Topic: bar chords

Hi all been playing a Cpl of years now and I find it difficult to play bar chords
I can play an f barred when practising but when I fit it in with other chords I cant get my bar round in time

Re: bar chords

It so much sounds like more practice is needed.  To help you get more comfortable using the barre, you might try playing open chords (that I assume you are already familiar with) and THEN play the same tune again using ALL barre chords.  The object is to develop the dexterity and strength in your barres, along with reinforcing the muscle memory in the open chord shapes.

By the time you master a few songs in that manner, you should almost be able to "mix it up" between the two without having to race up and down the fretboard.  You are gonna find that some open shapes will become easier to play without the index finger (as you learn the shapes in the barres) leaving your index free to spring into position as required.  (Hint: barres are easier on electric, although I use them all the time on acoustic... it just takes a bit more strength and good thumb position well behind the neck).

Be sure to mix in some scales and riffs to keep your fingers flexible as well or as your strength increases, you agility in playing arpeggios might suffer...... kinda like getting "muscle-bound".  Take breaks often and elevate the neck towards your shoulder to allow your thumb to get centered on the back of the neck.  Your wrist will thank you.

"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

Re: bar chords

Doug_Smith wrote:

It so much sounds like more practice is needed.

All good advice from Doug, with the above quote probably being right up there near the top. Sheer repetition will build the muscle memory to make quick, smooth changes.

Something else you could try would be moving up the neck from the F barre to the G barre to the A barre. I'm assuming you already know this but just in case you don't, G is at the third fret and A is at the fifth. Your finger structure remains the same but you need to lift them slightly off the neck. You'll be changing chords with very little finger movement and your brain will begin to remember the shape.

[b]Today Is Only Yesterdays Tomorrow[/b]

Re: bar chords

Another little trick that might help is to learn your basic chords without using your index finger. If you can do them with your middle, ring, and pinky fingers, then your index is always free to slide into a barre whenever you need it.

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Re: bar chords

gooffy77, welcome to the site. Yhere has been some excellant information given to you, already, but I would like to add the following;

Acoustic guitars usually have a much larger string guage than an electric guitar. Lighter guage acoustic strings are much easier to play but you may lose than good bass sound. Experiment with some lighter guage strings until you find something you like. Also, a low action is easier to play. You may want to have a good guitar tech look at your guitar and have it checked out. You would be amazed at how a good "set-up" will help a guitar's playability. Barre chords are moveable - so try playing them all up and down the neck. A good practice set would be C - F - G. There are many, many songs in that chord progression.

As mentioned above try using your middle, ring and index finger to form open chords - E - Am come easy. Once you learn this those barres will come easy. On the A shaped barre chords you may want to try makking a "double barre" with your index and ring finger. This is much easier for me. Learn the E shape, Am and the A shape barre chords first as they are the easiest to learn. As for the C, D and G shaped barre chords I would stay away from them until I learned tie other barre's as they are more furstrating. Anyway, dood luck and keep practicing.


Re: bar chords

New to the site but not new to the guitar. I have been running up and down the frets for30+ years. All great advice from the others, but one nugget I can share, the thumb pressure on the neck is important. I put a lot of pressure with my thumb on the back and center of the neck while pressure is also at the base of my index finger on the side of the neck. All other fingers are relaxed and moving to whatever bar position I need.