I'm with Blondie. Why would you want to practice that particular thing? Are you playing a piece that requires that particular scale in that particular place? And why hold the full barre while doing the scale instead of using finger one to fret the appropriate note at the appropriate time? Your body is telling you something really important about doing this as an exercise. It is too aggressive for your strength at this time.Blondie wrote:It sounds like you are doing lots of scale practice whilst holding a barre - might I ask why? Even with good barre technique its a good rule of thumb to avoid full barres where possible and hold them for as little time as possible. Why do you want to practice scales like that?
Yes. This happens to me as well. I spend a significant amount of time in pieces with lots of barres to find the best place to put my index finger. Sometimes it must be higher (with the tip well above the E6 string), and sometimes lower. All to eliminate the "thuddy" notes that occur when the crease of my finger joint just happens to fall on a string that the barre is supposed to fret. You can move the finger because there are times when the other strings are fretted by other fingers and that is not where the first finger pressure is needed. I have even found a solution in HVL Choros #1 where I "roll" the pressure of the barre as I play the ascending notes of the chord to get the cleanest sound. By this, I mean that most of the pressure is initially on the tip of the index finger, but as I play the chord, I let off that pressure and put more of it on the base of my index finger. It was all a matter of timing. Every person has this sort of problem unless you have sausage like fingers. The side of my index finger has a slight callus, but even turning my finger does not always work because I have a bony first finger joint and nearly always the crease ends up on a string and I have to modify the way I play that barre. I try everything for the particular barre in the piece. I move the index finger up or down, I try the side, I curve it, I try the rolling barre..... no one way of barring works for me in every case. Each one is different. I adjust and do what I have to to get the clean notes. It has taken a year of playing some pieces to finally get the clean notes at tempo. The two pieces that were and still are a challenge are Villa Lobos Choros #1 and Asturias by Albéniz. Playing those two pieces has taught me to try every barre technique that is out there!Bailey wrote:When I play with a full barre, some of the notes stemming from the barre sound nice and clean and others sound muddy. It this just the nature of the fingers on the fretboard? I realize that the fingers have recesses at the knuckles and that this means, inherently, less pressure on the string(s) that are sitting under the knuckles. If that's correct, then it makes sense to take the time to look at your left index finger, figure out how to place your finger so that the knuckle recesses are in between the strings and not over them (if this is physically possible) and use this as the basis for practicing barres. Does anyone else find this?
Scott Tennant's book 'Pumping Nylon' has some very good advice on barres. He calls it 'being selective' - which means applying only pressure to those notes that need to sound. Study the chord and find out if you can unlock a joint. This makes a lot of difference and saves a lot of strength.Bailey wrote: When I play with a full barre, some of the notes stemming from the barre sound nice and clean and others sound muddy. It this just the nature of the fingers on the fretboard? I realize that the fingers have recesses at the knuckles and that this means, inherently, less pressure on the string(s) that are sitting under the knuckles. If that's correct, then it makes sense to take the time to look at your left index finger, figure out how to place your finger so that the knuckle recesses are in between the strings and not over them (if this is physically possible) and use this as the basis for practicing barres. Does anyone else find this? Bailey
As far as "proper" barre technique goes, what lagartija said. Me, the only way I've found to hit the B chord cleanly on the 7th fret in Romance is to rotate slightly as you describe.kloeten wrote:If I need to play a full barre that somehow requires a lot of pressure, I sometimes rotate my finger a little bit to the left, so that the side of my finger faces the fretboard. That way you have no problem with knuckle recesses. Not sure if this is proper technique though.
This is consistent with the way my teacher taught me. Also he told me to practice the barre chords often, but not for very long, maybe 5 minutes stretch. At any sign of discomfort, simply stop, and relax.Louis Xavier wrote:Use the natural weight of your entire arm to assist the barre chord- don't focus on the muscles in your hands to get it out. Of course, this is a huge part of it, and this is what controls the emphasis you might place on specific notes. However, it really helps if you almost let the weight of your arm starting from your shoulder almost pull the neck of the guitar towards you (not literally of course), and let your hand just rest in the appropriate position against the neck of the guitar. I've heard from so many teachers that your thumb should not even be applying any pressure to the back of the neck of the guitar- if you are playing correctly, your thumb almost serves as a pivot, and is completely relaxed, while you use much bigger muscles in your arm and shoulder to play the barre chords. I hope this helps!