View Full Version : Tips on transitioning from open to barre chords.

01-23-2017, 10:46 AM

I'm attempting my first barre chords. I'm trying to move from Dm to B flat. I just can't seem to get a good transition. I seemailed to struggle getting my thumb in to position behind the neck. Is it simply down to practice or am I doing something wrong? I've only been at it about three days.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
01-23-2017, 12:27 PM
nice 'take' on what's involved with muscles, strength, and dexterity!

very interesting,

thanks :)

01-23-2017, 12:39 PM
No-one ever sounds good in the first stages when their body does not have the right muscles in shape. Learning the barre chord wakes up muscles you have not ever used a lot in your hands. You need to do the workouts (practice) to get them strong and agile. Your body is not a machine that responds immediately, it needs time to develop the muscles. So you just need to follow the same exercise routines that have been used for a thousand years, and one day you will have the strength and agility to surprise yourself.

What Bill1 says is absolutely true. I've "known" barre chords for years but until September when I started with the rigorous playing/practice needed for the LUE program, I just played the Bb and a few other barred in the first few frets. These days I'm happily playing them at the 5th, 7th, and up and the tone has grown incredibly as my muscles have truly incorporated the "new" fingering into my daily playing. It *will* happen!

01-23-2017, 10:27 PM
For the specific Dm to Bb transition, try starting with your second third and fourth fingers fretting the Dm, then slide the third finger up one fret whilst lifting the fourth finger, repositioning the second finger and dropping the barre in behind ... this way your third finger acts as a reference point, never having left the fretboard ... works for me ;)

On the ukulele especially it can be helpful to play a lot of chord shapes as if they were below a barre even when in the first position, with the first finger "floating". Firstly, this combination gives a bit more space on the fingerboard for those of us with a larger stature, secondly it means that when you come to want to fret chords further up the neck your fingers are already used to the shapes and you just need to position the barre behind them ;)

YMMV :music:

01-24-2017, 06:44 PM
Thanks for asking! I struggle with this as well!☺ And I appreciate all the tips!☺