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Bar chord suggestions

olddude 04 Aug 14 - 02:29 PM
olddude 04 Aug 14 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,JohnMc 04 Aug 14 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,RB 04 Aug 14 - 02:47 PM
olddude 04 Aug 14 - 02:49 PM
olddude 04 Aug 14 - 02:59 PM
olddude 04 Aug 14 - 03:08 PM
Sean Belt 04 Aug 14 - 03:30 PM
olddude 04 Aug 14 - 03:39 PM
olddude 04 Aug 14 - 03:42 PM
Richard Bridge 04 Aug 14 - 05:28 PM
Don Firth 04 Aug 14 - 05:41 PM
olddude 04 Aug 14 - 11:20 PM
Phil Cooper 05 Aug 14 - 12:52 AM
The Sandman 05 Aug 14 - 02:16 AM
Musket 05 Aug 14 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,vectis sans cookie 05 Aug 14 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,gillymor 05 Aug 14 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,gillymor 05 Aug 14 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,tony Rath aka Tonyteach 05 Aug 14 - 01:30 PM
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Subject: Bar chord suggestions
From: olddude
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 02:29 PM

As I get older and several neck operations later it gets harder to do the crazy bar chords I use to.. I still want to use them and is there easier hand position that I can try. I tend to use my thumb and wrap as everyone else does but classical guitar players seem to use different ways.. What are they


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: olddude
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 02:31 PM

Acoustic not electric.. I don't play electric


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: GUEST,JohnMc
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 02:42 PM

The classical player positions the thumb about opposite the middle finger.
Have you looked at the action off your guitar, by the way, as that might help.


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: GUEST,RB
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 02:47 PM

also, the left leg is raised, preferably while sitting, and the guit is placed across this leg. If that's a bit difficult at first, then go to your local bar and try a few chords there Wabash.


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: olddude
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 02:49 PM

Action is fine on all my guitars. Hand is weak I need to do better positioning


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: olddude
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 02:59 PM

Omg Lol spaw would have had a field day with my last post.. I miss him I opened that door


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: olddude
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 03:08 PM

Placing the thumb in line with middle finger gives me more control great suggestions. I always wrapped the thumb around. The Martin . has a narrow neck I can see the in line with middle is better.. Now to get use to it


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: Sean Belt
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 03:30 PM

I'm not seeing the connection between surgeries on your neck and the position of your hand on the guitar neck. Maybe if you tried some physical therapy and exercises to strengthen your hand and wrist muscles?


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: olddude
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 03:39 PM

Neck surgery weakens muscles in your arms and hands I lost all feeling in my finger tips but as many will tell you it ain't stopped me you don't want to mess up your neck your hands will never be same


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: olddude
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 03:42 PM

Take your arm and put it in boiling water you beg the docs to fix it and you are left with nerv. Damage. AAfter years of work I probably pick better than I ever did but I had to re learn


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 05:28 PM

Is the idea of some open tunings anathema? Mostly they use fewer barre chords.


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 05:41 PM

I played a Martin 00-18 (steel string) for about a year, then started taking classical guitar lessons. Got myself a Martin 00-28-G, and went to work on that. At first, the wider fingerboard was like playing on a plank, but after more decades than I care to count, trying to play a narrow-necked steel-string guitar is like trying to play on a toothpick. I currently have one Spanish-made Flamenco guitar, a Spanish-made classic, and a Japanese-made classic—along with a couple of travel guitars and a Yamaha "Guitalele." (Don't ever let anyone tell you that the Japanese don't make some damned nice guitars! My "Guitarra Artisana," imported from Japan by José Oribé of San Diego is superb!)

I've got bar chords down pretty well. I use them all the time when I play classical stuff and I don't shy away from them when I need them in song accompaniment.

Trying to do bar chords by strangling the guitar (wrapping the thumb around the neck to fret the bass) is really counterproductive in that it grossly alters the left hand position for deft fingering. As taught, I keep my left thumb behind the neck, pretty much opposite the second finger, then use the thumb and first finger as a clamp when a bar chord comes along.

