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  #1  
Old 12-31-2015, 05:09 AM
NotAnyGood NotAnyGood is offline
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Default How do you prefer to play A-shaped barre chords?

Hi,

I would like to know from more experienced players how you play A-shaped barre chords. I have trouble keeping enough pressure on the barre to get a full six string barre while also getting the other three strings in a more common finger formation. I also simply have trouble fitting all three fingers within the frets. I usually try to avoid the chords altogether, make a "mini-barre", a thumb-over or most commonly barre the six strings with my index and the remaining three with a pinky-barre. The latter takes a lot of effort for me.

Any cheats or tricks you'd be willing to share? Besides practice, practice, practice.

Thanks!
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:15 AM
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I don't worry about the low e string. The a is the root.

Index barre the first 5 and m-r-p for the chord is my approach.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:55 AM
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Index barre and distal phalanx of pinky on 2-3-4, arched over 1. Sometimes I substitute the ring for the pinky if I want to fret the stings in front of the stop, for add 2, add 4, etc.
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:04 AM
_zedagive _zedagive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A-Mac View Post
Index barre and distal phalanx of pinky on 2-3-4, arched over 1. Sometimes I substitute the ring for the pinky if I want to fret the stings in front of the stop, for add 2, add 4, etc.
'

Same here except I never use the ring finger (mine just doesn't bend backwards).
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Old 12-31-2015, 01:23 PM
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Hi NAG…

I play A shaped barre chords as inside chords (neither outside string included). I go with a first and third finger combo to cover strings, and pinky to play sus versions.



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Old 12-31-2015, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAnyGood View Post
Hi,

I would like to know from more experienced players how you play A-shaped barre chords. I have trouble keeping enough pressure on the barre to get a full six string barre while also getting the other three strings in a more common finger formation. I also simply have trouble fitting all three fingers within the frets. I usually try to avoid the chords altogether, make a "mini-barre", a thumb-over or most commonly barre the six strings with my index and the remaining three with a pinky-barre. The latter takes a lot of effort for me.

Any cheats or tricks you'd be willing to share? Besides practice, practice, practice.

Thanks!
I used one finger to place the half-barre A-shape in the open position. I use the pad of my index finger to do that. After practice it will bend sufficiently to clear and prevent muting of the high E string.

This really is the preferred method for placing the A-chord shape. It frees the other fingers to use for coloring the sound when needed.
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Old 12-31-2015, 03:45 PM
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Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi NAG…

I play A shaped barre chords as inside chords (neither outside string included). I go with a first and third finger combo to cover strings, and pinky to play sus versions.

This is exactly how I do it. That free pinky is quite helpful. Oh, and when playing the 7 chord with this shape I either use the ring and pinky fingers to fret the D and B strings respectively, or I make the full barre, and drop the pinky on the High-E string on the fret below the barre.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:45 PM
macmanmatty macmanmatty is offline
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I play using index finger as barre ring finger to fret the 4th string and pinky to fret 3rd and 2nd strings.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:12 PM
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There has been a few threads about bar chords on this forum in the last few days. My take on bar chords is that they appear fairly early in a guitarists education. At a guess maybe stage two or three out of ten or twenty.

There are many roles for guitarists. One of these roles is 'Rhythm Guitarist'. The rhythm guitarist plays chords whilst other band members cover the roles of lead instrumentalist, singer, bass player and whatever else. A 'Rhythm guitarist' could be expected to play barre chords if they were required for the material being played. A lead guitarist might never play chords at all. He would play melodies, fills in the gaps in a vocalists parts and play lead instrumental solos. The fact that a 'Lead guitarist' never plays bar chords should not be taken as evidence that lead guitar is lesser than the rhythm player. At the same time the fact that the rhythm player never plays lead should not be a criticism.

There is a duo of guitar players where the rhythm player is a stunningly beautiful lady playing barre chords and wonderful percussive stuff and the lead player is an annoyingly talented plectrum picker who probably does realise how lucky he is, both playing mainly South American acoustic music.

With luck someone might post a link.
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Old 12-31-2015, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanron View Post
...snip...

There is a duo of guitar players where the rhythm player is a stunningly beautiful lady playing barre chords and wonderful percussive stuff and the lead player is an annoyingly talented plectrum picker who probably does realise how lucky he is, both playing mainly South American acoustic music.

With luck someone might post a link.
Rodrigo y Gabriela? Outstanding stuff...

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Old 12-31-2015, 08:31 PM
stanron stanron is offline
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Yup. That's them. Aren't they good?
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Old 01-01-2016, 05:14 AM
NotAnyGood NotAnyGood is offline
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Hmm, seems to be some individuality to it then. And as someone mentioned, I am indeed only about six months in playing. Its just interesting to hear how people do it in practice as becomes clear very early on that there are a lot more ways of going about things than sometimes is apparent from chord books or tutorial videos. It would seem to me that a good compromise would be first finger barre, perhaps stopping at fifth string, combined with a 2-3-4 barre with third finger. It leaves you with room for enough variation.
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