TAC Family Forums

Share your wins, get unstuck, or see how others use the TAC Method to create a fulfilling guitar life!

  • N-lightMike

    August 27, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    First, @SusanC , let me say, barre chords are a huge challenge for many people. As adult learners, it will take far longer than we could possible think was reasonable. So let’s start by recognizing 2 things: it will take longer than you want to believe; and slowly but surely, over time, you will get better and better as long as you don’t give up.

    Second, since barre chords are especially challenging for us adult learners, I use only 10 gauge string sets. Even then, some guitars are easier than others. Beginners sometimes like shorter scale length guitars because they think they have trouble with spreading their fingers. But short scale length guitars are harder to play barre chords on. (And the finger spread turns out to be a technique problem that will come with time and short scale length guitars don’t help very much.)

    All right, so let’s talk technique. Make sure your thumb is behind the neck, not on top. Also, it should be opposite the thumb. And you should experiment where to put your index finger when barring. Raise it up so the tip of the finger is above the fretboard. Then lower it so the tip of the finger just reaches the 6th string. Also experiment with your elbow, moving it toward and away from your body, and pushing your wrist forward or pulling is back. Another trick, you can use the elbow of your picking hand to push on the end of the guitar and create leverage pressure against your fretting hand. One thing that was hard for me to do, was to learn I didn’t have to hold the pressure all the time, but only during a strum. It is a lot easier to squeeze and release, squeeze and release that to simply hold.

    I hope this helps. Just don’t give up. And always remember, you can play partial barre chords. This can help to build up to full barre chords while your strength and coordination are building.

    MG 😀