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  #16  
Old 09-28-2017, 11:03 AM
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Rodger Knox Rodger Knox is offline
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Play them barre chords all night long. Back when I played electric, I played a Ric 360/12. All the songs were all barre chords, the neck was too narrow for cowboy chords in first position. It really doesn't take much grip, it's usually applying more pressure than you need, or pressure where you don't need it that leads to fatigue.

The more you use them, the easier it gets.
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  #17  
Old 09-28-2017, 01:16 PM
3woodengulls 3woodengulls is offline
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Was learning to play give me shelter by The Rolling Stones. That's all barre chords. And the hand is screaming.l!
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2017, 02:20 PM
3woodengulls 3woodengulls is offline
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Thank you for all the responses. Was hoping there was quick solution.
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  #19  
Old 09-28-2017, 02:41 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FwL View Post
You're probably not going to find much help outside of the type of responses you've already gotten here. I don't know if there is much help other than do what you can to develop more endurance.



I've been playing for over 40 years. My technique is solid. My guitars are set up as well as they'll ever be.



It's just a fact that a song that's all barre chords is going to wipe my left hand out. I try to make sure I'm warmed up properly before tackling one of these songs and I have to take a break afterward. I try to space them out within a rehearsal or performance as well. Some days I know I'm just not up for a hand killer so I skip them. Thankfully we only have a few of these in our repertoire.





.


Ever tried different voicings? No matter how good you are with barre chords, playing a song that’s mostly barre chords is tough. Try and substitute some of the barre chords with open chords, or capo the fret where you play the lowest barre chord.
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  #20  
Old 09-28-2017, 02:46 PM
SunnyDee SunnyDee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3woodengulls View Post
Thank you for all the responses. Was hoping there was quick solution.
Changing technique/position could be pretty quick.
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  #21  
Old 09-28-2017, 05:00 PM
Hurricane Ramon Hurricane Ramon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3woodengulls View Post

Been playing for a few years. I can hold my own but I can't get over the fatigue I get in my hand playing songs with multiple barre chords. Set up on my guitars is fine, technique is fine. I used to be a heavy weight lifter so I always thought I had strong hands! Not sure what else to try but it really frustrates me with this. Hoping someone has some ideas or hand exercises that willl help. And no I am not looking for work around. I don't mind playing barre chords I am talking about songs that are entirely using them.

Hello 3woodengulls :

Loosen up man - - literally loosen up the string tension a whole step , and -
continue as normal with out as much strength required to play . I can barre
with normal standard [ E ] but It wasn't the case when I began . I tuned down
a whole step .

This means one big thing , you play longer and in doing so you get to
increase your forearm's strength .

It's in the forearm you get your power to do barre chords period ,
not your hand and fingers albeit they do work as well .

He's a true comparison . I know several athlete musicians who are
strong as oxen and can play barre chords with out effort or fatigue ,
these guys are not what I call pro musicians at all but they can barre
like the devil with out a problem . These dudes are thrash metal players
mostly , some are country pickers though and can wail .

To help you further your ability to have more/stronger stamina I'd pick
up a weight lifters bar and do curls , both the regular and reversed .

https://www.bodybuilding.com/exercis...l-reverse-curl

Guarantee you it won't be an issue in a years time if you do this .

There are two rules about tuning a guitar :
  • #1 : There Are No RULES
  • #2 : Refer To Rule # 1

EZ :

HR
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  #22  
Old 09-28-2017, 05:05 PM
Hurricane Ramon Hurricane Ramon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3woodengulls View Post
Thank you for all the responses. Was hoping there was quick solution.

You Gotta Pay The Price If You Want To Go To the Picture Show .

There are no short cuts with any instrument . You must pay your dues .

The more time you put in the more you get out and faster as well .

