Topic: Bm Chord

I need some advice about forming the Bm barre chord. I can make this chord successfully, but it takes me more time to form it than other chords. To make a Bm, I usually form it in two steps: first I fret the D, G, B strings, and then I lay down my index finger for the barre. Should I just keep practicing until this process becomes simultaneous, or are there other approaches that people can recommend?

Thank you!

Re: Bm Chord

That's the right approach.  The issue is to just practice it until you can change to it at whatever speed you need to in a song.  Unless you're doing Andy McKee type barre chord hammer ons where he hammers onto the entire barre chord at once, I've heard most folks advise getting the non-index fingers positioned first and then positioning the index for the barre. 

Practice, practice, practice is the only thing to help now. 

Good luck and have fun.

- Zurf

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Bm Chord

Thanks for the information, Zurf.  I wanted to check to see if my approach is acceptable, or if I'm going about it wrong.

Re: Bm Chord

A practice technique that I was taught a million years ago and still use today for a new chord is to form the chord and make sure that all strings are ringing clear and not muted. Then slowly strum three beats, and for the 4th beat you lift your fingers slightly (just to clear the strings), drop them back for three and lift for one and so on. It helps you get used to using your fingers in that position and you can slowly increase the tempo. Then you can start changing from different chords to the new one you are learning and when you can do that you have won smile.

Roger

Re: Bm Chord

Wow..that is the best advice I've seen for the Bm chord. It's the toughest for me still...2 years in.  I'll try this lift and set lift and set technique!
S

Re: Bm Chord

ScottCooney wrote:

Wow..that is the best advice I've seen for the Bm chord. It's the toughest for me still...2 years in.  I'll try this lift and set lift and set technique!
S

I look forward to trying it too. Thank for the feedback on this question Roger.

Re: Bm Chord

I hated the Bm barre.  However, I can make an Am easily, once my memory muscle related to that position, it was just a simple matter to slide my Am position down to the B and barre my index finger. 

I love Chordie... smile

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Re: Bm Chord

gabbysings2 wrote:

I hated the Bm barre.  However, I can make an Am easily, once my memory muscle related to that position, it was just a simple matter to slide my Am position down to the B and barre my index finger.

Hi Gabby,

Yes, the chord shape for the Bm and the Am are the same, but for me the problem is that I learned to fret the Am with my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd finger, so if I try to slide down, I don't have my first finger available to make the barre. Maybe I should relearn Am and use the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th finger. (I do it that  way when I'm playing Dylan's "It ain't me babe").  Has anyone made that change of fingering in order to facilitate making the Bm easier?

Re: Bm Chord

Everyone is different but my approach to Am shape barre chords is to concentrate on the middle finger and nothing else.  When the chord is approaching look at the point on the guitar where your middle finger is go and then plant the middle finger.  After a while the rest of your fingers will fall into place without thinking about it due to muscle memory.

Whatever method you use, and whatever chord your learning it can seem like ages where you'll see little or no progress but one morning you'll get up and it'll be there.  Don't get put off by lack of progress, sometimes it'll just happen, just keep working and trust me.

Epiphone EJ200  -  Epiphone SG400  -  Fender Strat Blacktop.
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Re: Bm Chord

Do you use your pinky more when forming a G chord? It means your index finger is un-uesed, leaving it an easy change to the C chord. It also strengthens your pinky and makes it fell more natural to use it for the Am and E bar chords.

Don't stop the way you are already playing Am because that's an easy change from C, practice it both ways.

If you can find the Chords for Samba Patti. It's a good progression to practice this.
Play G as a bar chord. So you are baring an E chord. Then Bm, (Baring an Am) Em to Am. The last Am will be played with your first 3 fingers but when you play the Bm and the G you are Baring with your index and forming the chord with the other 3.


It's a great progression to learn. It turns up all ofer the place.

I see friends holdiong hands, saying "How do you do"
They're really saying, "I love you"
Louis Armstrong. Wonderful world.

11 (edited by christopaul 2010-12-09 10:16:45)

Re: Bm Chord

The Bbm may be more difficult than say a Cm or a G because it is so close to the nut. You may have the same problem with F. An alternatave Bm can be played by baring the Em shape at the 6th fret.

I do know that I spell Bar / Barre the wrong way, but what the heck? I just think of my index finger as a bar. What is a barre?

I see friends holdiong hands, saying "How do you do"
They're really saying, "I love you"
Louis Armstrong. Wonderful world.

