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crokett
02-09-2016, 02:51 AM
I'm a beginner trying to learn Rainbow Connection so I can accompany my daughter. I'm having issues with B-Minor(or any barre really). It sounds muddy. I found this video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS06weYFYHs

where he wraps his thumb around to hold the G string. Is there an issue doing it this way? I haven't tried it yet but am not having much success with using my first finger as a barre and my third finger to hold down that G. I keep muting the C string so the chord sounds muddy.

DownUpDave
02-09-2016, 03:11 AM
I'm a beginner trying to learn Rainbow Connection so I can accompany my daughter. I'm having issues with B-Minor(or any barre really). It sounds muddy. I found this video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS06weYFYHs

where he wraps his thumb around to hold the G string. Is there an issue doing it this way? I haven't tried it yet but am not having much success with using my first finger as a barre and my third finger to hold down that G. I keep muting the C string so the chord sounds muddy.


I usually don't make blanket statements but..........that technique in the video, bad idea......delete it.

As a beginner you are trying to learn an advanced technque, barr chords are advanced don't let anybody tell you any different. Learning barr chords take a lot of attention to detail and a lot of practice. There are many good videos on learning barr chords but here is a primer.

With your index finger laid across the strings place your thumb in the middle of the neck and directly underneath your index finger. From here it is all fiddling and fudging around with the exact placement of yoir thumb, farther down the neck, more towards the 4th string. Index finger sticking up past the fretboard lot or a little, index finger rolled up on it's side a bit etc. etc. etc. We are all built different so you have to find the placement of YOUR thumb and index finger that will allow the notes to ring clear

seattle
02-09-2016, 03:21 AM
Good advice above. I'll just add that make sure you are doing the barre "correctly" rather than trying to use the first digit on your index finger. The first digit of your index finger should be extending off the fretboard.

If you are trying to using the first digit that would be awkward and I can see how the chord would sound muddy.

natchez
02-09-2016, 03:30 AM
Try watching this tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E4Au0JeNmk

Barre chords do take some directed practice, but the hardest part for me was to learn not to press too hard. Just enough to make the right sounds. Ukester Brown has a barre chord practice sheet for Ain't She Sweet barre chord practice on his site that might help you here: http://www.ukesterbrown.com/song-sheets.html

crokett
02-09-2016, 03:49 AM
Good advice above. I'll just add that make sure you are doing the barre "correctly" rather than trying to use the first digit on your index finger. The first digit of your index finger should be extending off the fretboard.

If you are trying to using the first digit that would be awkward and I can see how the chord would sound muddy.

Hmm I am definitely not extending my index finger past the fretboard. I will noodle with that tonight and see if it gets easier.

70sSanO
02-09-2016, 04:18 AM
Stuart Fuchs youtube, posted above, is an excellent way to learn to do this.

John

jollyboy
02-09-2016, 05:55 AM
Also, adjusting the barring finger so that it is slightly sideways-on (thus avoiding having the soft fleshy bits of your finger absorbing all the downforce) is something I have found personally helpful :)

I am currently learning 'Diamonds Are Forever' and must say I love the sound of B minor - it is becoming one of my favourite chords to play.

seattle
02-09-2016, 07:08 AM
Hmm I am definitely not extending my index finger past the fretboard. I will noodle with that tonight and see if it gets easier.

It depends on the chord, how big your fingers are and how small the fretboard is but on a soprano using this particular chord my first digit is off the fretboard.

That's not the case with every barre chord (for me). The other thing is to maybe roll your barre finger a little so that more bone is hitting the fret.

You just have to experiment but if it's too awkward or not playing clearly then there is a better approach.

It also depends your posture. If you are standing up with a strap around your neck you can do it one way and if you're leaning back in a chair watching TV and practicing you'll do it another way.

It would probably be helpful (when you are learning) to set the other fingers first and set the barre after that in whatever way feels most comfortable.

crokett
02-09-2016, 02:37 PM
The video and this thread helped. After some fiddling I got a nice clear chord. Now I just need to practice....

robinboyd
02-23-2016, 12:55 PM
Oh wow. I have trouble with barre chords, but I can make them sound a whole lot better than that guy. His technique just seems awful. FWIW, here is me attempting to play the song in question (including a B minor chord played the conventional way)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KVEaLBzyZ0

JJFN
02-23-2016, 01:47 PM
Don't mean to be blunt, there is only one way to master the barre chord. Practice, it's that simple and also that difficult. It doesn't happen immediately, you have to practice. Did I say practice, there is no substitute. Look at it this way, you are not going to pick up a baseball bat and immediately be Mike Trout. You have to practice correctly and continue to work at it. Good Luck, and enjoy the journey.

Thumper
02-23-2016, 03:25 PM
I've found that in most situations, Bm7 (2222) is a perfectly good substitute for Bm, and WAY easier to play.

