"Hinge barre" advice / tips

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Jussi
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Location: Devon, UK

"Hinge barre" advice / tips

Post by Jussi » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:54 pm

Hi all,

I'm attempting to smooth out the "hinge barre" technique (where, for example, one frets a note on the 1st string with the base of the index finger, as in a regular barre, but with the tip of the index finger away from the fingerboard to allow notes on unfretted strings 1-5 to sound. The tip of the index finger can then drop down to the fingerboard to form a complete barre).

I think it is a fairly common technique (I may have the name wrong, though I hope I explained what I mean well enough!) and something I've used from time to time which is becoming more and more useful as I attempt more complex music.

I find that it becomes unstable depending on which part of the index finger I use on the 1st string. If, for example, I use the part of the index finger which would naturally fret the 1st string in a partial barre (e.g. strings 1-4) I often fail to get a clear note when the 'hinge' is raised. Might I be better off using a kind of 'go to' part of the index finger to ensure a consistent note with the 'hinge' open (as opposed to whichever part of the finger I'd usually use for the resultant barre)?

It'd be great to hear your experiences / general advice / words of wisdom on this technique.

Thanks,
Jussi

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David Norton
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Re: "Hinge barre" advice / tips

Post by David Norton » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:30 am

I always use the base of my index finger, the part which would contact (1) were I to use a full 6-string barré. It works well for me. Not sure I could get the necessary leverage trying to place the finger-hinge further up the finger as you describe....
David Norton
Salt Lake City, UT

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lagartija
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Re: "Hinge barre" advice / tips

Post by lagartija » Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:48 pm

When doing a hinge barre, I sometimes choose a lower position (toward the palm) on my finger than I would usually. I may get a better sound from the high e string and not have one of the lower strings fall in a joint crease. Then, sometimes that doesn’t work. Each situation is different and I have never found a barre position that works in all cases. If I pick up a guitar with a different string spacing, what works on one guitar for buzz free clean notes doesn’t necessarily work on another.
If you have boney thin fingers, this is an ongoing problem. :-)
If you have fleshy fingers, maybe it is less of a problem.
When the sun shines, bask.
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Rognvald
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Re: "Hinge barre" advice / tips

Post by Rognvald » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:30 pm

J,
Physical hand size also is a factor. If you have large hands, you will have a much easier time executing clean barre chords than if your hands are smaller. You will have greater overall leverage. Players with smaller hands must find the best compromise for each situation, as Lagartija mentioned, and adjust accordingly. Practically, there will be some instances where you will not be able to get a truly clean sound. Sometimes, you can use another voicing to get the same result. In any case, you should incorporate barre exercises into your daily warm-up routine. I hope this helps. Playing again . . .Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Jussi
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:26 pm
Location: Devon, UK

Re: "Hinge barre" advice / tips

Post by Jussi » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:22 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone, it's seems like a point of contact lower on the index finger is generally what to aim for with slight adjustments depending on the particular passage. I'm getting there, sounds a little more consistent already! I can certainly see the use in in certain situations in terms of keeping the top voice musical with the minimum of left hand acrobatics.

Thanks again, it's great to have access to the experience of a group of other musicians, much appreciated!

Jussi

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