7 Tips For Learning Guitar Barre Chords

1. You Don’t Have To Work So Hard

Learning guitar barre chords is a difficult enough experience without putting extra pressure on yourself. Try to keep in mind that when you are playing you only need to lift your fingers just enough to change between chords. Also, when you’re holding down the barre, remember that you don’t have to barre every single string.

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2. Don’t Use The Soft Part Of Your Finger

When you are making a barre try to hold it with the side of your finger and not the soft fleshy part. The easiest way to do this is to roll your finger slightly away from the fret. When you roll your finger it guarantees that you won’t be holding the barre with the fleshy bit – increasing your chances of sounding the chord cleanly.

3. Give Your Fingers a Workout

The easiest way to build your finger strength to exercise them regularly. This might seem strange at first but working out your fingers regularly will do wonders for your guitar playing. Check out the “Gripmaster” or grab a tennis ball and squeeze it for a few minutes everyday.

4. Buy a Good Guitar For Yourself

Bad guitars have bad action. Action is the measure of the distance from the fretboard to the strings and is usually measured at the 12th fret. A guitar with poor action will leave you struggling to play any chords correctly, but barre chords especially. There is nothing more frustrating than a poor piece of equipment holding you back.

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5. Learn Guitar Using Lighter Gauge Strings

The reason acoustic guitarists find it so easy to pick up and play an electric is that the electric has a far lighter string gauge. When you are learning guitar the lighter strings make playing chords a lot easier. Once your finger strength has improved and you are more experienced choose the type of strings for the sound you want.

6. Try Learning Barre Chords Higher Up The Neck

The first barre chord that you learn as a new guitarist is the F major chord, followed by the B major chord. Sometimes this can a mistake. Both of these chords are near the head of the guitar where the fret spacing is much larger. If you’re struggling with barre chords, try practicing the shapes further up the neck towards the 5th and 7th frets.

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7. Don’t Put Too Much Pressure on Yourself

When you do any exercise an important part of your routine is regular rests for recovery. The same goes for playing guitar. Try to take breaks and never play if your hands are sore or cramping.

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