The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-30-2018, 02:01 PM
joemcg joemcg is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 613
Angry Durn bar chords!

Iím just getting back into guitar after a couple of years playing primarily clawhammer banjo. Iíve got a Blueridge 341 parlor that Iíve had for a few years, and a GS Mini that I just purchased for outdoor use (Iím an RVer and Campground host currently at the beach.)

The BR341 has a wide 1 7/8 nut, the GS Mini a narrower 1 11/16 nut. Bar chords work for me on the BR341 but I canít for the life of me get a clean bar chord on the GS Mini. 😡

.
__________________
Taylor 214e
Taylor GS Mini-E Walnut & Koa
Kentucky 505 mandolin
Ome Wizard banjo
Deering Eagle II Openback banjo

Full Time RVer mainly in California & Arizona
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-30-2018, 02:04 PM
DenverSteve's Avatar
DenverSteve DenverSteve is offline
Formerly "PastorSteve"
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Denver
Posts: 10,709
Default Barre Chords

Barre chords are all about practice. You're going from a wide to a narrow nut so it may take 10 minutes when you change over to get used to the smaller nut.
__________________
Peace, Steve
Kinnaird, Martin, Charis, Goodall, Breedlove, Collings, Huss & Dalton, Larrivee, Voyage Air ...et al..Tried almost everything.


FOR SALE: Breedlove Frontier Concerto E, all Mahogany
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-30-2018, 02:59 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,479
Default

Neck profile, fretboard taper and string action have more to do with the ease/difficulty of playing clean barre chords than nut width. Think about it - most of the barres we play are up the neck, not down by the nut (XX3211 or X33211 are nearly always going to work and sound better than a barre F) so its not the width at the nut you care about but the width up at the 5th fret and higher. That's taper. Also string height off the fretboard (action) gets higher as you move up. I'd bet it has a lot more to do with the setup on your Taylor than the nut width.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-30-2018, 04:38 PM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,865
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverSteve View Post
Barre chords are all about practice. You're going from a wide to a narrow nut so it may take 10 minutes when you change over to get used to the smaller nut.
Unless your fingers just don't fit. I have large hands, long fingers, and huge callous pads on my left hand from years of playing upright and bass guitar. Anything narrower than 1 3/4" and I'm working harder to make clean barre chords. I can do it, but it's no fun.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-30-2018, 04:41 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,749
Default

The Mini also comes strung with Mediums. Not sure what's on yours.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-30-2018, 04:49 PM
Ludere Ludere is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 336
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
" ... XX3211 or X33211 are nearly always going to work and sound better than a barre F ..."
I would respectfully beg to differ on this point ... I am currently making the extra effort to replace X33211 with a 1st fret barre F; partly because I just do not like the X33211 open chord shape (forces me to 'lean' my entire hand toward the nut), and partly as an exercise to force me to consistently incorporate barre chords into my practices.
It has "slowed" some songs that I can play at-tempo otherwise, but I am determined ... and I think the barre F sounds fine.

Of course, YMMV, IMHO, just my .02 ...

~ Paul

...
__________________
Taylor 314ce V
Alvarez AP66ESHB
Takamine G330G
Epiphone PR-200
Traveler Escape Mk III


"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is."

Last edited by Ludere; 12-30-2018 at 05:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-30-2018, 08:11 PM
Downhillblur Downhillblur is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 34
Default I'm a freak!

I find a full barre F to be easier than the x33211 fingering like Ludere. I'm less apt to mute strings trying to fret the B and e only due to the "lean".
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-30-2018, 09:00 PM
Rpt50 Rpt50 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 296
Default

Is it a Barre chord if you wrap your thumb to catch the low E, and just use your index for the B and high E strings? Although I use the both the regular style (index across all strings) and the thumb wrap methods, I find the thumb wrap generally easier, especially in the lower positions.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-30-2018, 09:30 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,803
Default

Barre chords are completely evil. You pretty much gotta know 'em, and by the time you get 'em down you realize they're pretty much the most boring thing you could play on the guitar, accompanyment-wise.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-31-2018, 08:47 AM
JBCROTTY JBCROTTY is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Southern California (But a Colorado Native)
Posts: 616
Default

I had a GS Mini for a short time. If you have not replaced the strings on it, you may consider putting lights on the guitar - it comes stock with mediums. The lighter gauge might help.

I also lowered my string action - I typically take some material off the saddle to get the action height the way I like it on all my guitars. This helped me with the barre chords.

