Barre Chord Playing Tip

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Part of the challenge in playing barre chords is that the tension in the string makes it hard to effectively fret so many strings with one finger.  With less tension on the strings, fretting is much easier.  There is a great solution to help lower the tension and improve your barre chord playing.  Full Story.

Tune your guitar down a full step.  In other words, instead of tuning E-A-D-G-B-E, tune to D-G-C-F-A-D.  Then, capo the guitar on the 2nd fret.  You’ll still be playing at the same pitch (the capo will offset the effect of the new tuning) but the strings will be less taut – making them easier to fret.  Playing in this position will also mean you’ll be playing at a wider part of the neck – which might also help.  Then, when you have it down, go back to normal tuning and save your capo for a song that needs it.

If you don’t have a capo you like, we recommend either the Shubb Stainless Steel Deluxe Capo or the Planet Waves Dual Action Capo.  Both are available in the Fretbase Store.

Photo Credit:  jordansmall

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  1. Michael Garfield

    I only ever learned one thing from a classical guitarist, and that was this:

    Extend the tip of your barring finger out BEYOND the fretboard, as if it were reaching to barre a 7th string. This realigns the rotational axis, reducing the required torque and increasing your leverage. If you can retrain yourself to play in this way, it’s probably a lot easier than having to learn to play at the second fret and keeping your guitar capo’d and detuned.