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Author Topic: Sneaking up on barre chords  (Read 3406 times)

Offline luvmyshiner

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« on: July 28, 2007, 03:34:30 PM »
The last month or so I've really been concentrating on them.  Every week I work on at least one song that has two barre chords so I can get past this hurdle.  Last week I worked on Hotel California (Rocket inspired me, so I broke out the Eagles book and started practicing).  I've reached the point where I can fret them cleanly, but the transitions are still way too slow.

Unfortunately I hit another snag.  Do y'all remember when I used to bruise the tips of my fingers?  Rocket, I think you're the one who told me I probably broke a blood vessel and needed to take it easy for awhile.  Well my finger tips are great, but apparently I did the same thing to the side of my pointin' finger on Thursday working on the barre chords.  It hurts like hell and it's frustrating because I've really been trying to work on this.  Oh the sacrifices we musician type wanna be's have to endure.[8D]

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Offline Pike

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2007, 05:41:06 PM »
Hey, cool Shiner, sounds like both you guys are making some progress. Ya know, I sprained a knuckle somehow a while ago (yeah, I'm tough on my hands) still hurts to play, but I can't seem to give it a rest. it's getting better though, slowly.
 

Offline bignate

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2007, 06:33:02 PM »
It will be in important to work on the B minor barre chord.  It is used quite a bit in open chord songs
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Offline donny341

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2007, 07:01:24 PM »
Shiner, that is the first song I learned with barre chords and it is a great one to learn on. I too still have trouble swinging back into barre from a standard chord, but I find that if I try to plant my fingers in postion first, then the barre pointer finger, I get there a lot cleaner. When I try to plant the barre first, I hesitate to get the fingers on the right strings. See if this helps with the transition, but I'm sure it won't heal the current bruising you have lol. You and CB are goin at it so much, I 'spect we will see you on the country music awards soon, ya think? [:D]

Oh..Sittin on the Dock of the Bay is another great song for barre chords.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2007, 07:02:31 PM by donny341 »
Donny

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72 gold strap buttons with screws
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Multitude of various plastic picks
Broken fingernails when used for fingerpicking
Wrist wraps for those arthuritis fretting moments
Preperation H for those long sitting hours playing guitar
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Steel and nylon string clippings (I should clean up a bit)
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Offline donny341

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2007, 09:59:53 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by luvmyshiner
Oh, as for the country music awards?  The Shiner Family Band is much to busy lining up busking gigs at local county fairs to bother with that.[;)]



Well, I will gladly come and help you drink a keg at the fair whilst I watch you and CB entertain the fair-goers [:D]
Donny

Some Guitars
9 Tweed Straps
72 gold strap buttons with screws
10 Buffalo horn picks
Multitude of various plastic picks
Broken fingernails when used for fingerpicking
Wrist wraps for those arthuritis fretting moments
Preperation H for those long sitting hours playing guitar
42 various sets of strings
Lizard Spit Guitar Polish
3 polish cloths
Pro winder/cutter
2 plastic winders
Steel and nylon string clippings (I should clean up a bit)
4 wall mount hooks
One bile slice remover tool (for Dreadman)
ton of yuks and smiley faces here
One set beatles albums on Apple label
Various Beatles and Wings 45's
Two Turtle Doves
A Partridge in a Pear Tree



Life is what happens while your busy making other plans

Offline donny341

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2007, 10:03:40 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by luvmyshiner

Interesting Donny.  I've been doing it the exact opposite, planting the barre finger first, then the chord fingers.  And you're absolutely right, the pause comes because I'm thinking of where to plant the chord fingers.  I'll give your way a shot!  Thanks.



That is also how I started transitioning to a barre from a standard, but in time I got to thinking about it and tried sslloowwllyy to plant the fingers first and the barre finger just found itself in place afterwards. Speed is coming after practicing slow and I know it really helped me. Good luck, I hope it works for you too.
Donny

Some Guitars
9 Tweed Straps
72 gold strap buttons with screws
10 Buffalo horn picks
Multitude of various plastic picks
Broken fingernails when used for fingerpicking
Wrist wraps for those arthuritis fretting moments
Preperation H for those long sitting hours playing guitar
42 various sets of strings
Lizard Spit Guitar Polish
3 polish cloths
Pro winder/cutter
2 plastic winders
Steel and nylon string clippings (I should clean up a bit)
4 wall mount hooks
One bile slice remover tool (for Dreadman)
ton of yuks and smiley faces here
One set beatles albums on Apple label
Various Beatles and Wings 45's
Two Turtle Doves
A Partridge in a Pear Tree



Life is what happens while your busy making other plans

Offline just strum

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2007, 08:11:48 AM »
Yet another challenge to be conquered.  I was messing with barre chords last night and it was not a pretty picture and as a result it wasn't a pretty sound either.  I tried Rockets recommendation of fist-o-chords and although I have yet to be successful, I quickly recognized the speed for forming the chord and moving up and down the fret board with that method.  I just need to work on it.

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Offline evenkeel

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2007, 04:28:09 PM »
Shiner,
A couple of practice tips that helped me with barre chords.

1.  Pick out a couple of simple three chord I, IV, V songs and play them with barre chords in a variety of positions.  E shape, A shape etc.  Then work in minor barre chords, E minor shape etc..

