September 13th, 2006, 09:35 AM
Anyone ever have this problem and if so, offer some advice?
For some messed up reason, whether it's that I don't play them enough or my finger is just too damn fat, I can't barre well on the E-shapes. the major's ok, but the 7th is horrible. the D string is muffled, or if I move around a bit, the high E gets muffled etc.
Is this just soemthing I can practice out of? Am I doomed by my knuckles?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
September 13th, 2006, 02:59 PM
I remember when I used to have the Barre Chord Blues back when I was learning them in high school... Now its a thing of the past, as least for the E and A shapes (I've recently been working on the CAGED method and am learning to use the C,G and D barre shapes, which are certainly more difficult to play quick and clean)
It sounds to me like its just finger strength. Although, I'd expect the G string to be the problem on the minor if your barring finger is weak. If its your D, then your pinky might need more practice. My advice, is to play for a while on an acoustic and use barre chords instead of open ones. Put the electric away for a while and get used to the acoustic. Its like running with weights on your ankles. Once you go back to the electric, it'll feel like butter in comparison.
Unless you have some sort of inherit technique issues, you'll get over this hurdle in time. Its all finger milage. Of course the more you work on it, the sooner you'll get better at it...
September 13th, 2006, 03:02 PM
And as for fat fingers, didn't Danny Gatton have some sausages for fingers? He seemed to do pretty good :wink:
September 13th, 2006, 03:16 PM
What you are going through everyone has gone through. The fingers just don't want to work until you have done it enough that the fine muscle movements become automatic. When you first try difficult chords the delicate coordination is missing. To make up we use our muscles and force the fingers into position. It seems to me we have to use the muscles and force until the body learns the feel of the particular shape. After that almost no muscles will be required and you will be able to play with little effort. Don't believe it? take one finger and gently push the string to the fret. It takes very little strength. Push down all six strings with one finger or if you are unable to shape your finger presently use two. The force required is tiny. With larger fingers and a narrow neck you need very precise placement of the finger to avoid dampening adjacent strings. Take your time, form the chord and move the fingers until it rings clearly. Most likely you will find yourself using your strength to hold the fingers in the precise locations. It will be difficult and frustrating at first but you will get there. You would be surprised how many great players have short thick fingers. Good luck.
September 13th, 2006, 03:24 PM
I'll keep at it. You're right in that the more I think of it, I don't really play barre E shapes all that much.
I agree on the acoustic tip as well. That's always been my philosophy.
September 13th, 2006, 03:25 PM
September 14th, 2006, 12:10 AM
I am a fairly new player, so take this for what it's worth.
When I play an E shape my left elbow is close to my body. When I play
A shape I move my elbow away from my body. Try moving that elbow around to make them all ring true. Stay with it.
September 14th, 2006, 08:49 AM
As for fat fingers and unintentionally damping strings - yeah, tell me about it...
Problem solved by building a Partscaster with a 1-3/4" Warmoth neck, makes everything so much easier for me to play!
September 14th, 2006, 06:51 PM
I've got thick fingers as well-----sometimes I have to hold two strings with one finger
September 14th, 2006, 08:16 PM
Hey thanks guys,
the problem is that I've been playing rock barre chords for the last fifteen years. now that i want some clear picked notes, the barre finger doesn't cooperate. i mean, it does, it's just that either the D string falls in the groove behind my first knuckle, or the high E falls into the groove of my second.
I lowered my action a bit and went down to .010's from .011's, we'll see how that goes. i figure it'll help out later when i want to learn those bend licks anyway.
thanks so much for your advice.
September 18th, 2006, 11:25 PM
yea you can get caught up in doing it the easy way with the power chords. keep practicing. try placing your fingers over the strings in the full barre position and just press down and release and keep repeating that. it'll hurt a little but it strengthens your fingers very well.. aslo.. have you tried the hendrix fingering? thats how i play mine nowa days