EZ
:

HR
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Life has always been interesting to me

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  #23  
Old 09-28-2017, 07:30 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Originally Posted by SunnyDee View Post
I know that this isn't the popular position, but I don't think barre chords take that much strength and I'd look again at your technique. If they required a lot of hand strength, as a newish player with older lady hands, I wouldn't be able to play them, but I can. Look into techniques that let you relax your hand more, not clamp harder.
This is it. Only use as much force as is necessary. A death grip with the left hand will fatigue it in no time. Practice lightening up till you find just how much force you need, and stop there. And, you really don't ever need all 6 strings for a chord. Some tunes and progressions call for the high notes, some low. Use what you need in the context. Economy of effort.
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  #24  
Old 09-29-2017, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3woodengulls View Post
I hear this technique thing a lot. Please help me understand. Barre chords are played with your finger extended over the fret board you thumb is required to clamp behind the finger. This requires pressure from you hand in other words you must clamp using hand muscles. I play barre chords all the time it's not that I can't play them it's that songs that require all barres really fatigue my hand. I was hoping someone has had this issue and was able to overcome it with some hand strength exercise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3woodengulls View Post
Thank you for all the responses. Was hoping there was quick solution.

I have a couple thoughts. While not a newbie, as one with arthritis in my hands I have had to search for the same answers as the OP. If playing bar chords for extended periods you have to make everything as efficient as possible. There are small bits, when added together can make a huge difference.

1) Shape of the neck. You need to find one that best suits YOUR hands. I find the soft V neck with 1 11/16ths" nut on my Martin D35 easier on my hands than my Taylors with a C profile and 1 3/4" nut. It's about leverage and how the neck sits in your hand and allows the strong muscle in your thumb to work. As an example of *not* fitting my hand is the new Fender Stratocaster Professional model. The way the neck displaces my thumb my hand starts to hurt in 30 seconds and starts cramping in 2 minutes! Obviously this would be a very poor choice of instrument for me.

2) String height. The string height on acoustics can range from the sublime to the ridiculous. I think one standard for the bass side is 6/64ths". I've seen guitars with 8/64ths. You wouldn't think that lowering the string height 1 or 2 64's would do anything, but it really does. On acoustics you can only go so low before the guitar starts losing its mojo, but if electified it may not matter. [Can't help but wonder how low Tommy Emmanuel's strings are?] You've got to figure that out. If you have a good luthier or technican nearby you may want to pay him a visit. Most of my acoustics have had adjustments made and it really helps. [BTW- Taylor's shimming system is ingenious]

3) Neck relief. Again, here is an area that can add to comfort if low enough (but not too low). I adjust the neck relief on my guitars by feel (and sound), not by any gauge. I find myself being very fussy about it, so consquently I make small adjustments more often than most folks... but it helps. A little too high- harder to play. A little too low- lost mojo or buzz.

4) String selection. You can put ultra light gauge strings on the guitar if you like. But alternately, look for strings with lighter tension in a standard light gauge. Round cores strings like DR Sunbeams (I use 12's) feel about one gauge lighter. Also Straight Up Strings has a lighter feel and is sold by tension, not by gauge.

5) Fingerboard radius (and one simple mod). Acoustic fingerboards tend to be flatter than electrics (something I don't understand). And while I'm not suggesting to alter the radius I can offer one simple modification that can be done to most guitars: Rolling the fingerboard edges.

If you look at most Fenders, especially the less expensive ones, the fingerboard edges have a sharp edge. I found those edges uncomfortable and when I started rounding those off (rolling) I not only got rid of that hard edge digging into my hand, but also found bar chords MUCH easier because it accomodated the curvature of my index finger. While I have not dared to do that to my acoustics (though I've thought about it) I have done that to all but one of my electrics. I've even rounded the plastic binding on one of my Les Pauls (with flatter 12" radius compared to Fender's 9.5") and it made a TON of difference. For reference I've attached a photo of my Tele's fingerboard (warning: do this to a lacquered maple board at your own risk).

So, those are my thoughts on making the playing experience easier. I hope you find (some of) them useful.

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Last edited by vindibona1; 09-29-2017 at 09:59 AM.
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  #25  
Old 09-29-2017, 08:34 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurricane Ramon View Post

Hello 3woodengulls :

Loosen up man - - literally loosen up the string tension a whole step , and -
continue as normal with out as much strength required to play . I can barre
with normal standard [ E ] but It wasn't the case when I began . I tuned down
a whole step .

This means one big thing , you play longer and in doing so you get to
increase your forearm's strength .

It's in the forearm you get your power to do barre chords period ,
not your hand and fingers albeit they do work as well .

