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Thread: OT: Guitar Players

  1. #1
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    OT: Guitar Players

    Was looking for tips on playing Barre Cords. Been at it for a few days now.

  2. #2
    Jets Insider VIP
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    Bar Chords? The only hard part is training your index finger to stay down on all the strings. Must be a thousand good sites on the net to help you. As your ability and dexterity improves, you can rely less on strumming chords.

  3. #3
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    There are two potential problems you may be having. One, you need to make sure that your index finger is down solidly on all the strings you are barring - 5 or 6 depending on the chord. Try to strum while you are just barring with your index finger to determine if you have pressure on all of the strings.

    Second, make sure that your other three fingers are not leaning and muting other strings.

    Third, practice on an electric. Acoustics (particularly Martin's) have higher action and are more difficult to bar.

    Finally, have your guitar checked out to see if your neck is bowing. This may also make it harder for you to bar.

    You will get the hang of it after a while. Now, who do you think we are taking in the draft?

  4. #4
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    practice practice practice

    soon you'll be playing crunchy Nirvana riffs just like a pro.

    Oh, and I have the opposite advice on the acoustic...learn to keep you fingers clear on an acoustic and the gain on an electric will hide a lot of sloppiness.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=Rambler]
    Third, practice on an electric. Acoustics (particularly Martin's) have higher action and are more difficult to bar.[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, but I think the opposite is true. Practice on an acoustic and an electric will feel like butter. Practice on an electric and your hands will never be strong enough to play an acoustic.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=NEJetFromLI]Was looking for tips on playing Barre Cords. Been at it for a few days now.[/QUOTE]

    I disagree with some of what's been posted here. Firstly, getting it right on an acoustic will guarantee you'll never have a problem on the electric. Secondly, don't kill yourself trying to depress every string on the bar for each chord. On major chords with the 6th string root you only need to depress the first, second, and sixth string. For the minor, only the first, second, third, and sixth. With roots on the fifth string, you need to concern yourself with barring using the ring finger, not the index. But even then you're only ever really barring the second, third, and fourth strings.
    It's intimidating and discouraging at first, but practice and you'll get it. You'll look back on this and laugh at how much trouble you first had.

  7. #7
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    [B]soon you'll be playing crunchy Nirvana riffs just like a pro.[/B]

    yeah, nirvana riffs are really tough to play. :rolleyes:

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    [QUOTE=Boozer76]Sorry, but I think the opposite is true. Practice on an acoustic and an electric will feel like butter. Practice on an electric and your hands will never be strong enough to play an acoustic.[/QUOTE]


    :yes:

    start off acoustic. you'll be a better guitar player in the long run, trust boozer/me - he's right on with this.

    you're right hand is the most important thing about playing the guitar.(insert smartass comments about "right hand") :D

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=Buffboy]practice practice practice

    soon you'll be playing crunchy Nirvana riffs just like a pro.

    Oh, and I have the opposite advice on the acoustic...learn to keep you fingers clear on an acoustic and the gain on an electric will hide a lot of sloppiness.[/QUOTE]


    or, practice on acoustic until its perfect and then you dont have to hide behind distortion. :yes:

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    Thanks to all for the advice. The book I'm using said to roll my finger to the side, makes it easier to Bar. Sticking with acoustic as that's all I have. Have played electric but wanted to master acoustic first. Occasionally, I get good sound just from barring without forming the cord. Hard to imagine getting comfortable doing this but sounds possible I guess. :D

    Anyone have a comment on using the side of my finger, vs. the underside??

    Thanks again.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=NEJetFromLI]Thanks to all for the advice. The book I'm using said to roll my finger to the side, makes it easier to Bar. Sticking with acoustic as that's all I have. Have played electric but wanted to master acoustic first. Occasionally, I get good sound just from barring without forming the cord. Hard to imagine getting comfortable doing this but sounds possible I guess. :D

    Anyone have a comment on using the side of my finger, vs. the underside??

    Thanks again.[/QUOTE]

    What part of your finger you use depends on which chord form you're using although the difference is very small. The important thing is to make sure that your finger is as close to the fret as possible so it's in tune with the rest of the strings you're playing.
    Much as I love this, why is it in the football forum?

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Enrique Pallazzo]Much as I love this, why is it in the football forum?[/QUOTE]I was waiting for someone to say that. I think he got his answers, so you guys can continue this in the proper forum.

  13. #13
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    Must have drum machine or metronome

    This will make the effect of practicing barre chords more musical.

    Tak a basic drum or rhythm pattern and use your index finger (add the other fingers when you are comfortable) to press down in various degrees of power or strength on the strings. Try to make it musical. (You aren't in front of an audience yet, so let the depressing mistakes go)

    This will build your stamina and musicality.

    The only time not to use a steady beat is when you are watching tv. You can do your exercises as above while 'zoned out' in front of tube, as it's just "muscle memory"

    Practice 5 minutes a day dedicated to the process with steady beat and you will improve and confidence will grow as well. Then you can take the rest of your time to learn songs, riffs etc. You will improve quickly.

    I have been playing 30 years, and I currently play Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Coltrane, Eric Johnson, as well as any rock tune ever recorded.

    I know this will help. I've proved it.

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    [QUOTE=WestCoastOffensive]This will make the effect of practicing barre chords more musical.

