This would be a good start also make sure that the middle strings arent falling under the creases on the barre finger sometimes you need to shift this finger a little towards the low e to avoid this.also remember that if the other fingers are fretting other notes you dont need to crank down on this finger only pressure the notes you need to sound. Another issue could be the action of your guitar .Barres can strain the hand a little but should not be causing the pain that you have indicated .kristi wrote:Hey all!
Do you have any ideas how to address this? Maybe I should turn the index finger a little
I am currently learning on my own, although I did have a teacher years ago, when I was taking up CG at a musical school as a complementary instrument. First 2 years of the guitar lessons I actually had an outstanding teacher. However, these cramps playing barre chords have always been occuring to me... I asked my teacher once whether he could see why this happens -- he reviewed my posture, LH position etc., and only had comments about the left thumb. Other than that, he did not make any notes. I fixed the left thumb issues, however the cramps remained, and thus I remained thinking this pain is normal and the only way forward is to avoid barre chords at all... I actually quite succesfully did this by those times, and now I'm facing bitter concequencesSummer wrote: I am assuming you do not have a teacher because this would already be discussed with him/her.
Thank you, I would have never thought of this... very creative! On my way to develop one more bad habit -- starting to gnaw the left index finger from today onDaD wrote:Holding your straightened index finger sideways you can see your problem instantly: it is not a straight line; the 1st phalange is fleshier than the other two, especially the middle one which is the part over which the middle strings tend to rest. The area closest to the joint is the most problematic making the G string the hardest to finger in a barre. What you need is to fill that gap, not much, by stiffening the skin in that area, slightly off-center (ie a little towards the thumb). You do not want a big great corn on your finger, just a light callouse that hardens the skin sufficiently to provide better contact with the string. You can use a nail file, I used my front teeth to gnaw gently at the flesh for a week or two. That is all it takes to play barres effortlessly.
- If you have problems with higher fret barre, check:kristi wrote:Many thanks for all the advises! I've practiced all possible techniques advised above, and I must admit it helps (espetially helpful is the awareness itself), though I still can't find a way to get a clear barre at, say, ninth fret...
Do you think, in general, is it normal that the higher the fret is, the harder it gets to play a clear barre chord? I've learned from the previous links, that the 3rd fret is considered to be the most convenient for barre. I've noticed that for me, anything up to 5th fret is super, and I've also discovered that on these frets, I've been playing barre chords with my arm strength all the time (without realizing it), which is probably why it went so smoothly.
Although on higher frets it gets worse and worse -- for instance, 7th or 9th frets seem to be almost impossible to take clearly Or can it be so that I just use different muscles when taking barre chords on the high frets?
I am using normal tension strings -- should I switch to high tension?cn90 wrote: a. string tension: are you using high-tension strings.
I've just checked this; the 12th fret action for the 1st string is 4.5mm and for the 6th, it is 7mm. I play Alhambra 4P and this is how it came from the factory (I actually switched to this guitar rather recently). Should I be concerned about this and ask to set it to the defaults?cn90 wrote: b. action, is your CG set up with the typical action of 3mm-1ststring-12thfret and 4mm-6thstring-12fret.
This is actually what I'm practicing at the moment I am barely improving though, but it could be as you say, that more practice is required.cn90 wrote: c. your LH index finger, is it straight when barre. A trick I learned from the pro is if you slightly rotate the LH index finger (point the LH index finger at yourself and rotate it 3-5 degrees COUNTER-CLOCKWISE), the LH index finger will lock into a straight line and it will help with higher-fret barre.