I Hate Barre Chords!

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brianvds

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby brianvds » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:54 pm

Blondie wrote:
brianvds wrote: I have been practicing that bit for almost a year now and can still not get it right. Thus I see long hours of very frustrating practice ahead... ;-)


Yep, that's what is going to happen unless you do the one thing that no-one seems to be advising - get a teacher! You need one-to-one help with this to get at the root of your problems. Even if you have to travel, its worth it to sort out basics. i used to make a two hour trip for flamenco lessons and would happily do the same again if need be.

The idea of hacking away at one shift for a whole year and getting nowhere is just such a depressing waste of time and if anything is probably doing you more harm than good as you are inevitably practicing the same incorrect technique over and over. Practice makes permanant, not perfect - you have to study intelligently to troubleshoot problem areas and if you hit a brick wall, get expert help.


Alas, I cannot remotely afford it.

You are of course right that practice makes permanent. I try to avoid this by not just practicing the wrong notes over and over. What I do with that difficult shift is to slow down as much as necessary to get it right, and then I practice it at that slow speed over and over until I can consistently get it right at that tempo. Then I slowly increase the tempo. Well before I reach the correct tempo I cannot get it right anymore. Or after a day or two of work on it I get it right, but a week later I am back precisely where I started again. Part of the problem is perhaps simply that I have very little time for practice - with or without a teacher I am not likely to ever progress much beyond lower intermediate level, because I am lucky if I can get as much as half an hour per day for practice.

All the grief you have with barre chords for so long as well...a teacher really is the only sensible option, you owe it to yourself. Just reading your posts about the Sor B minor study, I will bet that you are trying a to hold a barre where you don't need to for example, which is just one thing making that study harder than it needs to be.


I am using an edition with fingerings by Frederick Noad (and it includes tab, just to avoid any possible confusion), so I am probably not doing that part all that far wrong.

You seem convinced its all about strength and stamina in the right hand, well at advanced level there is some repertoire that demands a little of that, but it builds on getting the basics right. Finger independence is certainly a factor, you are right there, but the harder you squeeze the more independent control becomes compromised. Tension is the independence killer.


So I noticed. As I mentioned in a previous post, the bit of advice about first positioning the non-barre fingers and leaving the barre for last seems to help quite a bit, partly because it removes the tension and makes it easier to move the fingers independently. But I haven't investigated this much - due to job responsibilities I have not had any time to practice at all for days on end now.

choctawchas
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Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby choctawchas » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:19 pm

it is possible that through injury or genetics that the tendons or soft tissues in the lefthand cannot support barring.
so no amount of force of will or good technical advice will help you. have you hand a professional look at your hand?
Oliver Moore 2012
Miles Henderson Smith 2012

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Blondie
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Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby Blondie » Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:54 pm

brianvds wrote:Alas, I cannot remotely afford it.


What did you get for Christmas? What about your last birthday? What can you sell that's less important to you than guitar playing? How many lessons would all that buy instead? If two or three lessons helped you crack the barre chords problem (and no doubt several other things), what would that be worth to you, given the payback and enjoyent you would get in the long run?

These are of course highly personal questions and I don't expect you to answer in a public forum, but for me, the issues of both finances for the guitar and available practice time come down to my priorities and what I want out of life. I have to make sacrifices.

magno.bento

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby magno.bento » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:09 pm

During last year I was trying to learn some parts of Bach's Chaconne and one of the first measures included a Bb Major that required a barre on the first fret. Everytime I came across that barre the notes failed and there were some buzz notes.

As I wasn't solving that problem by myself I scheduled a class with my teacher one week later. When I presented that problem he just suggested me a simple change of the presentation of the left hand to perform the barre and it was enough to make everything work perfectly. He also brougth me some specific exercises to work over that weak point.

Due to my busy schedule I don't have classes regularly but everytime I have a problem like that I try to schedule a class with my teacher. It's more productive.

sxdcfv

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby sxdcfv » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:16 pm

Try over extending the first finger for the barre. In other words overshoot the tip of the 1st finger so that it's extended beyond the bass side of the neck. That creates a more secure barre (at least that works for me and is a little 'trick' my teacher showed me when I was having problems with a barre chord).

magno.bento

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby magno.bento » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:43 pm

It worked for me too!

This week I'm working on Lágrima (Francisco Tárrega) and the first part of the piece require a little sequence of barres that serves as an excellent exercise.

Another useful exercise for barres is the lesson 25 of book 2 by Julio Sagreras. There's a simple sequence of barres and the main objective of the lesson is to maintain the evenness of the sound across the arpegios, some of them with barres.

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Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby Alicia » Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:38 pm

It took me a year and a half to learn the first line of Mistress Winter's Jump because of the barre. I did have a teacher and knew what I was trying to do but it was still hard. Once I'd got it though (clean) I found the second line - which has a variation on the first barre much easier. Since then I've started working on two other pieces with barre and a half barre and now at least I know they're possible for me. Eventually.

I think my breakthrough came from committing myself to having to roll the back of my hand slightly towards the nut. This is eventually going to lead me to meet frets I cannot reach while successfully holding the barre but then that's life.
_..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__..--''(__

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Sobers
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Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby Sobers » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:54 pm

Hating barre chords ....... and learning Classical ....... Hee! hee! hee! :)

My way was easier because at first I used to sing with the guitar than playing solo so I never realized how I made myself learn the chords but it was very fast, the first two weeks were hard and that's it.

Now, may i add a simple process I teach my students to master barre chords?

It is very simple .......... just hold a barre chord like G or A or the spider E and play the strings with your right hand thumb, (all downstrokes if plectrum is used)

like ....
6666 - 5555 - 4444 - 3333 - 2222 - 1111 now again ......
1111 - 2222 - 3333 - 4444 - 5555 - 6666 ...... go on practicing this, it will feel pain if this is new to you.