    Tak a basic drum or rhythm pattern and use your index finger (add the other fingers when you are comfortable) to press down in various degrees of power or strength on the strings. Try to make it musical. (You aren't in front of an audience yet, so let the depressing mistakes go)

    This will build your stamina and musicality.

    The only time not to use a steady beat is when you are watching tv. You can do your exercises as above while 'zoned out' in front of tube, as it's just "muscle memory"

    Practice 5 minutes a day dedicated to the process with steady beat and you will improve and confidence will grow as well. Then you can take the rest of your time to learn songs, riffs etc. You will improve quickly.

    I have been playing 30 years, and I currently play Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Coltrane, Eric Johnson, as well as any rock tune ever recorded.

    I know this will help. I've proved it.[/QUOTE]

    The metronome was great in learning scales and gaining dexterity. That's great advice, WCO.

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=WestCoastOffensive]This will make the effect of practicing barre chords more musical.

    Tak a basic drum or rhythm pattern and use your index finger (add the other fingers when you are comfortable) to press down in various degrees of power or strength on the strings. Try to make it musical. (You aren't in front of an audience yet, so let the depressing mistakes go)

    This will build your stamina and musicality.

    The only time not to use a steady beat is when you are watching tv. You can do your exercises as above while 'zoned out' in front of tube, as it's just "muscle memory"

    Practice 5 minutes a day dedicated to the process with steady beat and you will improve and confidence will grow as well. Then you can take the rest of your time to learn songs, riffs etc. You will improve quickly.

    I have been playing 30 years, and I currently play Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Coltrane, Eric Johnson, as well as any rock tune ever recorded.

    I know this will help. I've proved it.[/QUOTE]

    I just bought a metronome so that should work. As far as using it (was trying to follow what you said), do you mean, follow the beat, pressing and releasing the index finger (in varying degrees of strength), in accordance with the beat?

    Thanks again.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=NEJetFromLI]I just bought a metronome so that should work. As far as using it (was trying to follow what you said), do you mean, follow the beat, pressing and releasing the index finger (in varying degrees of strength), in accordance with the beat?

    Thanks again.[/QUOTE]

    Entirely correct. HOLD the barre for a count of four (1...2...3...4) and release for a count of four. Repeat this for FIVE minutes, then see how you feel. This preparation is invaluable. Hardly anyone does this, which is why jam sessions with novices sound grating. You will move to the front of the pack by dedication to this practice.

    When I learn a Wes Montgomery tune, I take the chords, and practice very slowly for several minutes. I practice maybe 20 minutes a day on this stuff. I "play" the other 40-90 minutes that day. Within a week I am playing up to speed.

    The pulse or tempo is magic for guitar players!!!!!!!!! USE IT!


    IMPORTANT POINT:

    The difference between Metronome and Drum machine is significant.

    the 'nome provides a pulse-click...click...click...click

    the machine provides a replica of what a drummer would play:
    boom BAP..boom boom Bap <repeat>

    A clever way to get comfortable with the 'nome is to SING the lyrics or hum the melody (ALWAYS use your favorite songs!!!) while trying different tempos. You will be able to hear or feel when you are dragging or rushing the beat. You will get better at this, so stay positive!

    (This will bring tempo or pulse into your consciousness, the effect being that you will know when you are "off" BEFORE someone else does. This is invaluable for confidence in playing with others, and for improving)

    I used a 'nome for years b4 I got a drum machine...it is just as good, but you need to take this step, which will become automatic over a cuople of weeks

    Print this out and take your time (pardon the pun!). You're on your way.

  17. #17
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    Practice on a bass! Heh, heh...I play bass and bar the cr*p out of chords on it. If you can do that, any acoustic guitar, even one with action that's higher than Snoop Dogg will feel like it's a stick of butter.

    In all seriousness though, WestCoastOffensive has given some pretty solid advice. It's all about making your index finger stronger. There's no gimmick or trick to it...you just have to do it so much that it becomes easy.

    You could always try lighter gauge strings too...although that's sort of the Brokeback Mountain way of learning....

    I don't remember who wrote it, but whoever said that the right hand is the most important part of guitar playing is exactly right. I know tons of people who can fly up and down the neck with their left hand, but they can't keep time to save their lives.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=jets5ever][QUOTE]Practice on a bass! Heh, heh...I play bass and bar the cr*p out of chords on it. If you can do that, any acoustic guitar, even one with action that's higher than Snoop Dogg will feel like it's a stick of butter.[/QUOTE]

    HAhah That [I]is[/I] high. thizzin, skizzin...guitarizzin'


    [QUOTE]You could always try lighter gauge strings too...although that's sort of the Brokeback Mountain way of learning....[/QUOTE]


    Hahhahahah-Hendrix slept with his guitar...but, he also was a Screaming Eagle (paratroop). making anywhere from 50+ to 80+ jumps before being honorably discharged

    And I still can't dig up a punchline to this fat set up...skinny strings and cowboys making out... :eek:

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=Boozer76]Sorry, but I think the opposite is true. Practice on an acoustic and an electric will feel like butter. Practice on an electric and your hands will never be strong enough to play an acoustic.[/QUOTE]

    Couldn't agree more!!

    The more acoustic you play the better your wrist and fingers will be able to handle the much thinner necks of electric guitars

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