To reinforce muscle memory, play the chord, pull your hand off the neck just a fraction of an inch and put it back down again.  Keep repeating.  Pull your fingers a bit higher off the neck as you get more comfortable.
 

Offline just strum

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2007, 04:49:45 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by luvmyshiner

I gotta tell y'all, this hasn't been something that's been easy for me.  I've been working on barre chords since way back when, after I first joined the forum.  



Oh, that's encouraging.

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Offline acoustictom

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2007, 08:26:15 PM »
I have a question for those of you who have been working on barre chords based on a recent experience.  I was trying out guitars at a store recently (my plan is to get a D10S sometime in the next few months.  I don't play barre chords yet but am familiar with them and the basic concept.  Well, to get to the point -- I was testing the action on a few guitars to see how they were and thought I should try some barre chords to see how they would be with this more difficult style.  After about 10 to 15 minutes of trying them I stopped but my left index finger (the barre) started to contract toward my left wrist all by itself without my telling it to.  Feaked me out!!  Is this something anyone has run into?  Did I overdo it for one sitting?  It didn't hurt or anything.  Just seemed that the finger had a mind of its own.  Has anybody experienced this?
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Offline acoustictom

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2007, 10:17:20 PM »
Thanks, Shiner.  Guess I better take it slow.  I'm practicing making switches between open chords and doing some simple progressions.  Still not smooth but I see progress.  There are a few 3-chord songs I'm using to work on strumming.  Working pretty much from a book and what I can pick up on the net.  Lessons aren't an option right now.  I still suck -- but not as much as three  months ago. [:)]
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Offline donny341

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2007, 11:50:28 PM »
quote:
Originally posted by acoustictom

Thanks, Shiner.  Guess I better take it slow.  I'm practicing making switches between open chords and doing some simple progressions.  Still not smooth but I see progress.  There are a few 3-chord songs I'm using to work on strumming.  Working pretty much from a book and what I can pick up on the net.  Lessons aren't an option right now.  I still suck -- but not as much as three  months ago. [:)]


You might try these finger excercises to limber up your fingers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8tbF3RWVUA&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO3zTdF4XUw&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aov5flJHHvU&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf7OTbl__aU&mode=related&search=
Donny

Some Guitars
9 Tweed Straps
72 gold strap buttons with screws
10 Buffalo horn picks
Multitude of various plastic picks
Broken fingernails when used for fingerpicking
Wrist wraps for those arthuritis fretting moments
Preperation H for those long sitting hours playing guitar
42 various sets of strings
Lizard Spit Guitar Polish
3 polish cloths
Pro winder/cutter
2 plastic winders
Steel and nylon string clippings (I should clean up a bit)
4 wall mount hooks
One bile slice remover tool (for Dreadman)
ton of yuks and smiley faces here
One set beatles albums on Apple label
Various Beatles and Wings 45's
Two Turtle Doves
A Partridge in a Pear Tree



Life is what happens while your busy making other plans

Offline acoustictom

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2007, 06:16:40 AM »
Good stuff.  Thanks for the tip.
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Offline johnsji

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2007, 09:32:40 AM »
Luvmyshiner,

I'd take my hat off to all you experienced bar chorders if my hand wasn't bleeding, sore, and in a sling.  I am new to guitar and barring and am really look forward to getting this technique down.  
I started with the simple F's [no, not those kind, although some where uttered] to get used to some of the work involved.  Now this Bm one is pure murder, and while I'd like to say I'm at a plateau, I might need to sit this one out for a couple of days.
I can crack coconuts and pick my nose just fine but my finger is too weak to hit these for very long.  I've got the squeezy ball out trying to gain the correct kind of strength to work through the valley.  I'm going to try to connect with my store's guitar tech to see if there is anything he sees glaringly wrong with me or the set up.
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Offline Fretless Johnny

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Sneaking up on barre chords
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2007, 11:16:03 AM »
Hello all,

I will admit that low end barre chords are the toughest for me, but I have found a way to make them easier.  It is a trick from the upright bass that can help you start playing the chords now while your fingers get strong enough to then play them properly.

The trick is using your index finger and pinky.  This works for closed chords across four strings or less. A barre chord only consists of fourths, fifths, minor sevenths, and octaves (depending on how you finger it).  

The typical barre chord is too lay your index finger flat across the string making a stack of fourths.  I know very few players who actually do this, because it is an unatural finger position and stacked fourths are harmonically vague...except on the top strings when they become cool jazz voicings.  I have no trick for this one, you just have to do it.

A typical 5th power chord is a more common type of barre chord an has the index on the root and the third finger on the 5th above.  Use your pinky instead of your third finger.  This is especially useful if you are playing finger style because it gives you cleaner articulation with your left hand.  If you play the string above that with your first finger barred you also have the minor seventh.  Then you can move your pinky up a string and fret the octave a la Wes Montgomery.  

The only thing you can't do with this technique is fret both the fifth and the octave at the same time, which becomes very important when trying to play that B minor Bignate was talking about.  There's no way of getting around that if you are playing chords in open position.  You will have to get your hands strong enough.  

But using this method should help you to start building that strength while playing and not just killing your hands and practicing.

Hope everyone is well.

John
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