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  #1  
Old 08-20-2018, 09:23 PM
personatech personatech is offline
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Default That B string!

Whenever I play a barre chord, my index finger always seems to mute the B string. I really have to press down my finger, almost uncomfortably so, for the B to ring out as it should.

I have a Seagull Original S6 with slim 1.72" neck. It played great off the wall (or at least it seemed to) so I didn't have it set up professionally. I'm beginning to think that, after 6 months, it's time. Is it possible that there is something else at play here? Neck radius, maybe?

Last edited by Kerbie; 08-20-2018 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Removed masked profanity
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:31 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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6 months? Iíve been playing for 7 years and my barre chords are not always clean. I hate to say just keep practicing, but just keep practicing.
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:50 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Mostly for F and Fm chords I suppose.

1. Tip of the index finger can go beyond the edge of the fretboard - do that if helpful. Get the B string out from under a finger joint crease.


2. If second finger not otherwise employed can team up the index and second finger as in photo below:


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Old 08-21-2018, 02:29 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by personatech View Post
Whenever I play a barre chord, my index finger always seems to mute the B string. I really have to press down my finger, almost uncomfortably so, for the B to ring out as it should.
I find I need to have the B and E both held down by the bony underside of the index finger joint.
When the finger is curled, there's a natural fold of skin there, so you need to straighten the finger right out - bend it up the other way if you can. You'll then feel that the underside of the joint is hard, while the skin between the joints is softer.
Place the joint over the B and E, and pinch with thumb on the back of the neck - pinching thumb pad against that first joint. The rest of the index can be bending up away from the strings, to make sure you're pinching that joint down on to the B and E. (The knuckle should be a right angle, and the index dead straight, perhaps curved slightly upward.)
In fact, focus on just getting the B, as that's the one you have trouble with. Position the index across the string to get that bony part of the finger on to the B. If the B is working the E almost certainly will be too.
Once those top 2 strings are clean, you can then fold the index tip down to grab the 6th. In the "E"-form barre, the index needn't press the ADG strings down as firmly. However, for the "Em" form, you will need the G working too, and that may mean moving the index further across the neck.
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Old 08-21-2018, 03:48 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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I think it is likely that the neck relief and or top have moved or changed since you purchased the guitar. It may only need an adjustment to make it easier for you to play. The barred F chord is a tough one to play perfectly, though.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:49 AM
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KDepew KDepew is offline
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some good advice to team up that index finger with the middle finger when you can. And it all about practice......
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:25 AM
jwing jwing is offline
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Another way to look at the situation: Does it matter if the B-string is not ringing clearly? Probably not, unless you are playing power chords. Just play and don't worry about getting six clear notes per chord.

If the B-string does matter, play a power chord. You don't need to worry about the higher strings, so your fretting should be no problem.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:52 AM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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A classical player told me something helpful. He said it's not that you need to press harder, but that you need to straighten the bar finger more. I'm sure that's not true for everyone, but it seemed to be the case for me. I don't press hard for bars.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:35 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Mostly for F and Fm chords I suppose.

1. Tip of the index finger can go beyond the edge of the fretboard - do that if helpful. Get the B string out from under a finger joint crease.


2. If second finger not otherwise employed can team up the index and second finger as in photo below:


Yep. IOW, move that index finger to a position where you can put some meat on the B string.
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  #10  
Old 08-22-2018, 05:38 AM
personatech personatech is offline
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Thanks all! I have since learned that if I play the x6 chord (essentially just the barred index finger, IIRC), the B string plays nicely. This leads me to believe that it is my technique and not the setup which is causing my difficulties. I'll try some of these excellent suggestions and practice, practice, practice!
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