Bar Chords

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Bar chords to be one of the most frustrating and painful guitar techniques there is.

I'm not going to mince words here... they are a major challenge.

So why even use guitar bar chords in your music? Why not stay with open chords?

Good question.

There are quite a few situations where a particular chord is almost impossible to finger in a open chord. Also bar chords can be quite handy to grab while you are soloing or doing whatever you do further up the guitar neck away from the open chord positions.

Bar chord mechanics - put that guitar bar chord chart to work

As you might know already a bar chord is a type of chord where the index finger is used like another guitar nut.

You could also think of it like a capo (a device that clamps onto the guitar neck to position the nut anywhere you want.)

Hand strength for Bar chords.

But.... if you don't have the hand strength and dexterity to do the job you might as well buy a kazoo and get your Hendrix licks down with that.

Make no mistake there is no substitute for strong nimble hands.

But most of us don't start with hands that can crush rocks and fingers that can trip the light fantastic right away.


Give it to me straight Teach, is there any hope for me?

Well, I will tell you this. Be sure to check with a Medical doctor if you have any pain in your hands. They could save your hands and your career as a guitarist.

OK, what is this big secret tip that will make using the great downloadable bar chord chart and bar chords in general a breeze?

How to play bar chords the easy way

If your anything like me when I was first learning to play bar chords I would clamp my hand around the guitar neck like I was trying to strangle a goose that was trying to kill me and my family.

That's a great way of not only making it sound really bad, but also a great way to send your hands into spasms for two weeks.

Instead of clamping down with all your might on your hands trying to get that bar chord to sound right, use you thumb behind the neck as a clamping lever and pull back with your triceps muscle.

Just pull your elbow on your fretting arm straight backwards and use the pressure that you produce from that to clamp the fretting hand around the neck.

This is a revelation that I found to be the trick to make bar chords a breeze.

Try it!


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