I Hate Barre Chords!

A "classroom" environment for exchanging Technical Questions & Answers, How-To's, music theory concepts, etc.
brianvds

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby brianvds » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:11 am

I am still confused. Cherubini wrote: "I think the best exercise on this thread is the four-note bar moved up and down the fret board from 6 to 1 and back to 6."

So it seems he means one should shift the chord itself from fret six to fret 1 and back to 6.

But the exercise as originally described seems to mean hold the chord in one position while playing the strings from 6 to 1 and back again.

So which of the two is it, or does it actually not matter much?

I have tried it out a bit; it is murder on the left hand, but that is of course the whole point if one is trying to develop a bit of stamina in the hand. As noted before, my life is currently in such chaos that I simply do not have time for regular practice sessions, so the whole thing is on ice for the next month or two, but after I have created a bit of order in my existence I want to take this up again, because my inability to cleanly play so much as a single barre chord is now beginning to prevent me from progressing beyond beginners' pieces.

User avatar
Sobers
Posts: 369
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:25 am
Location: Kolkata (Calcutta), India

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby Sobers » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:18 am

Yes, you are right ................. hold the chord and play it clearly, 6th string to 1st string and back to 6th.

brianvds wrote:I have tried it out a bit; it is murder on the left hand


Ha Ha ......... yeah, you are doing it correctly now.
After one week it will be smooth & after 3 weeks it will be water-rice.

If it hurts, STOP ....... breathe ....... and proceed again.
Play it in a count game .......... Count the beats loudly 1-2-3-4/5-6-7-8/9-10-11-12 ............ etc.
Try to play it until you count 48. After 5 mins double it ....... go like this.
Don't stop within this count. The counting will channelise your energy and deviate your concentration from the left hand so you will feel less or no pain.

After you practice this for a month try the SPIDER excercise ....... then you can make it move down the frets, to make it interesting and later with a barre.
That will be a movable barre study.

Take care of the position of your left hand thumb so the exercise results in a superb technique.

Sobers

User avatar
dng
Posts: 780
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:32 pm
Location: Orange County, Ca.

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby dng » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:06 pm

Romanza has some hard to do barre, so is Sor Op.35,No22 in b minor,,,

I would suggest Tarrega Study in E minor Delcamp (D04-82).. some barre but that hard...
"Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.”
-Frederic Chopin

brianvds

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby brianvds » Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:32 am

dng wrote:Romanza has some hard to do barre, so is Sor Op.35,No22 in b minor,,,

I would suggest Tarrega Study in E minor Delcamp (D04-82).. some barre but that hard...


I can sort of play that one, though I tend to get the barres all wrong. ;-)

User avatar
dng
Posts: 780
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:32 pm
Location: Orange County, Ca.

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby dng » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:33 pm

brianvds wrote:I can sort of play that one, though I tend to get the barres all wrong. ;-)


what do you mean all wrong?.. the sound is weak or mute with the barre?

this piece is one of the easiest piece to learn the barre, only 2 barre, slow tempo. Search YT for Samantha Muir, she played it lovely...

Regarding the barre in general, here are my observations:

- the muscle between the thumb and the index finger on the left hand. It must be strong. Exercising it by pressing a small ball between the thumb and the index finger will help.

- the transition from the position before the barre into the barre itself. It must be smooth and precise..

- the length of the barre. For a beginner this can make the left hand sore or tired very fast. Only practice can help. Romanza and Sor opus 35 #22 has medium to long barre. In the Tarrega Study in E minor the barre are short, ideal for beginner.

good luck,
"Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.”
-Frederic Chopin

brianvds

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby brianvds » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:00 am

dng wrote:
brianvds wrote:I can sort of play that one, though I tend to get the barres all wrong. ;-)


what do you mean all wrong?.. the sound is weak or mute with the barre?


All manner of things go wrong. I basically cannot press down the barre strongly enough to get a clean sound out of it. Or I get the rest of the fingers wrong.

this piece is one of the easiest piece to learn the barre, only 2 barre, slow tempo.


Definitely far easier than the Sor B minor study, but I still can't get it right. I'll have to start with something even easier.

lan_cho

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby lan_cho » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:20 am

Haha.....
Yeah that's a bit difficult to learn barre chord

User avatar
60moo
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:35 am
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby 60moo » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:36 am

brianvds wrote:All manner of things go wrong. I basically cannot press down the barre strongly enough to get a clean sound out of it. Or I get the rest of the fingers wrong.

Brian - is it possible that your guitar's action has crept up over time?

I had those same symptoms on my very first guitar. I'd never ever had a problem with barres on it, but within a relatively short time, it became impossible to play anything other than the simplest of chords. As soon as I switched to a lower action guitar, the problem was solved. If you can walk into a guitar shop to try out some other guitars, this should at least confirm (or rule out) your guitar as the culprit.

