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#2956900 - 11/08/18 03:43 AM Is this a good routine for practising bar chords?
MisterLutherMan Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/18
Posts: 5
Loc: UK
Hi there,

I've come across this video on bar chords in Reddit, and I'm wondering your opinions on it. I've practised it myself and it seems to work well, just wondered if you guys had any extra tips on practising bar chords.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDG84pGeX9U&t=70s
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#2956904 - 11/08/18 04:33 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: MisterLutherMan]
whitefang Offline
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Posts: 11102
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If it works for you, that's all that matters. Truthfully, I just play the chords. Eventually one will "toughen up" for them.

Also, for finger strength, I spend a lot of time squeezing a kind of sand filled rubber sack intended as a "stress relief" device. Bean bags and rubber balls too, have been used by guitarists for more years than I've been alive.

Plus too, I have an issue with taking advice on how to be "manly" from a guy who wears a "man bun" wink

Whitefang
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#2956932 - 11/08/18 07:31 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Posts: 11487
Loc: Northern California
About all I got out of the video was to hold your barre chords for 5 seconds each to build finger strength. I'm guessing it could help if you are new to barre chords but I have never used the method. The important thing is to make each string of the chord sound clear and avoid muting it if that string is called for in the chord. Don't worry about it at first, as you are just trying to learn the chord positions/formations. But as you progress keep this in mind as a goal.

One suggestion I make to those that are trying to learn barre chords is: play the chord in the open position using your 3 fingers and place your barring finger on the nut. Start with an E major, E minor, A major and A minor. Now move the chord up the neck one fret at a time (you can hold each chord 5 seconds if you think it will help).

Now that you know how to finger the chords, you will find it easier to learn and play the formation(s) by moving them up to the 5th fret or higher as the frets get closer together as you move up the neck. Then drop back down to the wider 1st 4 frets ( F F# G G#) and practice them again...


When playing the E major and E minor chord, pay attention to the note you are playing on the low E 6th string open. As you move up, the root tone is on the 6th string and it names each chord. Learn the notes on the 6th string and you will know all of your major and minor chords by name. Now do the same thing with your A minor and A major chord. This time the low A 5th string open will be your root tone. You can skip playing the 6th string. Pay attention to each note on the 5th string that you are barring with your finger sounding each note on the 5th string as you move up. You will now know the name to all your major and minor chords with a 5th string root...that should get you started. Good luck and have fun with it! cool
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#2956949 - 11/08/18 09:25 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: Larryz]
Sharkman Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 658
Five seconds? I recommend thirty seconds or longer. You don't just need hand strength, but stamina as well.
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#2956962 - 11/08/18 12:54 PM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: Sharkman]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 7043
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Haven't yet reviewed the vid in full but I'll say this:
Although everything requires some effort & physical adjustment to learn & become proficient at, there should not be a lotta strength required to hold a barre chord.

If there is maybe there's something wrong w/yer gtr (string height ?) Or yer basic playing approach.
Lotsa new players tense up when practicing new things or b/c they think it's necessary for the music they play (aggressive techniques, holding the gtr too low in relation to their elbow, etc)
For example, no matter how cool some pose looks, yer wrist/hand position should never result in more than a right angle/45 degree turn between the plane of yer forearm & the back of yer hand.

That's not just some fuddy-duddy rule from classical technique but a basic fact of what yer wrist is capable of long-term.

I will take a longer look at the vid when I can turn up the audio.
Meantime, if you have a good grasp of chords, follow & take further what LarZ describes.
Any chord that can be played w/3 fingers can be adapted as a moveable barre.
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#2956976 - 11/08/18 02:00 PM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: d]
Larryz Offline
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Loc: Northern California
+1 could catch d! Acoustic guitars like the one in the video will many times have a little higher action than an electric guitar. Electrics are usually a little easier to learn barre chords on and use less finger pressure than acoustics. So, maybe holding the string strings for 5 seconds (or longer as Sharkman suggests) may be a good idea for building finger strength... cool
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#2956979 - 11/08/18 02:21 PM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: Larryz]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
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True but in the modern world, unless ya got the desire to recreate Pete Townshend's playing or something, finger strength is not really needed---in fact any style can be created mush more easily w/ careful selection of gear , etc.

