First of all I just started doing barre chords after learning ordinary non-barre chords. Problem is they don't sound so well, so my question is, will training with hand grippers help me achieve this? Because I've been applying equal pressure and they still sound a bit off, only a bit off.


It turns out that strength is not what is needed to improve your ability to finger barre chords, or any chords. It's mostly about precise placement and using the minimum amount of force to hold it down.

It's not necessarily that equal pressure is correct. You just need the right amount of pressure for each fret and string.


No. Simple answer. Your hands could be stronger than a weightlifter's and still not play barre chords, or any other chords, well.

Actually, hardly any finger strength is needed. Putting fingers as close as possible to the fretwire helps, accurate fingering helps, and a good action helps. If the strings are a long way above the fingerbaord, strength will help, but a better solution is to improve the action, or change guitars.

If any muscles help, it's the arm muscles, as they should be used a little as levers, using the thumb as a fulcrum point - which also doesn't need to be clamped to the neck.


No, training with hand grippers won't help you execute barre chords. Firstly, time spent squeezing grippers is time that you could be using to actually practise barre chords. Secondly, the physical action is markedly different and not about finger placement and subtleties of pressure. But hey, you could end up with a really impressive handshake, and all the other musicians will ask you to carry their gear. It's early days; hang in there and your barre chords will improve.


guitars are all about practice, practice and practice. so yeah if you are performing for someone use them, if you are practicing then don't because today you might not be able to do it but even if you try 15 minutes a day( not at a go) try to hold the chord, check if each string is ringing, if not readjust your position(chances are that it is still not ringing), still you practice shifting and strumming, keep on doing it without losing hope and magically one fine day you will get up and notice that you have done it. it might take anywhere between a week to two months. I couldn't press the b string whenever I had the shape of e major for 3 months! so its just a matter of time. for some its less, for some its more. playing guitar has nothing to do with talent. but what comes after playing is. you can play each song you listen for the first time in first go but you may never be able to compose some( I know that cause I don't have the musician in me ) but nothing should ever stop you. if you believe you can, you will end up doing it some day and that might just not be today. Good Luck!


Grippers (hand squeezing exercisers) won't get you anywhere. It may sound trite, but the best exercise for improving your barre chords is to play barre chords. Work on correct technique and position, and eventually you'll see marked improvement. You can try to focus on 'power chords' initially (i.e. just the lowest 3 notes, the root, 5th and octave) but don't let this become a crutch. If you're like me, it's the notes that ought to be fretted by the index finger that are likely giving you trouble, but soon you'll come to 'grips' (forgive the pun) with the required touch to properly voice the notes and whole new worlds of playing joy and success will open up for you.

Don't worry about voicing that high E string when playing an 'A' shape barre chord, almost no one gets their ring finger to back-bend sufficiently to let that high E string ring out while playing an 'A'-shape barre chord (eg x57775 for a D chord, most players wind up playing x5777x for this, unintentionally muting that high E string.)

One last thing, don't fall into the bad habit of trying to 're-inforce' your index finger by overlapping your middle finger on top of it. You're gonna need that middle finger elsewhere soon enough, and unlearning bad habits is much harder once they're ingrained.

Have fun and keep practicing.

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    'Almost no-one ' plays the top string with an A shape chord? Each and every one of my students did, and can! They may or may not prefer it, but it certainly gets done. – Tim Aug 25 '17 at 7:55

I don't find those hand-grippers very effective in teaching you how to make your barre chords sound better. The truth is, a large part of getting your barre chords to sound good comes from good technique. There are quite a number of tiny details that will help you achieve a good sounding barre chord with minimal effort. Many people think that in order to get your barre chords down, you need quite a lot of strength, and that is not true at all. Remember that precision beats power. Focus on getting the details of the technique correct.

Another thing that may be preventing you from getting your barre chords down is your guitar's set up. If your strings are too far away from the fretboard, you're going to have a really tough time getting your chords to sound good. Make sure your guitar is properly set up.

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    Good technique is mentioned, but no clues as to what that might entail. The best answers on this site contain helpful detail. That would improve this answer. – Tim Jul 25 '17 at 11:32

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