Re: Bm Chord

A barre is the thing ballerinas use to stretch.  It is essentially a low-hanging closet rod, in short a bar with two extra letters.

Granted B chord amnesty by King of the Mutants (Long live the king).
If it comes from the heart and you add a few beers... it'll be awesome! - Mekidsmom
When in doubt ... hats. - B.G. Dude

Re: Bm Chord

crevs.1972 wrote:

Everyone is different but my approach to Am shape barre chords is to concentrate on the middle finger and nothing else.  When the chord is approaching look at the point on the guitar where your middle finger is go and then plant the middle finger.  After a while the rest of your fingers will fall into place without thinking about it due to muscle memory.

Whatever method you use, and whatever chord your learning it can seem like ages where you'll see little or no progress but one morning you'll get up and it'll be there.  Don't get put off by lack of progress, sometimes it'll just happen, just keep working and trust me.

Thanks for your advice and observations, crevs.1972.  Like you, I try to use my middle finger as a an anchor for everything else. Right now, though, there's a lag before I get that index finger down. I'll just keep working on it, and hope that as you say, one day it'll all come together.

Re: Bm Chord

christopaul wrote:

I do know that I spell Bar / Barre the wrong way, but what the heck? I just think of my index finger as a bar. What is a barre?

Here is Wikipedia's answer to your question: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barre_chord

Hope it helps wink,

Roger

Re: Bm Chord

I'm with the Americans on this one. Why complicate spelling?
I didn't ask "what is a barre chord"
I was asking about the word "barre"

I see friends holdiong hands, saying "How do you do"
They're really saying, "I love you"
Louis Armstrong. Wonderful world.

Re: Bm Chord

As with most musical terms being derived from French or Italian the word barre (there should be an accent on the e) is derived from the past participle of the French verb barrer and simply means barred.  Nobody is strict about the usage nowadays so I wouldn't worry too much if you use bar, barre or pronounce it as it was originally from the French ie barray.
All useless information since knowing this doesn't make barre chords any easier to play.

Ian

All things good to know are difficult to learn.
Greek Proverb

Re: Bm Chord

Artless, you should practice the Am shape without using your index finger. You should also try the G major shape and C major shape w/o your index finger if your hands can make the stretch - it helps build dexterity in the pinky and gives you more barre chord options (I use the C barre fairly regularly...)

Re: Bm Chord

"All useless information since knowing this doesn't make barre chords any easier to play."

Yes but, "Bar" does what it says on the tin.

Thanks for the info.

I see friends holdiong hands, saying "How do you do"
They're really saying, "I love you"
Louis Armstrong. Wonderful world.

Re: Bm Chord

Baldguitardude wrote:

Artless, you should practice the Am shape without using your index finger. You should also try the G major shape and C major shape w/o your index finger if your hands can make the stretch - it helps build dexterity in the pinky and gives you more barre chord options (I use the C barre fairly regularly...)

Hey Bald,

Thanks for the great suggestion!  At first, I didn't quite understand what you were describing, but I finally got it.  Wow--it's hard making that C shape without the index finger, but what a wonderful way to, as you say, build dexterity.

Re: Bm Chord

Oh, that's not an easy one. Steve Howe uses C & G bar chords. I find the G a bit of a stretch myself.  That C to Am is a good change to practice.  In the first position, I would stick with 1st 3 fingers for the C and Am, 3.2,4 for the G. It makes for a far quicker change and your fingers fall into place for the next chord.  But practice both ways.

I see friends holdiong hands, saying "How do you do"
They're really saying, "I love you"
Louis Armstrong. Wonderful world.

Re: Bm Chord

I cheat with my A-shaped and Am-shaped barre chords because I play Hendrix style...
I just play the 3 strings held down by my ring finger (For the a-shaped barres) and the middle-ring-pinky (For the am-shaped barres).

It sounds clearer on the high end and doesn't require me to hit all the strings...I can focus on setting up for the next chord or transitioning to lead lines.

Dm

"Talent instantly recognizes genius,
but mediocrity knows nothing more than itself."

-Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle

Re: Bm Chord

I used to use the pad of my ring finger to bat an A chord because it used to bend to just the right shape to stop the 3 strings. My finger got broken a couple of years ago, It doesn't work quite as well as it ues to.

I see friends holdiong hands, saying "How do you do"
They're really saying, "I love you"
Louis Armstrong. Wonderful world.