: 2012-02-01
Posts: 24

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

I CHEAT.  A buddy of mine that has been playing for 45+ years got me started with a "thumb-over" technique.  I fret the e and B strings with my index finger and the E and A strings with my thumb.  It makes easy work of F, Bm, etc.


Keeping It Fun, Dean
'91 Epiphone PR350E
'10 Epiphone EL-00
'11 Taylor GC3

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#7 2012-08-10 00:47:53

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Hurricane UT
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3711

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

You are starting to see the different variations surface.  Everything is fair if it sounds good.


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#8 2012-08-10 00:55:39

Zurf
Blunt but well meaning moderator
From: Virginia, USA
Registered: 2007-06-27
Posts: 5575

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

I use "The Weight" by The Band to practice barre F from cowboy chords. 

I'm only just started to understand the value and importance of barring chords and making adjustments from them, so I don' t have any more advice. 

- Zurf


"Forced means you're painting a train blue."  - Jets60
"If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome!" - Mekidsmom
"Don't ever apologize for what you have worked hard for." - Pete Benson
Official recipient of B chord amnesty.

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#9 2012-08-10 07:44:01

bunbun
Senior Member
Registered: 2010-09-24
Posts: 255

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Any song can be played with barre chords. If you know the chords and know your fingering for the barre's then you can play it. Guaranteed.

The fret an open E leaving your index finger free. slide to the next fret and barre the first fret with your index. Now you have an F. Now slide the whole thing down in fret and you have an Fm. One more fret and you have G. A is with the index finger across the fifth fret and so on. The flat chords are in between.

Next fret an open Am leaving your index finger free. Now slide one fret over and barre the first fret. Now you have Bm. slide one fret over and remove index finger leaving ring and pinky on strings and hyou have a Cm. Two frets over is a Dm.

B is kinda hard but if you mute the last string you can pull it off. Just play the 2-6th strings. Slide one fret over and you have C. Two more frets over (5th fret) you get D and so on. Flat chord voicings are in between.

Now all you have to learn is going from the Majors to the minors and that is all just finger placement. It is easy going from G to C and A to D as all you do is lay your ring finger across the proper strings, pick up the middle and pinky finger and you have now done the chord change.

Just takes some practice but, for me, changing barre chords is easier that open chords as you often only have to slide up and down the fret board with minor position changes of your fingers. I can play most songs either open or barre and I find if I want a deeper tone I use the barre chords.

Last edited by bunbun (2012-08-10 07:45:46)

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#10 2012-08-10 18:29:14

Russell_Harding
Alien moderator
From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 6312
Website

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

You can write your own exercise with a sheet of paper,draw 5 vertical lines spaced even distance left to right these are bars,make four slash lines in each bar these represent beats and on top choose a chord.
C Bm D G  F#m  B  G
|////  |////| //// | //// |: the first and second bars are two beats on each chord the 3rd bar is 4 beats  and the last 2 beats on each chord the double dots mean repeat the exercise you can make any chords you like I would pick the hardest ones your having trouble with and work on them.smile


"Growing old is not for sissies"

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#11 2012-08-10 18:53:49

M.B.two
Member
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2012-07-25
Posts: 39

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Wow! I'm so grateful for everyone's input. I've got a lot of things to practice now--you guys are so generous with your time and knowlege and I really appreciate it. I hope that someday I'll get the chance to give to others what you've shared with me.

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#12 2012-08-10 21:51:33

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4247

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

mb you might try doing the Eagles Hotel California,just a thought.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#13 2012-08-11 08:46:57

bunbun
Senior Member
Registered: 2010-09-24
Posts: 255

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

dino48 wrote:

mb you might try doing the Eagles Hotel California,just a thought.

Great song to barre! My brother insists on using a capo on this song so he can play open chords. I just barre my way through it. MB, the song is:Bm, F#, A, E, G, D, Em, F# for the verses and G, D, F#, Bm for the first part of the chorus and then G, D, Em, F# for the second part of the chorus. As you can see the only open chords would be Em and E but the fingering slides right into a barre as you progress to the other chords.

