I know it's a popular question and already there is a question about this on this site. But, I'm looking for a different answer that's all.

I'm a beginner and recently started practicing barre chords. But, before playing barre chords I focused on making sound with all the six barred strings. All the strings make a sound except for the G string. Now I've gone through and tried everything that I found by googling and on YouTube. Nothing helped.

My problem is that the middle third of my index finger is not putting enough pressure on the G string.

Now, my question is: Is this normal? Will I be able to overcome this by practicing? Will the middle third of my index finger change(toughen)?

  • 1
    Nishit, before I answer, have you read all 4 of the top related questions over on the right? I have a feeling they hold the answer.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jul 14 '14 at 12:03
  • @DrMayhem , yes I did. Have been doing every practice for last 5 days but there isn't any noticeable improvement. Jul 14 '14 at 12:15
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    5 days is nowhere near enough time. As @slim points out, in a year or so you will have lots more strength in your fingers and this will be easy.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jul 14 '14 at 13:24
  • 1
    Have you tried Y-fronts ? or maybe boxer shorts? <runs and hides> Jul 14 '14 at 14:50
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    But really. . Which barre chord shape are you playing ? The only one I can think if that wopuld hold the G string "open" aganst your finger is either a G barre chord (unusual) or C shape, in which case most of the other strings are fretted anyway so you only have to concentrate on 1 or 2 "barre" strings. Is there a particular barre shape that's giving you trouble ? Jul 14 '14 at 15:05

You will overcome this by practising, but you don't need to worry about it just yet. It's not that common to need to play all six strings barred.

Concentrate at first on the two most common barred shapes - the "A shape" (for example, a barred Bb) and the "E shape" (for example, a barred F).

With both of these shapes you barre across six strings, and fret 3 strings individually. This means that your index finger, barreing, only has to press down cleanly on three strings.

For the "A shape", your barre can be sloppy on the B,G,D strings. For the "E shape", your barre can be sloppy on the G,D,A strings.

It's actually better to not worry about these strings, because you would be stressing your hand to push down the string, for no reason at all. The important thing when playing guitar is to make the minimum movements necessary to produce the required sound.

Later on, you may encounter a chord that really is one barre across all 6 strings -- but by then you would expect to have gained finger strength and flexibility from playing "normal" barre chords a lot.


Adding to slim's answer, the only time you'd need to be accurate with the barre finger on the 3rd string is when you play minor, minor 7th chords, using an 'E' shape, and dominant 7th ,minor 7th chords using an 'A' shape.As a beginner, as you get better on the barre chords that are not any of those, you will improve enough to cope. You may also consider rotating your barre finger, so it's not completely using the pad part, but the more bony side of that finger.

Leave playing minor seventh add four chords till you need them !


As your wrist starts to strengthen through practicing bar chords, your positioning will become more supple and flexible to create a good contact between your finger and the fretboard. This will come from practice, but can also be enhanced by some practice techniques to vary the method slightly.

One thing I found useful was "building" shapes from the top 4 strings that are smaller sections of the complete barre chord. Not only does this help with finger strength in a more manageable way for people new to the technique, it also develops a knowledge of 4 string chords across the span of the neck, which are immensely useful in comping when playing rhythm guitar, particularly when sight reading.

Secondly, practice scale runs around shapes that allow you to barre a set of notes. For example, using pentatonic box 1 beginning on the 7th fret 6th string, and barre the 7th fret with your index finger and play the run with your remaining fingers.

If you start off higher up the neck, it will take less force to produce a clean sound due to the build of the guitar. This will allow you to build the strength in your fingers more and more as you move down the neck.

Hopefully this will be useful to you, and just stick at it!

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