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Old 02-18-2019, 01:30 PM
Guitars+gems Guitars+gems is offline
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Default Open chord to barre chord changes

So, I still struggle with barre chords, but I keep trying. Right now I'm playing the Beatles tune, The Night Before. There is a Bm to Gm6 that goes back and forth a couple of times. The change from the Bm to the Gm6 is very natural, but then to go back to the Bm I seem to have to do a lot of finger arranging, which of course ruins the rhythm and the song. Sounds awesome when done correctly!

What I've discovered is that practicing this change repetitively to get the muscle memory is more productive if I don't worry about making the barre sound perfect. It's just the finger motion of the change that I need to get right now and once I have that I'll work on getting it to sound good.

I offer this post in the nature of a PSA in case anyone else is struggling similarly.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:17 AM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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You are practicing playing badly, and that is what your muscles are learning to do. Slow it down until you can play both cleanly and in rhythm.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:35 AM
BFD BFD is offline
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I take Howard's point and agree practicing 'mistakes' is counterproductive. However, if you're talking about full 5 & 6 string chords, you seldom really need to sound all the strings all the time. The first downbeat of a change is a good place to get the bass 2 or 3 strings, while the rest of your fingers scurry into place for the 1& or even the 2 beat. Even when you can make the full change quickly & seamlessly, partial chords are a good way to easily add a little sonic diversity.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:10 AM
agfsteve agfsteve is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars+gems View Post
So, I still struggle with barre chords, but I keep trying. Right now I'm playing the Beatles tune, The Night Before. There is a Bm to Gm6 that goes back and forth a couple of times. The change from the Bm to the Gm6 is very natural, but then to go back to the Bm I seem to have to do a lot of finger arranging, which of course ruins the rhythm and the song. Sounds awesome when done correctly!

What I've discovered is that practicing this change repetitively to get the muscle memory is more productive if I don't worry about making the barre sound perfect. It's just the finger motion of the change that I need to get right now and once I have that I'll work on getting it to sound good.

I offer this post in the nature of a PSA in case anyone else is struggling similarly.
I have that song in the book "The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook", so I'm just curious as to if you're using the chords from there, which are:

Bm: x24432 (regular Bm barre)
Gm6: 3x0330

And they are played over the words "Now today I find, you have changed your mind", with the Bm on the "Now" and the "You", and the Gm6 on the "find" and the "mind", So Bm-2-3-4, Gm6-2-3-4, Bm-2-3-4, Gm6-2-3-4.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:17 PM
Guitars+gems Guitars+gems is offline
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Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
You are practicing playing badly, and that is what your muscles are learning to do. Slow it down until you can play both cleanly and in rhythm.
Funny you say that. It occurred to me that I may be practicing badly. But I am only going back and forth between the 2 chords, trying to get the fingers to go down in the right place without thought. Sort of like muting the strings at the fretboard while practicing strum patterns, because the idea is to get the right hand to get the pattern into muscle memory first, and then to apply that pattern while changing chords.

I'll take your advice to:
Quote:
Slow it down until you can play both cleanly and in rhythm
when I start playing the whole song again. Thank you.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:21 PM
Guitars+gems Guitars+gems is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFD View Post
I take Howard's point and agree practicing 'mistakes' is counterproductive. However, if you're talking about full 5 & 6 string chords, you seldom really need to sound all the strings all the time. The first downbeat of a change is a good place to get the bass 2 or 3 strings, while the rest of your fingers scurry into place for the 1& or even the 2 beat. Even when you can make the full change quickly & seamlessly, partial chords are a good way to easily add a little sonic diversity.
Thanks for that reminder. I know that not all the strings need to be played with every stroke on open chords, but I'm always trying to get all the strings to sound on the barre chords. No doubt that's part of my frustration with them. I'll work on that.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:33 PM
Imbler Imbler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars+gems View Post
Funny you say that. It occurred to me that I may be practicing badly. But I am only going back and forth between the 2 chords, trying to get the fingers to go down in the right place without thought. Sort of like muting the strings at the fretboard while practicing strum patterns, because the idea is to get the right hand to get the pattern into muscle memory first, and then to apply that pattern while changing chords.

I'll take your advice to: when I start playing the whole song again. Thank you.
IMO, the best way to "get the fingers to go down in the right place without thought" is to practice correctly, slowly, and with concentration. In other words, to get them to go without thought, use lots of thought while practicing the motion, it may sound counter-intuitive, but it isn't if you know how the mind creates habitual pathways.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:40 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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I've always done both: practice slowly/perfectly and practice for transitional speed.
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Old 02-19-2019, 12:57 PM
Guitars+gems Guitars+gems is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agfsteve View Post
I have that song in the book "The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook", so I'm just curious as to if you're using the chords from there, which are:

