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  #16  
Old 07-23-2017, 12:03 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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No would be the "short" answer... just keep after it, you'll get it eventually... there are a lot of different chord shapes involved with playing the guitar that feel "undoable" at first, but become second-nature after a time...
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  #17  
Old 07-23-2017, 12:34 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Originally Posted by stanron View Post
Using a capo eliminates the possibility of an over high nut making the bar F chord more difficult than it should be. It certainly is a movable chord and can get easier higher up the neck, but the original post was about the F chord.


I'm sure the op is more concerned about learning the shape and not the fact that it's an F when played on the first fret. If you capo the first then the chord becomes F# anyway unless you down tune to Eb. Which reminds me that down tuning the guitar is another option to ease up tension and make it easier to learn the barre major shape.
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  #18  
Old 07-23-2017, 02:19 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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Are people having a laugh? The point of using a capo is to detect if the nut needs correction. You put the capo on. Try the bar chord. If the bar chord is easier then the nut needs lowering. If there is no difference the nut setup is OK. Then you take the capo off.
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  #19  
Old 07-23-2017, 05:06 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanron View Post
Are people having a laugh? The point of using a capo is to detect if the nut needs correction. You put the capo on. Try the bar chord. If the bar chord is easier then the nut needs lowering. If there is no difference the nut setup is OK. Then you take the capo off.


Ok maybe I'm not fully understanding the capo thing. Are you saying to put the capo right in front of the nut that way it lowers the strings but you're still able to barre an F?
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  #20  
Old 07-23-2017, 06:02 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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A person who has played a lot of guitars will probably have experienced both well set up guitars as well as poorly setup guitars. Such a player will know when a guitar nut needs lowering. Someone on their first guitar will not be able to tell. The capo test can demonstrate to such a player what their guitar could feel like with a correctly set up nut.

If it is easier to play a bar F shape with the capo on the first fret then the nut needs lowering. If there is no difference then the nut is not the problem. More practice is needed.
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  #21  
Old 07-23-2017, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 1neeto View Post
Ok maybe I'm not fully understanding the capo thing. Are you saying to put the capo right in front of the nut that way it lowers the strings but you're still able to barre an F?
Play an F barre chord. Then capo the first fret Then make the same shaped barre (which would now be a F# chord barre). If that is easier to do than a F barre then likely the nut slots are higher than necessary.
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  #22  
Old 07-23-2017, 06:19 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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The barre chords are mostly technique with just enough strength to place them. Come off the power and study the strings your index finger needs to fret. Focus on only those. Then, the idea is to keep just those strings ringing when the other fingers are fretting their respective strings. It's a dance of technique. Once you get the index finger to properly fret the required strings you need to hold that finger's shape as you engage the other fingers.

Initially, you tend to throw the entire chord shape simultaneously. Strumming requires that. If picking, however, you might break that down to placing the fingers on the notes of the chord that must sound first, following them with the balance of the fingering to complete the chord. This is encountered a lot in finger picking and it offers lot's of opportunities to cheat the chords - playing partials, dyads (double-stops), arpeggios, etc., that strumming disallows (unless similarly effected with deft use of the flat pick).
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  #23  
Old 07-23-2017, 07:28 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Play an F barre chord. Then capo the first fret Then make the same shaped barre (which would now be a F# chord barre). If that is easier to do than a F barre then likely the nut slots are higher than necessary.


Gotcha. But isn't the F barre still harder than further down the neck even if the nut height is right? At least that's the case with my guitars.
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  #24  
Old 07-23-2017, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyboi View Post
Im trying to learn to do an F bar chord and think its impossible with my fingers. When I watch videos of people playing this chord they always seem to have long slender fingers. Is this chord only possible with long fingers? Im following a tutorial where he first says to try barring the 1st and second string with the first finger, which I can do.
Then he says add the 2nd finger to the 2nd fret, 3rd string, which I can only sometimes do.
Next step is to try adding the 3rd finger but I find then my 2nd and 3rd fingers mute the strings below therm because they are not long enough to curve over the top and have to sit like on a 45 degree angle so mute the strings below them.

Is this chord really a long fingered person thing? Because at the moment Im about to give up Im so frustrated.
Excellent advice so far. Keep with it, The F chord is hard to play for everyone starting out. I know that I have pretty long fingers. But I do a quick lesson on playing guitar with "short" fingers. You can check it out here:

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  #25  
Old 07-23-2017, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1neeto View Post
Gotcha. But isn't the F barre still harder than further down the neck even if the nut height is right? At least that's the case with my guitars.
Not the first few frets anyway.
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  #26  
Old 07-23-2017, 08:34 PM
Looburst Looburst is offline
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This seems to be an ongoing question here, there is still no quick answer you're looking for. It simply takes time to be proficient at it. Forget the finger overlap method, do it right. You have to build up that muscle between your thumb and forefinger and the only way to do this is to keep at that F barre chord. Don't wuss out or look for other work arounds, just do it about 5 thousand times, then it'll be like nothin.
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  #27  
Old 07-24-2017, 01:09 AM
Guitars+gems Guitars+gems is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
The barre chords are mostly technique with just enough strength to place them. Come off the power and study the strings your index finger needs to fret. Focus on only those. Then, the idea is to keep just those strings ringing when the other fingers are fretting their respective strings. It's a dance of technique. Once you get the index finger to properly fret the required strings you need to hold that finger's shape as you engage the other fingers.
That's the part that gives me trouble. I can form the barres cleanly most of the time now, but not quickly. Changing to and from them is slow. So, I broke it down to figure out exactly what wasn't working. What I realized is that the other 3 fingers were requiring too much time for correct placement. For instance, to play the open Am and E Major I use my first 3 fingers. Those chords are ingrained into my first 3 fingers so they stay together and come down quick and clean and all at once. No extra attention required. But to play an Am or E Major with my 2nd, 3rd, 4th fingers for the Am and E major form barre chords is a whole 'nother thing. Because I lack the muscle memory for playing Am/E Maj shapes with those 3 fingers, I have to be mindful of where those fingers are going, and then make adjustments, while the first finger is doing its job barring 5 or 6 strings. Slow! To improve this, I've been working on going up and down the fretboard from Am to E using the fingers 2,3,4 (and without barring) on every fret, to build up muscle memory, and if I'm playing songs with the open chords, I use fingers 2,3,4. Been doing it for A Major too. I think it's working.
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  #28  
Old 07-24-2017, 02:58 AM
Kes1414 Kes1414 is offline
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My hands are really small, in fact I've only met one person with smaller hands and fingers than me in my whole life, and I can do the F barre chord without a problem.

I am no expert but beside a lot of practice, it help me to experiment with the positions of index and thumb until I found a confortable position that allow me to put enough pressure without wasting too much energy on them. To practice, I used a very simple song (johnny cash version of "I hung my head" only 3 chords -F Am C-) until I nailed it.
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  #29  
Old 07-26-2017, 02:29 AM
Troyboi Troyboi is offline
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Well I tried the capo trick to see if I could do a bar chord with the capo on the first fret and still no luck. So it looks like its just practice for me. I can do one on my electric guitar much easier though.
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  #30  
Old 07-26-2017, 04:46 AM
stanron stanron is offline
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Some one has probably mentioned this already but changing your strings to a lighter gauge will make all playing, including bar chords, easier. The down side of the change is you loose a bit of tone and your fingers will pay for it later if you move back to a heavier gauge.
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