The following is a YouTube tutorial on bar chords by a guy who uses a narrow-necked steel string guitar, and he seems to have it down pretty well. Bar chord tutorial.

There are a couple (three, actually) good DVD guitar tutorials for strengthening the left hand and developing finger dexterity in both hands:   "Pumping Nylon" by Scott Tennant and "Effortless Classical Guitar" and "Classical Guitar Mastery" by William Kanengiser. Both of these guys are members of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and can play the hell out the guitar (Kanengiser opens his DVD by play a transcription of Mozart's "Rondo alla Turca," and does it so easily and deftly that I felt like stomping on my bratwurst-like fingers! C'mon, Kanengiser! Nobody likes a smartass!!—Clicky #2). "Pumping Nylon" has a lot of great exercises for strengthening the left hand, with a notation don't use more pressure on the strings than you really need, but all the aforementioned DVDs are excellent for playing any kind of finger-style guitar. Highly recommended, even if you don't play classical.

Cuts from some of these DVDs are on YouTube, but nothing beats the convenience of having your own copies.

Keep plugging away!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: olddude
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 11:20 PM

Thanks don


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 12:52 AM

I have always felt the barre chords are a necessary evil. But I use partial chords whenever possible. If you finger pick, you don't need the notes you're not playing. I call that using the law of least effort. Sometimes you need a full sounding chord, but not that often. Especially while singing.


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 02:16 AM

the only bar chord i use regularly is the f shape, but what you could do is tune the six string down to a c, it means if you are in c, your c and f chords are ok, the g needs a different shape, with a d in the bass [not always what you want]
phil cooper is right with finger picking you dont need to play all six strings


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: Musket
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 03:15 AM

After an accident many years ago my left wrist refuses to allow me to shape full first finger barre chords. So for thirty years or so I have had to find ways of getting around this. Yes, a classical guitar sitting position would allow it but whilst OK in a pub singaround, not practical for performances.

Finger picking does allow you to ignore the odd (mainly bass) string if you just take a first position chord up the neck. The F and E shapes being very good for it, and the E shape also allows interesting bass counterpoint.

I also use many modal and open tunings. Learning scales for the different tunings may be tedious but allows far better understanding of how to play them and almost ignore the very concept of full chords. You can easily find the arpeggio if you know your scales.


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: GUEST,vectis sans cookie
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 07:39 AM

Quite a few musicians swear by Alexander Technique. Might be worth a try to maximise the strength and endurance of the new barring positions.


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 08:51 AM

I use Drop- D tuning quite a bit for both fingerstyle and backup playing. Make a G maj. chord at the third fret and where you would normally barre the 3rd fret in standard, in Drop- D (with the 6th string lowered one step to D):

1. fret the 1st and 2nd string with your index finger at the 3rd fret

2. the 3rd string, 4th fret with your middle finger

3. the fourth string, 5th fret with your ring finger

4. the 6th string, 5th fret with your pinky while muting the 5th string.

Now you have a highly mobile major chord. If you extend your index finger barre, as I do, to include the 3rd string, 3rd fret you can lift your middle finger and you have a movable minor chord.
This works for a lot of tunes and songs in various keys and doesn't require full barres or over the top thumb work to get up the neck.


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 09:56 AM

Correction for previous post:

3. fret 4th string, 5th fret with your pinky

4. fret 6th string, 5th fret with your ring finger while muting 5th string.


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Subject: RE: Bar chord suggestions
From: GUEST,tony Rath aka Tonyteach
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 01:30 PM

Being 69 myself but with fingers of steel I would recommend the following

Don FIrth makes excellent suggestions concerning the classical guitar
You may want to relearn some voicings using Drop 2 and 3 chords as jazzers do
They do involve barres but have a bass note on the E or A mostly and upper strings for the rest of the chord There are very few barres and no full ones. I any case I would advise anyone using steel strings to use a capo or reharmonise their songs to avoid prolonged use of barre chords


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