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Old 07-30-2010, 07:35 AM
Ximenean is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,116
Originally Posted by E-Sabbath View Post
I havn't gotten to barre chords yet. When I do, I kind of expect me to be posting about 'You know, this kind of hurts.'

My tips for starting with barre chords, FWIW:

- Do not start with F, or any chord on the lower frets. A lot of people start with F because it is missing from the open chords that everybody learns (also I guess people are nervous of the uncharted territory of the higher frets). But the action is a little higher and stiffer down there close to the nut, and obviously the frets are further apart. Consequently, F is one of the hardest barre chords to play. It would be better to start with B or Bb, at the 6th or 7th fret. Easier to play, and still useful because it is another one that is missing from the open chords.

- There's lots of advice out there about correct hand and arm position, how much pressure to apply for barre chords, and how to apply it. Heed that advice. Avoid getting into the habit of using a death-grip for barre chords. You will tire your hand out, possibly injure yourself, and grow to hate barres. I would recommend taking it slowly and being very particular about your technique. The advice I like is that your hand should be fairly relaxed, and you should apply pressure mostly by pulling with the stronger muscles in your forearm, holding the guitar to your body with the other arm.
Of course, like most people, I rushed it, and for ages could only play barre chords briefly before my hand started to ache. Mind you, that was an acoustic with .13 strings. Maybe I made it hard for myself.