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Thread: Barre Chord Stretches

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Barre Chord Stretches

    Hi everyone

    I'm struggling with a few barre chord shapes, namely the 2 featured below:

    1)--5-- 2) --3--
    --8-- --6--
    --5-- --5--
    --5-- --3--
    --7-- --5--
    --5-- --3--

    I'm okay with the with the more straightforward barre chords, as I'm using the side of my index finger to assist with the barre (as recommended by most players). But when I try to add the stretches above, I find that my pinky won't stretch to its note unless I alter the angle of my fretting hand (like you would if you were playing single-note lines with wide stretches). Unfortunately, this distorts the shape of my index finger, and the notes it barres don't ring as clearly (mostly the 3rd and 4th strings).

    Anyone offer any advice?

  2. #2
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Funky Munky World
    Practice them higher up the ftreboard and gradually work your way down to the positions you show until you are comfortable with them.

    Or, for example in your first chord example which I believe is Am7, you could just play it without the pinky at the 8th fret on the B string. That gives you a high G, but if you take it off and simply continue the barre at the 5th fret it would be E at the 5th fret B string.

    Your position shows notes of A E G C G A

    Withouth the pinky at the 8th fret it would be A E G C E A

    G is the 7th and would appear only once in this fingering, whereas in yours it appears twice in different octaves, which is a nice voicing but not really necessary to play the chord.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sound advice. Also, may want to try this stretching exercise:


    Take this diagonal shape, and then move your first finger back to the eleventh fret and play the chord again. Then, move your second finger back to the twelfth fret, and play it. Then move your third finger back to the thirteenth and play it. Then move your fourth finger back to the fourteenth fret and play the chord.

    You should now have the exact same diagonal chord shape one fret lower. Now repeat the above process, and descend the length of the fiongebroard until you can't go any further.

    This exercise should help you increase your stretching ability on the guitar, which will of course assist you with the above bar chords (namely m7 and m7sus4 voicings).

    Hope this helps!


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