Nice choice dino!

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#14 2012-08-11 21:37:07

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4247

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

mb if you do try hotel ca. you will find that the two beginning chords (bm and f#) can be used as the lead in this song if you finger pick them. I think that song helped my playing more than any other song has.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#15 2012-08-12 03:11:56

M.B.two
Member
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2012-07-25
Posts: 39

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Thanks for the suggestion on "Hotel California" -- I'm loving that Bm to F# and Em to F#. Good practice song!

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#16 2012-08-12 22:27:49

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4247

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

M.B.two wrote:

Thanks for the suggestion on "Hotel California" -- I'm loving that Bm to F# and Em to F#. Good practice song!

mb it took me awile too learn too do it right on that song but it was worth it. I have seen the video of there reunion and there are 6 guitars performing on that song and one is a twelve string. ie (Hell Freezes Over video)


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#17 2012-08-13 04:54:19

rotoiti
Member
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2008-01-29
Posts: 53

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

I play open and barre chords but I have had to improvise. I have Dupuytren's contracture in my left hand affecting my ring finger. It's bent about 70 degrees. It's ok, I just need to warm up longer. I have had to give up on the rock beat, alternating A6 A7 chords because of my stretching ability [ or lack of ] I warm up with the chords B E A D G C F  then B7 E7 A7 D7 G7 C7 F7 and the same with the minors and minor 7ths. I can't lay my index finger flat so I use the tip on strings 5 or 6.

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#18 2012-08-13 16:05:06

Guitarpix
Underwater Firefighter
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2007-02-08
Posts: 1905
Website

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

I'd recommend anything by Jack Johnson.....   Times like these http://www.chordie.com/chord.pere/www.u … ;id=135025 is a good choice for E shaped barre chords and the progression makes it super easy....   There's a video at the bottom of the above tab with me playing it but I have to warn you it's an old vid...lol


If your brain is part of the process, you're missing it. You should play like a drowning man, struggling to reach shore. If you can trap that feeling, then you have something.
         Peace of mind. That's my piece of mind...

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#19 2012-08-13 16:40:45

M.B.two
Member
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2012-07-25
Posts: 39

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Thanks for the suggestion, Guitarpix--you're video of the song was really helpful!

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#20 2012-08-13 18:24:13

Rabid
Junior Member
Registered: 2011-02-08
Posts: 16

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Year of the Cat  - Al Stewart

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#21 2012-08-13 21:54:28

badeye
Honoured Member
From: Cape Breton Island, Canada
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 2845

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Tommy Twotone..   "Jenny Jenny"    Two barres and two open chords..




"Who can I turn to"   


Badeye    cool


one caper after another

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#22 2012-08-28 06:20:40

jgreen
Senior Member
From: Northern BC (Canada)
Registered: 2007-03-05
Posts: 126

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

One song I worked on to get a handle on the barre is "I shall be released"  You can play the progression all the way up the neck.  A  Bm Cm Bm A Em

Also, if you feel the stretch is a bit much to start with, try setting a capo a couple frets up, you can learn the barres a bit easier that way.

It does hurt some as you build strength but well worth the struggle if you can master the chords.

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#23 2012-08-28 21:14:25

M.B.two
Member
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2012-07-25
Posts: 39

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

Thanks for the additional suggestions!

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#24 2012-08-29 07:50:11

bunbun
Senior Member
Registered: 2010-09-24
Posts: 255

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

How is it coming along? Are you having success?

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#25 2012-08-30 03:10:35

M.B.two
Member
From: Minnesota
Registered: 2012-07-25
Posts: 39

Re: Songs to Practice Barre Chord Changes?

bunbun wrote:

How is it coming along? Are you having success?

Hi Mr. Bun,

I was really saddened to read about your health issues and how you have to leave  your job as firefighter and EMT, but thanks for asking about my progress.

Let see, I've been practicing "Creep," and "Hotel California" and "Jenny Jenny." I think the hardest is the "B" chord. It's getting a little easier in terms of movement, but the sound of the chords is still a little muted.

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