Louis0815
02-24-2016, 12:41 AM
Apart from all the different ways of barring the Bm (or any other barre chord) never forget to look at the surrounding chords - after all a song is a sequence of chords, not just individual chords played one after another.

In the Rainbow Connection Bb is preceeded by F and Dm, so my suggestion would be
F (2010): index tip on E string, ring finger's tip on G string (pretty much standard)
Dm (2210): index finger's tip remains on E string, first digit of ring finger barrs G and C strings
Bb (3211): first digit of index finger barrs E and A strings, ring finger's tip goes down to C string (or remains as is - it doesn't actually matter if it touched the G string as well), tip of middle finger on G string

makes transition to the following BbM7 (3210) very easy, you just have to lift the index digit from the A string, leaving the tip on the E string.

These are my fingerings for this specific song:
http://either.grossor.net/rainbow_connection_fingering.png

robinboyd
02-24-2016, 12:51 AM
Apart from all the different ways of barring the Bm (or any other barre chord) never forget to look at the surrounding chords - after all a song is a sequence of chords, not just individual chords played one after another.

In the Rainbow Connection Bm is preceeded by F and Dm, so my suggestion would be
F (2010): index tip on E string, ring finger's tip on G string (pretty much standard)
Dm (2210): index finger's tip remains on E string, first digit of ring finger barrs G and C strings
Bm (3211): first digit of index finger barrs E and A strings, ring finger's tip goes down to C string (or remains as is - it doesn't actually matter if it touched the G string as well), tip of middle finger on G string

makes transition to the following BbM7 (3210) very easy, you just have to lift the index digit from the A string, leaving the tip on the E string.

These are my fingerings for this specific song:
http://either.grossor.net/rainbow_connection_fingering.png

You're using quite different chords to what I am. JJFN said he was struggling with Bm, not Bb (although let's face it, they are both about as hard as each other). In my version Bm is preceded by Dbm7 and followed by E7. Both of these are a bit of a jump...

zztush
02-24-2016, 12:55 AM
Oh, very good figures, Louis!

It may be Bm instead of Bb in your 6th figure.

Louis0815
02-24-2016, 02:44 AM
Oh bugger!

You are right and I was slightly off track apparently - sorry for that. (got carried away humming the song)
My version is a mix from "The daily Ukulele vol 1", Ultimate Guitar Tabs (https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/m/misc_television/kermit_the_frog_-_the_rainbow_connection_ver2_crd.htm) and Ukulele Boogaloo (http://www.alligatorboogaloo.com/uke/tabs/050309-2.html) transposed to the key of F.

[F]Why are there [Dm]so many_ [Gm7]songs about [Bb]rain[C]bows
and [F]what's on the [Dm]o-ther [Bb]side?[C7]__
[F]Rainbows are [Dm]visions, but [Gm7]only il-[Bb]lu-[C]sions
and [F]rainbows have [Dm]nothing to [Bb]hide.__

Of course Bm is NOT 3211 but rather 4222 - and the surrounding chords make it a bit trickier.

Shame on me......

Anyway, might be an option to play Dbm7 as a simple 4444 (index finger), then slide down the neck to 4222 (full barre in 2nd fret with index finger, ring finger on G string) and finally "slide" down one more fret to E7 (1202, index on G, middle finger on C, ring finger on A string) Supporting your barring index finger with the middle finger is allowed...
http://either.grossor.net/Dbm7-Bm-E7.png

mm stan
02-25-2016, 02:49 AM
Make sure your uke has a proper set up and the action is low, it will be easier for you
Also barr chords you need to build finger strength to get a clear tone...practice and play easier songs
So you wont get fustrated and build finger strength. Beginners often make this mistake and get fustrated and lose intrest. Enjoy easier songs until you improve and build finger strength happy strummings

Mivo
02-25-2016, 03:20 AM
I've noticed that even chords that seem impossible at first (Fmaj7 was one of those for me, the ring finger would not go to close to the higher fret wire) get tremendously easier after just a few days of trying. Not for hours, just a few minutes here and there. Of course, I'm just stating the obvious here, and everyone says exactly this: practice, practice, practice. But it's still nice and exhilarating when you really look at your fingers and think, "WOW! That seemed so hard just two weeks ago, and now I can do it pretty well!"

I also echo what Stan said - don't spend too much time on things that frustrate you. Pick easier songs and sneak in a few finger exercises. With the Bm chord also remember to hold the ukulele properly: it's much easier if your thumb is on the back of the neck and the fretboard is facing away from you so that your fingers have more freedom and you won't be as likely to mute strings with the pad(s). if you can see the fretboard, it's already harder to get the ring finger or pinky in the right place.

mm stan
02-25-2016, 04:27 AM
When i first started i had trouble with the Bm chord, id cheat and use Bm7 which is 2222 barred...
Wasnt correct but at times it does get by..