Wht work hard when something can be done easily ? idk
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#2956993 - 11/08/18 04:36 PM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: d]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11487
Loc: Northern California
+1 gear can make things much easier. I will say that what hurts for me is the stretch if I have to reach for a note. I like more compact chord voicings. Also I will switch back and forth from barre chords to cowboy thumb over chords to give my wrist a break on longer gigs. +1 on slinging a guitar at a comfortable height to take the pressure off as well... cool
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#2957051 - 11/09/18 06:24 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: Larryz]
jimmac Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 288
Loc: Jackson, Michigan
Some great advice from guys that I believe play much better than I do. I will tell you what I did that helped when I first learned barr chords. Set your fingers and pick each string to see that it is ringing and not muffled. Adjust fingers until each string sounds properly. I also found that if I roll my index finger slightly toward the head stock they work better for me. Finally like a couple already said adjust the guitar so your fretting hand is fairly high. More important to sound and play good than to look good. Jim

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#2957070 - 11/09/18 08:29 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: jimmac]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
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Hey, Jim, I like that you extend such blind faith to some of us cats you never heard ! grin
& JM offers some good advice as well. thu
--------------------------
I finally heard the vid...Not bad advice as much as kinda pointless.

An exercise in simply holding the fretting hand's position ignores a point made just above---that you need to carefully assess how well yer achieving what you intend, i.e., does the chord ring clearly.
Just holding the shape doesn't do that &, in fact, if yer playing a song, you'll prolly perform the same effort as the exercise he proposed multiple times through the song.
Most arrangements using barre chord involve such chords in more than 1 form or place & many simple rock tunes are all barre chords.

I also note that in the section where that cat's playing the series of Maj & chords, he wasn't even playing them as barres ! grin
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#2957178 - 11/10/18 04:28 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: d]
whitefang Offline
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Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Finger strength?

Well, I did mention also a rubber ball, bean bag, stress ball and other simple( and inexpensive) devices that can be used anywhere and anytime, negating the need for time and space for pulling out your guitar.

There IS no one specific "routine" for practicing barre chords that's written in stone, one could easily come up with their OWN routine that works best for THEM. wink
Whitefang
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#2957215 - 11/10/18 08:39 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: whitefang]
p90jr Offline
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When I was a kid learning to play, before I'd really tackled barre chords, the guy at the music store my dad was working in for the summer where I'd pop in needing a string every other day decided to string my guitar with .008s instead of going heavier like I asked. He made sure there was no wear at the bridge and set it up... and it was incredibly easy to play!!! It was a Les Paul copy, so imagine that scale length with .008 gauge sets and how easy it was to fret and bend.

I did work my way up to .011s over the years, but after that I was convinced that beginners having heavier gauge strings (and guitars with high action) is a pity. The other day a bandmate picked up one of my guitars, an acoustic, and said "man your guitars are so easy to play!" And I said guitars should be easy to play and I don't understand the people who insist "no, you need to fight it when you play!"

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#2957216 - 11/10/18 08:49 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: d]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 7043
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Originally Posted By: d

I also note that in the section where that cat's playing the series of Maj & chords, he wasn't even playing them as barres ! grin

As one may wonder, "What's a Maj & chord ?!"
It's what ya get when ya try to type "Maj 7" but somehow hit the shift key for the 7. facepalm

Quote:

There IS no one specific "routine" for practicing barre chords that's written in stone, one could easily come up with their OWN routine that works best for THEM.

While that's kinda sorta true, there are things that work better than others for most ppl &, vitally, while a highly idiosyncratic approach may work sometimes, it can also be detrimental in the long run.
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#2957236 - 11/10/18 10:38 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: d]
Larryz Offline
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Posts: 11487
Loc: Northern California
I noticed those Maj7ths lacking a barre too d! (especially when the video is about building strength for your barre chords LOL!)...but, I knew what you were referring to. Thanks for clearing it up though! thu
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#2957325 - Yesterday at 03:32 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 11102
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I might ask just for fun(or rather, making fun wink ) ;...

"HOW'D we ever LEARN to PLAY guitar BEFORE Youtube ? wink

Plus too, talk about possible DETRIMENT! freak
Whitefang


Edited by whitefang (Yesterday at 03:33 AM)
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#2957340 - Yesterday at 07:47 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11487
Loc: Northern California
I find YouTube a very valuable resource and wish we had something like it when I was 13 or so...there are so many things to learn. I like seeing the OP ask if the YT lesson is a good one and would suggest he look at several YT clips and other sites before settling on finger exercises. If this one helps, that's a good thing. If his fingers get sore that's a detriment. I could see no harm in the guys method but there are other teachers out there that might have better ideas. I agree with d, just play/practice the tunes using barre chords and you'll get the exercise that is needed. cool
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#2957426 - Today at 04:08 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 11102
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Well, all I can say to that response is...

"ZOOM!" wink
Whitefang
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#2957457 - Today at 08:30 AM Re: Is this a good routine for practising bar chords? [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11487
Loc: Northern California
rimshot
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