Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

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Tom Poore
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Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby Tom Poore » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:01 am

This article is intended for beginners tackling the dreaded bar chord:

http://www.pooretom.com/learningbarchord.html

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby Larry McDonald » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:00 am

Brilliant!
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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:16 am

A good reminder Tom, thanks.

I've already forwarded the link to several of my students

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Tom Poore
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby Tom Poore » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:34 am

This is easier to demonstrate in person than to describe in a written article. I ought to make a short video. Someday I’ll get around to it.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
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Sandan
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby Sandan » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:47 pm

Tom Poore wrote:This is easier to demonstrate in person than to describe in a written article. I ought to make a short video. Someday I’ll get around to it.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA


I thought you might be able to help me. I've never had any problems with bar chords before; but, as I get older and the fingers are swelling, the half-barred positions cause problems when the strings are in the cracks behind the knuckles. Any suggestions?
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Luis_Br
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby Luis_Br » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:27 pm

Great exercise. I use this every time when practicing a piece or difficult passages, even with no bars, but with difficult finger work or extensions. I start playing left hand "pizzicato" and pay attention to finger placement and careful movements that can be anticipated in between (LH preparation). When this is mastered I gradually apply pressure, sometimes playing staccato or maybe buzzing a bit, before reaching the required final pressure and legato.
Another useful exercise is to learn finger 1 nodes independence. I mean, learning to press only tip, or only in the middle, or only in the base of the finger, while releasing/relaxing the other parts of the same finger. This enhances internal control for minimum required pressure for each bar part, both enabling applying pressure more to the required parts, or also giving more kinaesthetic perception and control when full bar is required. You have to feel the different pressure each string requires. Like in this F chord example, you can press strings 1 and 2 with finger 1 base, release finger 1 center (maybe arch it a bit if your finger is long) and press string 6 only with the tip.

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Luuttuaja
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby Luuttuaja » Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:40 pm

Thanks, this might be some good advice for me!

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guitarrista
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby guitarrista » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:19 pm

Great advice!
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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby spanishguitarmusic » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:37 pm

Thank you so much for this link! I already read it and will certainly apply it to my playing! I am a beginner after all and any help is appreciated!

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Tom Poore
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Re: Trouble Learning Bar Chords? Try This

Postby Tom Poore » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:13 am

Luis_Br wrote:Another useful exercise is to learn finger 1 nodes independence. I mean, learning to press only tip, or only in the middle, or only in the base of the finger, while releasing/relaxing the other parts of the same finger. This enhances internal control for minimum required pressure for each bar part, both enabling applying pressure more to the required parts, or also giving more kinaesthetic perception and control when full bar is required. You have to feel the different pressure each string requires. Like in this F chord example, you can press strings 1 and 2 with finger 1 base, release finger 1 center (maybe arch it a bit if your finger is long) and press string 6 only with the tip.

Saw David Russell describe this in a masterclass. I’ve been teaching it ever since to students who are beyond the first stage of learning bar chords.

Here’s another good way to work on minimizing left hand pressure. Fret a note with any left hand finger and begin playing it repeatedly. As you play this note, gradually release left hand pressure until the note starts to buzz. Then gradually increase left hand pressure until the note stops buzzing. You need not increase left hand pressure beyond the point where the buzzing stops. Any pressure increase beyond this point is excessive and wasted effort. With practice, you should be able to make the buzz come and go with only a slight variation in left hand pressure. You can practice this with any finger, on any string.

What I love about this experiment is that it gives accurate feedback for all circumstances. Whether you have strong or weak hands, whether you’re playing a hard action steel string dreadnought or an Les Paul with Ernie Ball Super Slinks, you automatically get a precise answer for how much left hand pressure you need.

(In response to some critiques, I’ve expanded my article a bit.)

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA


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