Remember, the notes must ring like bells and must be crystal clear. The meathod is painstaking because you have to use a constant pressure of your left hand fingers so stop if you can't tolerate. The pain will go within few seconds now start again. Go on like this.
Don't touch any sheet music until you can do this easily for 15 minutes.
(Tell me how does it feel)

The solution is guaranteed.


Sobers

brianvds

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby brianvds » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:53 am

Sobers wrote:Now, may i add a simple process I teach my students to master barre chords?

It is very simple .......... just hold a barre chord like G or A or the spider E and play the strings with your right hand thumb, (all downstrokes if plectrum is used)

like ....
6666 - 5555 - 4444 - 3333 - 2222 - 1111 now again ......
1111 - 2222 - 3333 - 4444 - 5555 - 6666 ...... go on practicing this, it will feel pain if this is new to you.

Remember, the notes must ring like bells and must be crystal clear. The meathod is painstaking because you have to use a constant pressure of your left hand fingers so stop if you can't tolerate. The pain will go within few seconds now start again. Go on like this.
Don't touch any sheet music until you can do this easily for 15 minutes.
(Tell me how does it feel)

The solution is guaranteed.


Sobers


What I like about your solution is its simplicity. Gotta say though that one of my very big problems is smoothly changing from one barre chord to another. You have any exercises for that?
Last edited by brianvds on Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sobers
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Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby Sobers » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:26 am

Thanks for your appreciation,

About your problem of changing barre chords, you can do it very slowly.

First you write down few chords (preferably 8 chords in one bar) on a paper and play them very slowly. When the positions and the previous technique is mastered then you can use a metronome, .......... set it in a low tempo and then start playing those learned 8 chords one in each beat. (The chords must be accented if played in off beat)
Change chord vocabulary and practice this for 10 mins at a stress, don't stop within any practice period. After 10 mins take rest of about 2 mins and start again.

Then also you can practice a Spider technique for left hand.
You will need only two strings to play with your four fingers in this exercise.

1) Take the 5th and the 6th and get to nut position.

2) The whole exercise is only of 4 beat

3) Play 1st beat - 5th string 1st fret and 6th string 2nd fret with i and p. Keep your left hand fingers placed there.

4) By not removing the two fingers from their position now play 2nd beat - 5th st. 3rd ft. and 6th st. 4th ft. with your ring finger and little finger. (again with i and p)
Remove the fingers to play the 3rd and the 4th beat.

5) Now 3rd beat - 6th st. 1st fret and 5th st. 2nd fret. Don't remove them.

6) Now 4th beat - 6th st. 3rd fret and 5th st. 4th fret again with p and i

7) Play the exercise for 10 mins. You will see it looks like a spider movement.

Master this technique and then after few days change the strings to 6th and 4th …….. it will be difficult then after few weeks change them to 6th and 3rd …….. feel the difference.

Now, if you have mastered these techniques you transfer this exercise to the bar spider …….. i.e. keep the bar with the first finger and work the other fingers like the previous one.

I hope it will help

Sobers

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bergmann
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Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby bergmann » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:21 pm

I have always used bars a lot, but I have to reconsider my use after seeing this video yesterday where William Kanengiser talk on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxW-IRzMbEk&feature=related .

His is right about the tension.

Is there a trend here? When you see Segovia play, his index finger lies ready as a kind of permanent bar. And I have the feeling, that arrangers used bars more in the 60-70th than they do today. I have had a pause from playing at round 20 years, and I think that there is this difference or development in the technique used. For example, Mr. Delcamp arrangements - he tends to use bar less than I do.

But back to the question, like all other techniques, mastering bars takes patience and insistence.

brianvds

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby brianvds » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:12 am

Sobers wrote:Master this technique and then after few days change the strings to 6th and 4th …….. it will be difficult then after few weeks change them to 6th and 3rd …….. feel the difference.

Now, if you have mastered these techniques you transfer this exercise to the bar spider …….. i.e. keep the bar with the first finger and work the other fingers like the previous one.

I hope it will help

Sobers


Thanks, I'll go try out some of these ideas and see if I can make them work.

cmrl

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby cmrl » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:39 am

Trying to play barre chords on a classical guitar makes one appreciate more the genius of Leo Fender.

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bergmann
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Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby bergmann » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:15 am

Trying to play barre chords on a classical guitar makes one appreciate more the genius of Leo Fender.

Back in the 70th's Dieter Hopf build a concert guitar with curved fretboard like a fender. I played it for a month and liked it very much. The owner later got the fretboard replaced with an ordinary flat one. But I remember that it was a pleasure to play bars on that guitar.

Orion

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby Orion » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:35 pm

on the 9th measure, I come across the dreaded barre chord


Romance actually has some pretty difficult barre chords for the beginner/early intermediate player, and this one in particular is difficult. I've been playing for about 3.5 years and can barre happily on other pieces (e.g. Sor's Bm) but this one is causing me difficulty as well. I'm slowly getting there and probably only have to practice it another 200 times before I finally get it :D

All I'm saying is that this is a pretty advance barre for the beginner/early intermediate player so don't beat yourself up too much if you're not getting on with it too well at the moment. It requires a fair bit of strength and technique to keep it clean and fluid.

The Romance piece generally is a difficult piece and in my view is often wrongly classified as an easy piece. In fact it is a solid intermediate level piece which requires a huge amount of work and practice by the early intermediate player to make it sound fluid and clean (Noad himself says exactly the same on this in his Book One).

Maybe think about working on some easier barre pieces/exercises in parallel.


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