While there is no such thing as an easy barre chord, per se, there are plenty of ways to make them easier to play. With the proper techniques in place (and a little attention to detail) you can quickly master these shapes in a way that promotes longevity and makes them sound clear and crisp. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you play barre chords easier.

Part 1 – Most Common Shapes + Building Initial Strength
Part 2 – Navigate The Fretboard + Learn To Play Barre Chords In Any Key
Part 3 – 4 Tips And Tricks That Make Barre Chords Much Easier To Play

Finger Height

see how the creases in your fingers line up

adjust your finger height to find what works best for you

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

arch your barre finger to localize pressure where needed

If you press down on all the strings with a flat finger, you end up putting a lot of extra, unnecessary pressure down onto the fretboard – some of the strings are already being played by other fingers.

If we arch the barre finger, we can focus pressure where it is needed, which requires much, much less strength.

Neutral Wrist vs Bent Wrist

a bent wrist will soon be an injured wrist

maintain a neutral wrist position

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

make barre chords easy with correct posture

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 songs you can practice along to that feature 1 or 2 barre chords:

2017-05-18T12:45:46-08:00 June 3rd, 2016|Categories: Article, Resource|Tags: |