The Biggest Problems With Barre Chords

Barre chords seem to be one of the biggest challenges for guitar players but once you understand the secrets to playing them, it unlocks a whole new world of playing for you.

It takes a lot of time and effort to master this particular technique. And if you’re new to playing the guitar, it will also probably hurt your fingers and frustrate you to no end if you can’t get those barre chords sounding right the first few times you play them. You will encounter a lot of problems as you try to tackle learning barre chords, but don’t worry, because there are remedies to these problems. Read on and learn more.

PROBLEM 1: There’s a buzzing sound when I play barre chords.

There are a few reasons that cause that buzzing sound when you play barre chords. One is that your fingers are not positioned properly, and this may be causing you to press down on other strings, which causes the buzzing sound. Another reason is that your bar finger may not be putting the right pressure on the strings, which causes the sound of the barre chord to be muted, or to give off that buzzing sound.

How do you solve this? Simple. Before you play the barre chord, check you’re the position of your fingers first. Make sure that your bar finger is pressing down on all of the strings required – strum the strings first when you bar your finger across the fret, and listen to the sound you create. If it produces a good solid sound, then your bar is just right. Next, position each finger carefully on the other strings. If you have to do it one at a time to make sure that you are not pressing down on other unnecessary strings, do so just to be safe. Strum again to check. Slowly but surely should do the trick.

PROBLEM 2: My bar finger hurts when I play too long.

Playing barre chords will really cause sore fingers at some point, especially if you are just starting out. There really is no easy way around this, not if you want to master playing barre chords. Your fingers will hurt because the skin is soft, plus your hands and fingers are not yet used to the pressure you have to put on the strings to make them sound just right.

To lessen the pain on your bar finger, try this little trick: roll your finger slightly so that it is the edge of your finger pressing down on the strings and not the soft part. This should lessen the pressure your bar finger feels, plus it will make “barring” easier for you.

The more you practice, and the more you play your guitar, the less your fingers will hurt because in time, your fingers will develop calluses – the skin on your fingers will toughen as they get used to pressing down on guitar strings and creating music.

PROBLEM 3: Transitioning from one chord to another.

Aside from hurting fingers and buzzing sounds, another common problem encountered by beginner guitarists when they play barre chords is transition. Playing one barre chord is one thing, but to play a number of barre chords in succession is a different matter. Sometimes it can get confusing because of all the chords you have to keep in memory, and this causes the awkward pause when you shift from one chord to another.

What you can do to improve on transitioning from one barre chord to another is to learn the different “shapes” of barre chords. When you take away the bar, these chords have a common shape, such as the A or E chord. Familiarize yourself with the basic “shapes” that make up a barre chord. Aside from this, spend time everyday to practice these chords. Regular practice and repetition is the only way for you to memorize the chords. Once you have the chords committed to memory, playing them on your guitar won’t be a problem anymore.

There you have it, the most common problems with barre chords answered and solved. Just keep playing, and don’t let yourself be discouraged when you find yourself having a hard time with those barre chords.

Want More?

When it comes to making & playing bar chords, if you get butter fingers, a sore wrist, a cramping hand, or a weird sounding buzzing noise, then check out this awesome course from Beginner Guitarist Academy called Barre Chords Made Easy: