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View Full Version : Barre Chords - Look at your thumb - from Gerald Ross



Gerald Ross
04-15-2015, 04:43 AM
Many people have a hard time making clean sounding barre chords on the uke - chords where all four strings ring out clearly.

One of the keys to getting a clean sound is to pay attention to the placement of your left thumb on the neck of the uke.

Let's make a barre C chord - 5433. Look at the position of your thumb on the back of the neck. If your thumb is placed directly under the 3rd fret you are working at a physical disadvantage and your hand is probably in pain.

Now make the chord but place your thumb underneath the 1st fret (or close by). Spread out your fretting hand. You now form a stronger "tripod" and it's easier to apply pressure to your fingers forming the chord.

Try it. It works.

JJFN
04-15-2015, 04:53 AM
Thank you for the tip. Don't have a whole lot of trouble with the barre, but do feel some pain planting thumb under pointer finger. Will have to re-program, but anything to help these hands. I'll bet right now, lots of UUer's are trying this method.

DownUpDave
04-15-2015, 08:22 AM
I love your stuff Gerald, your music and the way to brake down and teach "swing" is awesome. Coolkayaker1 is always posting your video on how to play barr chords. I noticed you can hyper extend your index finger and that is why you teach sliding the barring finger out past the fretboard as much as possible. I can imagine putting your thumb closer to the headstock works well with your technique and flexible fingers

I have a physical condition that does not allow my index finger to straigthen, not even close. So I must start at the first joint with my finger tip just barely past the fret board, I then roll my finger up on it's side a bit and the only place my thumb can go is either under my barring finger or closer to my palm, towards the heel of the neck. Aaron Kliem teaches this technique.

I only point this out because there will be people trying your technique and they won't be able to make it work. Then they get frustrated and might feel they will never be able to barr chords. We are all anatomically different and by trying all different ways we will find one that will work for us. Your technique will hopefully help a lot of people. Thanks for taking the time to share,

Gerald Ross
04-15-2015, 09:48 AM
Thanks DownUpDave.

Yes, the barre technique I teach is but one of many. We all have different shaped hands, different length fingers and various levels of dexterity. The technique I teach works for me and many others. Each musician must use what was given to them anatomically to make music work. Remember - If it sounds like music, you are doing it right.

Dan Uke
04-15-2015, 07:51 PM
"If it sounds like music, you are doing it right". What a great encouraging quote! I really enjoy your arrangements and love playing your version of Wave! Thanks for sharing your music!

Ukejenny
04-16-2015, 12:01 PM
Works like a charm!

CeeJay
04-16-2015, 12:13 PM
Thanks DownUpDave.

Yes, the barre technique I teach is but one of many. We all have different shaped hands, different length fingers and various levels of dexterity. The technique I teach works for me and many others. Each musician must use what was given to them anatomically to make music work. Remember - If it sounds like music, you are doing it right.

Ah ...now there you have me sirrah !!