User avatar
dng
Posts: 780
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:32 pm
Location: Orange County, Ca.

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby dng » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:59 pm

these are 2 thing for some who has problem with barre..

- using medium or low tension strings

- have the guitar checked for lowering the action a bit

and of course perseverance.. practice..practice.. practice..
"Nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two.”
-Frederic Chopin

tree-hugger
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:10 am
Location: Wollongong, Australia

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby tree-hugger » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:48 am

dng wrote:these are 2 thing for some who has problem with barre..

- using medium or low tension strings

- have the guitar checked for lowering the action a bit

and of course perseverance.. practice..practice.. practice..


I would add in a third thing to check, and that is the crowning of the frets. Make sure they are nicely rounded on top instead of flat. It took me several weeks to realise why one of my guitars was so much more difficult to get clean barres on than the other.

Once I realised the frets on the difficult to barre guitar were flat I purchased the gear to do some fret re-crowning, re-crowned the frets, problem solved (well, vastly reduced).

George.

brianvds

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby brianvds » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:38 am

60moo wrote:
brianvds wrote:All manner of things go wrong. I basically cannot press down the barre strongly enough to get a clean sound out of it. Or I get the rest of the fingers wrong.

Brian - is it possible that your guitar's action has crept up over time?

I had those same symptoms on my very first guitar. I'd never ever had a problem with barres on it, but within a relatively short time, it became impossible to play anything other than the simplest of chords. As soon as I switched to a lower action guitar, the problem was solved. If you can walk into a guitar shop to try out some other guitars, this should at least confirm (or rule out) your guitar as the culprit.


I have tried out some other guitars - same problem on all of them. The real problem is that I have not been practicing enough, due to lack of time. I hope to solve this problem in the next month or two. Until then I'll stick to easy pieces.

BWDickson

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby BWDickson » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:49 am

Hello Brian,
I recommend that you purchase or otherwise obtain a copy of "The Art of Classical Guitar Playing" by Charles Duncan. In this book he provides a very complete treatment of all aspects of playing the classical guitar and the fundamentals of the Barre chord are on pages 17 thru 20. This is a book for serious study and will require some measure of dedication and is well worth the price. Good luck to you.

Bernie

User avatar
lagartija
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9490
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby lagartija » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:25 am

Welcome to Delcamp forum, Bernie!
Perhaps you could take the time to introduce yourself to the forum here and get a true Delcamp welcome. To learn more about this forum and its rules, please have a look at our welcome page.

It sounds like you have some experience you can share with members of the forum....
Hope to read your intro post soon. :wink:
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

brianvds

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby brianvds » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:01 am

60moo wrote:
brianvds wrote:All manner of things go wrong. I basically cannot press down the barre strongly enough to get a clean sound out of it. Or I get the rest of the fingers wrong.

Brian - is it possible that your guitar's action has crept up over time?

I had those same symptoms on my very first guitar. I'd never ever had a problem with barres on it, but within a relatively short time, it became impossible to play anything other than the simplest of chords. As soon as I switched to a lower action guitar, the problem was solved. If you can walk into a guitar shop to try out some other guitars, this should at least confirm (or rule out) your guitar as the culprit.


Hmm, I'll have to check on this, but I'm not sure what exactly is meant by the action creeping up? You mean the strings are too high above the fretboard? But why would that happen?

There is definitely something wrong somewhere, because I find that even barres I could sort of play some months ago I no longer can. I tried the method on that one video that was posted ion this thread, which is to say to start out with only the barring finger. I simply cannot keep that finger straight enough to get a clean sound. Especially on the second and third strings I get only dull thuds. When I am still fresh I can get a few clean notes, but within ten seconds or so the barring finger is so tired it simply won't stay flat and straight against the fretboard anymore, and for the rest of the session I can no longer get clean sound.

How do I check for the guitar's action?

I think it might be something with my hand though. Over the past months I have spent relatively long hours working at the computer. The chair I sit on has arm rests, and my left elbow tends to rest on it. I think I pinched a nerve in that elbow, because there is nowadays a sort of numbness in the little finger on my left hand, and it is if the hand has weakened. As I said, even things I could play before now suddenly seem completely out of my reach.

User avatar
60moo
Posts: 1789
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:35 am
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: I Hate Barre Chords!

Postby 60moo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:31 am

Brian - yes, you're right about the 'action' meaning to be the height of strings above the frets.

If the action is low, hardly any pressure will be required to produce a lovely clean sound. If the action is high, you'll need a lot of force with both your index barre finger, and the others to get a clean sound. Sometimes those others will miss the strings altogether. This happened on my aging cheapo Andorra Classic - perhaps the neck or soundboard bowed over time.


Return to “Classical Guitar Classes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot], JohnB and 8 guests