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  • Fun with Barre Chords

    Posted by Alfred on April 9, 2021 at 7:43 am

    Wow, is it just me or is the site loading faster today?

    I have been having fun playing songs in alternate voicings using barre chords lately, which prepared me to get through today’s lesson with no thumb fatigue.

    Now if I could just get past my mental hump for solos and improv 🤨
    Ah well, I have that in the works I guess.

    Alfred replied 3 years, 1 month ago 5 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Sharon_T

    Member
    April 9, 2021 at 9:49 am

    LOL. Hmmm.. I am seeing an improvement right now too. But I also see something that says “Fun with Barre Chords” and we all know that can’t be true. LOL.

    • Alfred

      Member
      April 9, 2021 at 10:20 am

      I actually have been having fun with them lately. I think it was a matter of forcing myself to play them a lot over the last couple months. Builds up the thumb stamina.
      They are always easier on an electric, and nearly always fatiguing on acoustic.

      I just sometimes get bored with open chords in the home position. Besides, it helps to build up that tension if the root notes gets higher and higher during the chord progression, until you release all that when you head back home.

      I do however need to stop noodling so much and practice more. I think staycation has made me lazy.

    • Bill_Brown

      Member
      April 9, 2021 at 10:53 am

      Oh yea @MommaTAC , I enjoy doing barre chords also. In fact, I prefer them over open chords. If I can play something using E shaped and A shaped barre chords then this train is rolling down the tracks!

      • Alfred

        Member
        April 9, 2021 at 10:58 am

        YEPPERS! 👍 I’ve been having a blast with them. Also working on moveable open shapes… haven’t gotten very far with that but getting somewhere. Then I make a chord salad out of a song… a bit of everything. This daily routine sure is waking some things up in me here and there.

      • Bill_Brown

        Member
        April 9, 2021 at 11:38 am

        Just remember @Alfred , for the E shaped barre chords, the root is on the low E string and for the A shaped barre chords, the root is on the A string. So you can take each shape up and down the neck – transition between shapes – following the musical alphabet and always know what chord your playing or where that chord is found on the neck. I love that!

      • Bill_Brown

        Member
        April 9, 2021 at 11:43 am

        Oh yes, moveable open shapes – one of the lessons coming up in a couple of weeks – Ice Dancing – does just that using an open C chord shape – a great lesson! The root of the C chord shape is on the A string – give that a try!

      • Alfred

        Member
        April 9, 2021 at 12:12 pm

        Can’t Wait!
        I use a C7 shape right now open on the 5th fret for an E7

  • Sharon_T

    Member
    April 9, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Okay okay.. when I first started, I couldn’t make a barre chord for the life of me. I was pretty convinced that it was just a plot by Tony to drive me insane. Lots and lots of attempts and practice and it is not only something I can do but also do cleanly most of the time. In fact, I kind of prefer the full barre F over the mini barre F. My next hurdle is transitioning to and from barre chords faster. One thing you can count one with guitar is that there is always a challenge to be mastered.

    • Alfred

      Member
      April 9, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      Try Playing “Let Her Go” By passenger with Barre chords. Not the whole song at once, but parts of it throughout the day or once or twice a day. It is a standard progression and will at least get you transitioning from the E and A shapes. You can call it musical thumb exercises 😛
      I still wouldn’t want to play a whole song in nothing but barre chords on an acoustic. well maybe if I had my action as low as possible, but then I couldn’t dig in to the guitar and howl without a lot of buzzing.

  • SoCal_Ian

    Member
    April 9, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Some of the first chords I learned before my long time away from guitar were barre chords. A friend back then gave me the keys to the kingdom by explaining movable chords and then showing me the shapes for Major, Minor, 7ths, Major and Minor 7th, diminished and even half diminished chords. Of course by the time I came back to playing again after 25+ years I’d all but forgotten them and so went open chord mostly. I’ve been doing some extra study off the TAC site since lockdown though and starting to get them back under my fingers. They’re easy (once you know and can make the shapes) and super handy…especially when playing with other people…and yes, FUN! It amazes me how many TAC people seem to fear them or generally have a hard time with them or simply dislike these most useful shapes.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by  SoCal_Ian.
    • Alfred

      Member
      April 9, 2021 at 5:23 pm

      Barre chords are a tough kind of rite of passage with guitar. I think folks that have fun with open chords are well… having fun!

      Once that first Barre F is made though, all bets are off. Then it is just a matter of how fatiguing they can be at first, even if you follow all the advice for better barre chords, that thumb muscle will burn. Just have to exercise it a bit every day, like most things.

      Trying to convince folks that it is worth the pain is a whole different story. For my Daughter the magic was putting a really nice Ibanez RG in her hands and watching her hit her first barre chord… Now she runs to them.

  • AttyTJ

    Member
    April 9, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    I know, I already said this in another place, @Alfred , but “Really Truly.!!”

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