Bm: x24432 (regular Bm barre)
Gm6: 3x0330

And they are played over the words "Now today I find, you have changed your mind", with the Bm on the "Now" and the "You", and the Gm6 on the "find" and the "mind", So Bm-2-3-4, Gm6-2-3-4, Bm-2-3-4, Gm6-2-3-4.
Yes, that's the book I'm using and I'm playing x24432 and 3x0330. But I don't understand
Quote:
Bm-2-3-4, Gm6-2-3-4, Bm-2-3-4, Gm6-2-3-4.
Are you talking about the beats? There are less beats between the 2nd Bm and the 1st Gm6. That's the quick change that messes me up.
Bm over Now today I Gm6 over find Bm over you have changed your Gm6 over mind.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:56 PM
reeve21 reeve21 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars+gems View Post
Funny you say that. It occurred to me that I may be practicing badly. But I am only going back and forth between the 2 chords, trying to get the fingers to go down in the right place without thought. Sort of like muting the strings at the fretboard while practicing strum patterns, because the idea is to get the right hand to get the pattern into muscle memory first, and then to apply that pattern while changing chords.

I'll take your advice to: when I start playing the whole song again. Thank you.
Denise,

I think there is validity to your method, at least until it starts to feel somewhat natural for the fingers to take the positions you are forcing them into. In my case I used this method to learn how to shift to a "new to me" version of the D9 chord--first position, 3rd in the bass, which just seemed weird to my hand You can see it here, top row, center.

https://www.jamplay.com/tools/guitar...ndard/4-d/12-9


Moving on to the whole song the only way I have found to impose the discipline needed to actually play slow, slower, slowest until it all sounds good is with a metronome. Otherwise it's "off to the races" as my teacher calls my "style" Using a metronome can feel unnatural and boring, but the benefits are amazing!
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:58 PM
agfsteve agfsteve is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars+gems View Post
Yes, that's the book I'm using and I'm playing x24432 and 3x0330. But I don't understand
Are you talking about the beats? There are less beats between the 2nd Bm and the 1st Gm6. That's the quick change that messes me up.
Bm over Now today I Gm6 over find Bm over you have changed your Gm6 over mind.
I'm not sure what you mean by "between the 2nd Bm and the 1st Gm6"--that is not possible, because it goes Bm(1st Bm), Gm6(1st Gm6), Bm(2nd), Gm6(2nd), so there cannot be a "between" like you said, but maybe I'm not understanding it properly.

The chord changes are all on beat one (for the whole verse, including the Bm / Gm6 changes), as I hear it, but the book of course only has chords over lyrics, so it does not confirm this.

What you are saying is correct: the Bm is over "Now today I", which is beats 1-2-3-4, then the Gm6 is over "Find...", which is beats 1-2-3-4, then the next Bm is over "You have changed your", which is beats 1-2-3-4, and then the next Gm6 is over "Mind...", which is beats 1-2-3-4.

So it's four bars, alternating Bm and Gm6, with the chord changes on the first beat of each bar.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:07 PM
Guitars+gems Guitars+gems is offline
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Originally Posted by agfsteve View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by "between the 2nd Bm and the 1st Gm6"--that is not possible, because it goes Bm(1st Bm), Gm6(1st Gm6), Bm(2nd), Gm6(2nd), so there cannot be a "between" like you said, but maybe I'm not understanding it properly.

The chord changes are all on beat one (for the whole verse, including the Bm / Gm6 changes), as I hear it, but the book of course only has chords over lyrics, so it does not confirm this.

What you are saying is correct: the Bm is over "Now today I", which is beats 1-2-3-4, then the Gm6 is over "Find...", which is beats 1-2-3-4, then the next Bm is over "You have changed your", which is beats 1-2-3-4, and then the next Gm6 is over "Mind...", which is beats 1-2-3-4.

So it's four bars, alternating Bm and Gm6, with the chord changes on the first beat of each bar.
Yeah, I should have said the 1st Gm6 and the 2nd Bm. What I mean is that I think there are less than 4 beats between Find and You. But I'm only playing it in my head. I'll listen to the recording tomorrow.
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:04 AM
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Fret the Gm6 with 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers.

On chord changes focus where the finger for the lowest note is going - for Bm that will be the 1st (index) finger and for the Cm6 that will be the 2nd (middle) finger.

On short order the other fingers used for the chords will follow along obediently.

Excruciatingly slow practice is not the answer for everything. Sometimes it is a handicap if the way you are playing slowly is not the best for playing at tempo.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:40 PM
Guitars+gems Guitars+gems is offline
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Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Fret the Gm6 with 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers.

On chord changes focus where the finger for the lowest note is going - for Bm that will be the 1st (index) finger and for the Cm6 that will be the 2nd (middle) finger.

On short order the other fingers used for the chords will follow along obediently.

Excruciatingly slow practice is not the answer for everything. Sometimes it is a handicap if the way you are playing slowly is not the best for playing at tempo.
Thank you, Rick. This is very helpful. The 2nd finger leading on the Gm6 makes the shift to Bm happen with less thought. I'll keep on with it.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:04 PM
agfsteve agfsteve is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Fret the Gm6 with 2nd, 3rd and 4th fingers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars+gems View Post
Thank you, Rick. This is very helpful. The 2nd finger leading on the Gm6 makes the shift to Bm happen with less thought. I'll keep on with it.
I actually find it quite a bit easier to fret the G on the low E string with my thumb.
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