He's a true comparison . I know several athlete musicians who are
strong as oxen and can play barre chords with out effort or fatigue ,
these guys are not what I call pro musicians at all but they can barre
like the devil with out a problem . These dudes are thrash metal players
mostly , some are country pickers though and can wail .

To help you further your ability to have more/stronger stamina I'd pick
up a weight lifters bar and do curls , both the regular and reversed .


https://www.bodybuilding.com/exercis...l-reverse-curl

Guarantee you it won't be an issue in a years time if you do this .

There are two rules about tuning a guitar :
  • #1 : There Are No RULES
  • #2 : Refer To Rule # 1

EZ :
Hi Ramon,

I agree with rules #1 & #2.

I disagree about doing curls and reverse curls to aid in performing barre chords. I was a State level powerlifting competitor and a State Games champion in martial arts. There aren't many exercise new or old I haven't done (I'm 54) and still hit the gym regularly. No amount of wrist curls will help with forming barre chords, especially in the early stages IMHO.

Once the OP gets the endurance to play for an hour or two using mostly barres, lifting may help with endurance. Strong as I am (for my age anyways), that strength DID NOT translate into easy barre chords - only implementing them into playing did that.

My solution: Play a butt-load of barre chords. I don't think there is a substitute. In the time that it takes to go to the gym and back and perform fairly non-specific exercises, the OP could play 30 minutes of song with 'nuttin but barre chords.
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  #26  
Old 09-29-2017, 09:26 AM
FwL FwL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1neeto View Post
Ever tried different voicings? No matter how good you are with barre chords, playing a song that’s mostly barre chords is tough. Try and substitute some of the barre chords with open chords, or capo the fret where you play the lowest barre chord.


Sometimes only barre chords will do.

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  #27  
Old 09-29-2017, 09:36 AM
3woodengulls 3woodengulls is offline
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Thank you vindabona
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  #28  
Old 09-29-2017, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3woodengulls View Post
Thank you vindabona
You are most welcome.
__________________
2017 Taylor 814ceDLX
2011 Taylor 614ce
'72 Martin D-35
'74 Alvarez Yairi DY77
'90 Alvarez Yairi DY71
'81 Epiphone PR-755s
Old Yamaha DX7
A bunch of Strats and LP's and Tele and a bass and some random trumpets


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  #29  
Old 09-29-2017, 06:17 PM
Hurricane Ramon Hurricane Ramon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roylor4 View Post
Hi Ramon,

I agree with rules #1 & #2.

I disagree about doing curls and reverse curls to aid in performing barre chords. I was a State level powerlifting competitor and a State Games champion in martial arts. There aren't many exercise new or old I haven't done (I'm 54) and still hit the gym regularly. No amount of wrist curls will help with forming barre chords, especially in the early stages IMHO.

Once the OP gets the endurance to play for an hour or two using mostly barres, lifting may help with endurance. Strong as I am (for my age anyways), that strength DID NOT translate into easy barre chords - only implementing them into playing did that.

My solution: Play a butt-load of barre chords. I don't think there is a substitute. In the time that it takes to go to the gym and back and perform fairly non-specific exercises, the OP could play 30 minutes of song with 'nuttin but barre chords.
Apparently Your Mileage Did Vary

EZ :

HR
__________________
It started for me with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in 54 on a Blues Harp and progressed ,
then life .....some death ....Evolving as I went like a small rock in a stream rounding
out as I went with the flow as I go through the white waters and waterfalls of life .
Life has always been interesting to me

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  #30  
Old 09-30-2017, 06:23 PM
Pitar Pitar is offline
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Rigid use of the index finger as a capo is usually the mantra for students of barre chord placement. They focus on the clamping of that finger as capo-like as possible, thinking this and no other method is best.

The barre is not really a barre. By all appearances it is and hence the name but it does not need to sound all strings. It typically only needs to sound 2 to 3 strings. The e-strings are usually covered by the index finger with the balance of the notes between them chord-specific and typically the work of the other fingers.

The index finger will eventually adapt itself to sound only those strings it needs to sound. It will be relieved by the other fingers as they sound their fretted notes.

At this juncture I find placement of barre chords to be of no greater effort than placing open chords. That's just what comes from practice.
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