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I started learning guitar months ago. Now I can play basic melodies and couple of basic chords and couple of songs with pick or finger style.

The problem is I stopped progressing because I'm having problem on playing complicated chords specially barre chords.

Does anyone suggest me how to go through this phase and overcome this difficulty?

  • Maybe consult a teacher for tips on technique, but mostly it's building up muscles/practice. – Mafii Dec 15 '17 at 8:25
  • @Rich see my own answer – user37367 Dec 28 '17 at 4:26
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Several factors arise with barre chords. The first consideration for me is the action of the guitar. If that's not good, any player will have hard work making them sound good easily. In a lot of classical playing, half barres are used, and those are easier to play, and get you into the right positions better.

Bear in mind that with full 5 or 6 string barres, there is never the need to actually press down all the strings - two or three are usually pressed down by fingers higher up the fretboard than the barre.

Barres are notoriously difficult to start with - I've only ever had one student who played them cleanly, first time, in the lesson, having only just been introduced to them - certainly not practised beforehand. All others take a few weeks to settle themselves in.

Experiment with rolling the barre finger so that it touches the strings with its more boney side, nearer to the thumb. Also, decide how much finger needs to be sticking out at the top on the fretboard, near the 6th string, so no strings are under the creases of skin where the joints are.

And sort it out with a teacher!

  • "With full 5 or 6 string barres, there is never the need to actually press down all the strings" — I certainly don't agree. I get to play some of these every day (in "classical guitar" pieces like Torroba or Lobos — an "empty" 5-string barre makes a major 11th chord, for instance). Otherwise +1. – Ramillies Dec 15 '17 at 9:31
  • @Ramillies - often there are other fingers used to form the other notes used on barre chords - far more often than needing to play maj11, or m7add11 chords. So 'never' should be 'rarely'. – Tim Dec 15 '17 at 14:30
  • Exactly. That was the only thing I wanted to say. A nice answer otherwise. – Ramillies Dec 15 '17 at 15:43
  • Good answer. I simply want to add that beginners can also practice playing mini-barre chords. For instance, you could barre only the 1st, 2nd + 3rd strings on, say, the 5th fret to play an Am chord. After you get comfortable with that, you can add your small finger on the 7th fret of the 4th ('D') string to add another voice to that Am chord. After you get comfortable with that, you can add your ring finger to the 7th fret of the 5th ('A') string and then, finally, a full 6 string Am barre chord by extending your first finger all the way to the 6th (low 'E') string. – DougRisk Dec 27 '17 at 15:33
  • @DougRisk - it's a nice idea, and works best with kids and those with small hands. However, the skill in making a 2 or 3 string half-barre doesn't go a long way to preparing for a 5 or 6 string barre, in my experience. – Tim Dec 27 '17 at 15:46
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After some researched I found that strings have different tensions and some people were talking about using low tension string or Flamenco strings. I replaced my strings with Flamenco strings and I feel it is a little easier to hold the barre chords.

However I marked the other post as answer, I thought this may help other beginners.

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Check with your teacher (or at least an experienced player) that you're approaching barre chords in the right way. Then just keep practicing. It will come.

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