Lastly, the GS Mini was just too cramped for me, but what I ended up doing was just throwing my index finger over the fret board like a sack of potatoes and this nailed the barre chord issue for me (vs. maneuvering my hand into the proper position to fret the barre chord with the top part of my finger - the leverage was not there due to my hand size).

I should warn you I am a hack and lack any coherent skill at this hobby, but these things worked for me.
__________________
Justin
________________
Gibson J-15
Yamaha LL16RD
Yamaha FG700
Epiphone Les Paul Pro Top Plus
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-31-2018, 09:21 AM
vindibona1's Avatar
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chicago- North Burbs, via Mexico City
Posts: 3,858
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
Neck profile, fretboard taper and string action have more to do with the ease/difficulty of playing clean barre chords than nut width.
I agree 100%. In fact, nut/fingerboard width works IN CONJUNCTION with the profile of the neck. As an anecdotal illustration, I am just as comfortable with my Taylor 1.75" necks with a flatter neck profile as my Martin D35 with a thicker soft V profile and 1 11/16" nut. However, when I switch to my Alvarez Yairi with a 1 11/16" nut and shallow C profile my hand fatigues much more easily for lack of support.

Nut width IMO is highly over-rated. Think of how narrow a violin neck (or mandolin) is, yet many folks with massive hands play them masterfully. Granted a guitar has different playing requirements but again, comfort and ease is based on a composite of variables.

One thing often overlooked is nut slot depth. Just a few 1000ths difference in depth can make a world of difference. IMO every guitar when purchased should be looked over by a professional technician or luthier to check the setup if you don't know how to evaluate it yourself.
__________________
Assuming is not knowing. Knowing is NOT Understanding. There is a difference between compassion and wisdom. Compassion cannot supplant wisdom. Wisdom cannot occur without understanding. FACTS DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. Feelings alone often make for terrible decisions
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-31-2018, 09:51 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: McLeansville, NC
Posts: 6,372
Default

Well, I think neck profile, string spacing/nut width, nut slot depth can all have an affect, depending on the player.

Scale length can be a factor too. Not so much about tension, but on the wrist position of your fretting hand. If you are playing "Cowboy style" - guitar on R knee and close to parallel to the floor, a very short scale guitar will force a greater bend angle in the wrist, which, in turn, diminishes hand strength.

Personally, I can easily make barre chords standing and playing with a strap that are very difficult (if not impossible) for me to execute in the seated position. Just a thought.
__________________
Roy


Ibanez AC240, Alvarez AP30, RK ROS-10, Gretsch Boxcar, Loar LO-16
G&L Tribute Bluesboy, Squier VM '72 Thinline Telecaster, G&L Tribute Ascari GT90,
2 Vox MV50 heads and cabs, Orange Micro Terror, Bugera V5
Roland Cube street EX, Fender Passport Mini, Samson 308i PA

My Solo site -Updated 2/6/19

Our duo website - updated 6/7/18
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-31-2018, 10:35 AM
Wadcutter Wadcutter is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 5,849
Default

Barre chords? We donít need no stinking barre chords!
__________________
HD-28
Hog GS Mini
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-31-2018, 11:05 AM
ctgagnon ctgagnon is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 156
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roylor4 View Post
Well, I think neck profile, string spacing/nut width, nut slot depth can all have an affect, depending on the player.

Scale length can be a factor too. Not so much about tension, but on the wrist position of your fretting hand. If you are playing "Cowboy style" - guitar on R knee and close to parallel to the floor, a very short scale guitar will force a greater bend angle in the wrist, which, in turn, diminishes hand strength.

Personally, I can easily make barre chords standing and playing with a strap that are very difficult (if not impossible) for me to execute in the seated position. Just a thought.
I'm with Roy on this. Position, position, position.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-31-2018, 12:54 PM
vindibona1's Avatar
vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Chicago- North Burbs, via Mexico City
Posts: 3,858
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roylor4 View Post
Personally, I can easily make barre chords standing and playing with a strap that are very difficult (if not impossible) for me to execute in the seated position. Just a thought.
I'm going to guess that the lateral position of your guitar is different seated as opposed to standing. I'll go further to suggest that possibly you have the guitar positioned on your right knee while seated. If I am correct logic would hold that you are not using the leverage of your right arm while seated to pull against with your left ARM. Consequently would then require more hand strength as well as putting your left hand in a slightly different position, again giving up the advantage of leverage.
__________________
Assuming is not knowing. Knowing is NOT Understanding. There is a difference between compassion and wisdom. Compassion cannot supplant wisdom. Wisdom cannot occur without understanding. FACTS DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS. Feelings alone often make for terrible decisions

Last edited by vindibona1; 01-01-2019 at 10:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > PLAY and Write

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=