4 Tips That Make Barre Chords Easier To Play

With the proper techniques in place (and a little attention to detail) you can quickly master these shapes and start learning easy guitar songs with barre chords. Here are some tips and tricks and… how to make barre chords easier!

Finger Height

see how the creases in your fingers line up
If you have shorter fingers, lowering your index may help.
adjust your finger height to find what works best for you
People with longer fingers tend to benefit from placing their index a bit higher (but it all depends on the unique individual!)

This one is pretty simple. Just nudge your finger up and down until it feels comfortable. Pay attention to the creases in your fingers and remember that it’s okay if the tip of your finger overlaps the edge of the fretboard.

Arched Finger vs Flat Finger

it is a waste of energy to press equally on all the strings
Using a flat finger requires MASSIVE pressure to get all the strings down.
arch your barre finger to localize pressure where needed
By arching our fingers, we can focus our energy in the places where it matters

Neutral Wrist vs Bent Wrist

a bent wrist will soon be an injured wrist
Please…. don’t do this… please!
maintain a neutral wrist position
A neutral wrist prevents pain and discomfort.

You must try your best to keep your wrist as neutral as possible. While it may be tempting to bend your guitar towards you to help you see the fretboard better this is awful for your wrist, especially when playing barre chords. Just looking at the picture of the bent wrist makes my tendons tingle!

Shoulder Support

bad posture creates tension in the hand and wrist
Slouching prevents us from getting the power to where it needs to be.
make barre chords easy with correct posture
Proper posture creates a “support system” and makes for easy barre chords!

Rather than letting your hand do all the work, it’s a good idea to spread the tension equally across the entire arm and back, all the way to your core. It might take a while to get used to it, but this will make the biggest improvement in your barre chord technique.

  1. Sit up straight
  2. Activate your shoulder by pulling back slightly
  3. Let gravity carry your elbow downwards
  4. Grip the chord

This distributes the tension evenly along your entire arm and shoulder, saving your hand and wrist a lot of strain.

Remember not to overdo it and take your time with these things. Work on them, 1 at a time, and after a while your barre chords will sound clean and you’ll be able to play for extended periods of time.

Here are some easy guitar songs with barre chords:

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